I remember how, when I was a teenager, I always thought this was a sleepy little town, typical of the South. On a Sunday morning the whole town was closed, at least until after noon, in respect for the churchgoers. Business owners were usually right there on the pew with you, so most places opened at 12 or 1 pm, and closed about 5 or 6 in the evening. Summers always felt lazy too, although the working class usually started way before the dawning of the very hot days, to get the hard work done before the heat ran them inside.
There are so many historical homes in Glasgow, beautiful reminders of times long gone, some of them antebellum – before “The War.” You know, the one between the States. 150 years have passed since the end of the Civil War, and many changes have occurred in that time span. Glasgow was under partial occupation during that war, and there were soldiers, from both sides, in the city proper for quite some time.
Many areas of town have an eerie atmosphere, and very many of the homes in certain areas are claimed to be haunted. But alot of the good ones are gone now.
I’d like to speak of two of those here that I had personal experience with, and one of those wasn’t only the house, but the whole neighborhood. Of the first one, I had many years of experience walking by it on my way to and from my grandmothers to South Green Street and any parts of town in that direction.
When the Housing Authority of Glasgow purchased the land on Bunche Avenue, then still known as Back Street, where the main office and Mayfield Plaza are today, my grandmother was one of the first residents in the Mayfield Plaza project, completed in the early 1970s. So my numerous cousins and I spent countless summer days, and some nights, with her.
We went for alot of walks, including to visit my aunt, who lived on Willow Drive about one mile away. Back then you could go to the end of Mayfield Plaza, and there was a small walking gate through the fence that came out at the dead-end of Hawkins Court. The old Hawkins’ place by then had been turned into apartments, but even in broad daylight that place was spooky.
The side door that faced Hawkins Court seemed to be perpetually open, and you could see the staircase through the open doorway, done up in blood-red carpet. It was a lovely Italianate style home at one time, but when turned into apartments, it drew some questionable tenants over the remaining years. We rarely went that way after dark.
The whole neighborhood of South Green Street in that area is the location of several old, stately homes. Less than a block from Hawkins Court is the lovely Trigg Court, home at one time to another stately Italianate mansion owned by Haiden Trigg. It seems I’ve read somewhere this house was destroyed by fire in the early 1940s. Trigg Court was also known light-heartedly as Fifth Avenue back in the day, because if 3 or 4 of the neighbors and their friends were gathered together, “there was always a fifth!” Take that as you will…
The house on the corner of Trigg Court and South Green Street has always given me an odd feeling whenever I pass it. I never understood the feelings pervasive of the property, but it still makes me feel that way. Some places just never change.
Although I’ve not set foot in Hawkins Court since they tore the old house down and built a large new one in its place, it makes one wonder if they exorcised all the ghosts? So many times, old houses are brought down under the assumption that a new house will have all new and sparkling experiences. If the land has enough memories attached to it, that doesn’t always work. In fact, sometimes it just makes it worse.
The second place I wish to talk about is the large white house that was next door to the Gas Company on Broadway. I was told when younger that at one point it was a funeral home. It was a decrepit old apartment house from as far back as I could remember, and I can’t repeat the nickname it had when I was a teenager. It was a questionable place of residence for a while, to be sure.
After my late ex-husband and I separated, he lived there for a while. I had never been inside the house before then, and it really was quite a dark and eerie place. Cold spots, hot spots, footsteps when no one was there. And a shadow man near the back door that could scare the wits out of you if you were in the hallway and he just appeared there. And the unmistakable smell of pipe smoke. And the strangely overpowering perfume, the smell of which would be strong one minute and gone the next.
Beautiful reminders of a long ago past that are now only in our memories. Joining them were the well-known Kaintuck Tourist Home on North Race Street, Mr. Edwards’ house on Columbia Avenue, Mrs. Edwards’ home on Cleveland Avenue at the Triangle, the Clinic Hospital on West Washington. There were several houses in the East Main Street, East Washington Street area that have burned in the last few years, all gone now, one replaced by an apartment building.
And last but not least, the house on North Green Street that was home to the delightful Ford sisters at ,the turn of the 20th century. It burned on a holiday night about 20 years ago, and was also replaced by an apartment building. Behind it is the origin of the famous Chicken Yard Branch, that crosses over a bit of swampy land between North Green and Columbia Avenue, and goes into the Big Spring under the street where Columbia Avenue, Front Street, and Broadway all come together, down under the street to Water Street. On that corner was the stately home of the well-known Sam Fowler, later the Wade place, now replaced by a gas station turned barbecue house.
All of these places still permeate the air with their eerie tranquility. Especially on lazy summer evenings, when the sound of tree frogs, katydids, and cicadas fill the night with their serenades.
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