Go Forth On The 4th (And Other Times Too!)

It’s almost impossible to believe that the Fourth of July is less than a week away … and time for another round of picnics, parades, fireworks, trips to beach or mountains and most of all, celebrations! This week’s Throwback feature includes a look at some celebrations and community events from throughout the years.  Our first picture is over a century old … the area’s July 4 festivities from 1909.  This parade took place on Trade Street – the main commerce road – in Jonesboro at the time.

Our next stop was a familiar spot in downtown Sanford for all sorts of activities. Before this space on Steele Street was used to build a J.C. Penney store in the 1950s, it was a popular destination for community celebrations, meetings and events, including an activity to celebrate the end of World War II in 1945.

Our next community celebration comes from the very first Lee County Fair.  In it’s early years, the fair took place in downtown Sanford near the railroad house and occurred later in the year. The first fair took place from November 13 through 15, in 1913. The fair was a yearly event until 1919 and then became more sporadic until the Sanford Lions Club assumed leadership in 1935 (and continue in that role today).

The mark of a great parade at the turn of the last century, was the presence of one or more horse-drawn fire wagons. In this parade on Moore Street from over 100 years ago you can see the Gurley Drug Store and the Stein Brothers building in the distance.

Finally … here’s a community gathering of a different sort.

A long line of young people are standing outside the Center Theater in 1952, waiting for entrance to see a popular movie. Judging by the part of the movie sign we can read, it’s possible the kids were waiting to see a scary movie called The Strange Door, starring Boris Karloff. The line stretches for as far as we can see!

Editorial content, pictures and research background, compliments of Jimmy Haire and Images of America: Sanford and Lee County, by Jimmy Haire & W.W. Seymour, Jr, available here for purchase.