Tour Guide   BLOCK 6 - Main Street Tour     Locate on map

The grade on the south side of Main at Rusk does not seem to be as 
steep as that on the north side. There are no steps in the sidewalk 
as we stop in front of yet another drug store, aptly named the 
Corner Drug. It was also known as Ross’s for a period of time. The 
next storefront in the 50’s was Pulley’s Jewelry; years before it 
was Seabrook’s Florist. 

Greers Western Wear
Next came Greer’s Western Wear and Boots, a store that expanded in 
size through the years. Indeed Mr. Greer built a reputation for 
being a talented designer of custom-made western boots.  Before 
it was the location for Greer’s, however, Starr’s (later moved 
to a smaller location across the street adjacent to Joseph’s Dry
Goods) had been in this location.
Next came C.E. Maddocks Insurance and Real Estate. A real stretch 
back in time is necessary to remember when the five-and-dime on 
the south side was called Scott’s. More people will remember when 
it was later associated with the Ben Franklin chain. Whatever the 
name, this store always whetted a child’s appetite for all sorts 
of somewhat available toys. Some, stamped “Made in Occupied Japan,” 
no doubt were very fragile and not likely to endure much rough 
child’s play. It now is the site of a store belonging to the 
Dollar Store chain.

Gholson HotelThe next hotel complex 
housed more than one 
business and was probably
major competition for 
the Paramount across the 
street. The Gholson Hotel
was the property of one of
Ranger’s first mayors and 
resident of a mansion on 
the corner of Mesquite and 
South Hodges at the base of 
the hill with the hospital. 
Just prior to the hotel 

itself some will recall a coffee shop, perhaps named the Gholson 
Hotel coffee shop which was operated by Ralph & Nell Lockwood at
one time. Underneath the awning was the entry to Swaney’s Pharmacy 
with yet another soda fountain so popular at one time, but under 
the awning itself was a display of all sorts of current periodicals. 
In fact, it was here that some high school boys stole a quick glance 
at the newly published Playboy.  A back door of Swaney’s opened 
directly into the hotel lobby.  Before the main entrance of the 
hotel lobby was an entry down a threatening stairway to a pool 
hall and who knows what. Many preached so against such evils as 
playing pool that this yawning opening seemed to be the very 
gates of hell themselves. 

Smart Shop     Young-Age Shop
Then came the main entrance into the hotel with a glassed-in 
storefront to the west that has variously been a site of the 
Sweetbriar, a very up-scale ladies’ dress shop, belonging to 
Mrs. Henry and a barbershop (Tony Lewis’s). Another shop in
this area was the Young-Age Shop, which was an up-scale store
for kids.

Thursday nights for many years it was here in front of the 
Gholson that the students and other townsfolk gathered for pep 
rallies before the Friday football game. Imagine the excitement 
in the fall of 1953 when victory after victory ultimately led 
the Bulldogs to the State championship in 1-A football.
Later women’s dress shops were immediately west of this one sharing 
a side with the hotel entryway. In this other storefront was the so-
called Smart Shop (owned by Audrey Yonker), which may have been the 
same site earlier known as the Sweetbriar. On the corner of Austin 
and Main stood for many years the large former bank building that had 
been First State Bank. 

Ice Cream ParlorIn the late 40’s and early 
50’s it was fondly called 
simply the Ice Cream Parlor
and owned by the Shelton 
family, who also lived in 
the building. It was razed 
many years ago and afterwards 
served only as a parking lot.
End Tour