BLOCK 3 - Main Street Locate on map Across the street on the north-west corner of Main stood a building that, for many years was a center of activity— the Paramount Hotel. The building was much more than just the hotel, however. In its lobby was the Western Union Telegraph as well as the Greyhound Bus Terminal. Not to be overlooked was a taxi service booth. Other doors opened to the barbershop (Gaffner’s) & beauty shop (Pat’s) and the coffee shop, where both locals and bus riders could be promptly served around U-shaped counters or in booths. In the exact corner of Main and Austin was Ervin’s Jewelry, where its wares were proudly displayed in lighted windows facing both the lobby and the sidewalk. (This Ervin’s location is not to be confused with the one operated by Don Ervin on the south side of Main, one block west of the Paramount.) For many years the Paramount continued to be the bus station until it seems the hotel was becoming an unprofitable enterprise. At that time the bus station moved a block north and east. The hotel itself was torn down many years ago. It was not one of the many victims of fire. Next door was Ranger’s answer to fine clothing for the well- dressed man, the Globe Clothiers, owned and operated by Saule Perlstein.
Continuing down the block the next store was Duke and Ayers, a five-and-ten variety store that had taken over the spot previously occupied by Woolworth’s. A tiny little store next door sold, among other things, shoes. It was a mom-and-pop store owned by Mr. and Mrs. Starr. Formerly this site, with a yellow tile front, had also been a jewelry store. Then came a narrow office for C.E. May Insurance and Real Estate. Joseph’s Department Store and Apartments, the next large building, has a varied history. Its lower floors, which served as the senior citizen meal site for several years, once housed a thriving business. On its east edge was the entry to Betty’s Flowers. To the right of Betty’s was the tiny office of First Federal Savings and Loan, which later moved into the former Commercial State Bank building. The upper floors were advertised as fireproof apartments. Ranger Junior College later used the same rooms as supplementary housing for its students. Most likely RJC purchased the building. What was a narrow and deep vacant lot before E. L. Martin’s Dry Goods may have been the location of Terrell Drug Store and possibly a clinic. In the 50’s a snow cone stand was sometimes operational in that spot. Martin’s, which has stood vacant and silent on the corner of Main and Rusk for many years, housed a contraption that fascinated children who could insert their foot and see an X-ray of it before buying shoes. Old timers will remember that prior to being owned by the Martin family, the store was called Hassan’s. End Tour