Collection: Jeannie Moore Smith
Scanned by James Whitlow
The Walnut Ridge & Hoxie Light, Power & Transit Company
According to the 1906 edition of the “McGraw Electric Railway Manual: The Red Book of American Street Railway Investments”, The Walnut Ridge & Hoxie Light, Power & Transit Company was chartered on Sept 9, 1903. The streetcar tracks were placed in operation in 1904 and ran from Walnut Ridge to the Roundhouse in Hoxie.
There were 2 miles of track, the track gauge being 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches in width. The streetcar ran on electricity, and if you look closely you can see the wire above the streetcar in this picture. An interesting statistic mentioned in this book was that 225,668 passengers were carried during the year 1905. That’s over 600 passengers a day!
1926 Walnut Ridge Main Street
What a site Walnut Ridge Main Street was before the Great Depression. At least 50 Model T’s line both sides of the road. Before obtaining an original postcard scan, I was only able to pinpoint the date of this image between 1914 (because the Rhea Hotel is not in the picture) and 1929 (when the streetcar was shut down). However, upon closer inspection, I was able to find a license plate with the date 1926.
The street car is sitting at the intersection of W. Main and 2nd Street (now Abbey Road), and appears to be letting passengers on and off. It’s amazing that most of these buildings are still on Main Street. If you look to the right on 2nd street, the cafe most locals know as “The Grill” was not built yet, it was still an empty lot. If you look to the left on 2nd street, you can see the Lawrence County Bank on the corner (later First National Bank). The old bank and the two one-story buildings next to it were replaced in the 1970’s with the current three-story First National Bank building. In 1926, the building next to the bank was Robert Cooper’s Drugstore. The other one-story building was an earlier location for the Post Office. If you look closely, you can see the Post Office sign.
Across the street, and closer to the railroad track, you can see another drugstore. This is also Cooper’s Drugs, but is owned by Robert Cooper’s brother Moses.