Hunts Department Store, City Drug Store and next to that the Ben Franklin Store. All stores that had been on the corner of North Main and West Bellville Street for many many years.
This picture was made in the mid 1950's. The stores were probably getting ready for the Christmas Parade and the old fashioned lights are strung up a cross the street. All stores were favorite places to shop.
Today the buildings are the same, with some touch ups to the brick work, but the familiar names on the stores are gone as the businesses inside are also different.
In the Hunts Department Store is now the Marion Cafe, but not like the Marion Cafe that we grew up with farther on down the street. It is a table and chair kind of restaurant with vintage decorations on the walls and on display around the floor. Very picturesque.
A favorite place of old is the City Drug, when it was first sold several years ago, the new owners restored it to it's glory days and re-opened it with the old the fixtures ,and a small kitchen in back for soups and sandwiches, plus the famous ice cream fountain and counter. It was wonderful to be able to go inside once again. Even though it seemed to be going good the owners shut it down and it wasn't used very much when they opened the next door Marion Cafe. They now are calling the old drug store a "Tea Room" and it is available by reservations only for special Tea Time parties. No one ask it, but for my opinion, the old Drug Store atmosphere was more suited to the taste of local citizens and visitors.
What was once the Ben Franklin Store is now Paula's China Shop. The lady that owns the establishment is a world famous china painter and she has painting lessons in her shop. People from various places over the world come in for these sessions. Her display windows have her beautiful work displayed there. (Picture made in Dec. 2011)