Snapshot of History: Polk Street and Hwy 2

Aerial view of Polk Street and Highway 2 about 1960.

BY MIKE AVITT
I’m back after a wild week at Wildwood Hills Ranch. We have another aerial photo this week and I believe this picture was taken by Mabel McCullough Rice as she was an aviatrix and this was her property.
Bob Sickels worked for Mabel in the early 1960s and he remembers the place looking like this. Mabel and her husband Whitey Rice shipped used farm equipment on their own truck line to western Canada. The demand was very high at the time. And that’s what we see in this week’s picture – lots of used farm equipment. We also see Robert and Marie Poush’s house north of the north building.
I don’t know when these buildings were built or who by, but I know Dollar General Store opened in September 2002 on the east side of Polk Street. Now, let’s look at what I have on the buildings.
McCullough Implement’s Grand Opening took place in the west building on November 25, 1966. This was now a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership as well as handling new and used farm equipment. It seems the McCullough-Rice clan moved to Canada in 1971.
The Ringgold County Challenge Center moved out of the west building in November 1978. They moved to 115 E. Madison. So the Challenge Center probably moved in around 1973.
I worked at Shields Elevator and Trucking from September 1982 to January 1984 and I can tell you both these buildings held shelled corn at that time.
In the fall of 1996, Syd and Kathy Comer bought the Mount Ayr Video business in the west building. Mount Ayr Video had moved here from the old laundromat building. I remember Syd working on the west building and in April of 2000, All Seasons Cafe had a ribbon-cutting. This restaurant lasted about five years. I remember all-you-can-eat chicken liver on Wednesday night for six dollars!
Subway sandwich shop had its grand opening on May 19, 2007. It appears to me that Debra Larson’s Farmers Insurance and Shirley and Dave’s Computers moved into the west building in 2008.
I believe the north building was torn down in the 1990s when Syd was remodeling the west building.

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