DART: Single street holds much of Brundidge’s historyPublished 11:30pm Monday, August 20, 2012
Call it what you will. East Troy Street. Clio Street. Highway 10.
It’s all one and the same.
But the street that runs east from Brundidge to Clio holds a lot history for the city and its inhabitants.
Britt Thomas, Brundidge city manager, remembers an especially hot, early spring day in 1977, when he was the town’s new city clerk and attended his first formal ceremony.
The city was dedicating the Watson Building in memory and honor of William Watson, who had served the city with great distinction as its city clerk.
Watson was well known and well respected in Brundidge, not just as its clerk but as one of its most prominent and upstanding citizens. Thomas said he knew that he had big shoes to fill.
And, he was also a little apprehensive, not just because he was a 22-year-old greenhorn when it came to city government, but also because of the rather disturbing history associated with the city clerk’s office.
“Mr. Watson had served 25 years in the capacity of city clerk,” Thomas said. “He died of heart attack. The city clerk who had preceded him, A.C. Davis, had also served the city for 25 years and he, too, died of a heart attack.”
Thomas admitted that he was a bit nervous but he was 25 years away.
Thomas recently surpassed 25 years as the city clerk/manager in Brundidge. He didn’t know it was possible to hold one’s breath for a whole year.
He laughingly said that, since 25 have come and gone, he can breathe a littler easier.
East Troy Street is home to the Brundidge Volunteer Fire Department, which has a storied history in the town, going back to the mid-1930s when Joe Leverette, a pistol-packing pooch, was a Brundidge “fireman.”
Across the railroad tracks from the Watson Building, is the old fire station, the site of the town’s first water well.
“Water was pumped from there up to the water tower on top of the hill. That’s where the city got its water,” Thomas said.
On the corner between the Watson Building fire station and the old fire station is a rather unique art object.
“When the warehouses along the railroad were torn down years ago, a council member asked if the pipe that was part of a sprinkler system for the warehouses could be left as testimony to the old days, Thomas said. “The city bricked around it and it’s now an interesting piece of art.”
Just across the street from the “metal sculpture” is a cement slab that is also part of the town’s history.
“That’s were the first city’s first electric generator was mounted,” Thomas said. “It was owned by Charles Henderson and supplied much of the city with electricity.”
Just up the street a mural on the side of a Jackson Hardware storage building highlights the agricultural history of the community.
That’s a lot of history on that one section of East Troy Street/Clio Street/ Highway 10. And every day, hundreds of motorists cross the railroad tracks at that point and, probably, few know they are on historical grounds.