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In 2004 the City of Jackson purchased the land I call “the triangle “. This is the land meets in a point where West Lafayette joins West Main. The base was the ICRR tracks which later were removed. In 2004 the city started tearing down the old warehouses and trash that had been an eyesore for years.
Of course the tornado of 2003 didn’t help with the trash.
Let’s go back to 1890 where the insurance map showed the area as an established lumber yard. This lumber made it easier to load the timber on rail cars to destinations across the country.
In 1903 Captain J.C. Edenton purchased the land to constructed his two story wholesale grocery warehouse. Captain Edenton had started his wholesale grocery business in 1893 at a smaller property. His family owned a company that supplied inventory to the grocery stores around town. They soon outgrew their original location thus the need of the warehouse.The location enabled the creation of a rail spur so the trains could drop off rail cars of inventory increasing their inventory for their growing customer base.
As the salesman went around to counties surrounding allowing more grocery stores to order inventory that could be sent by rail or they could come to the warehouse to pick up their orders. Later they were able to set up truck delivers to these customer with the improvement of the highway system.
The inventory the warehouse held included sugar, flour , meal, canned goods ,coffee, tea, paper products, paint, cotton sacks that were made at the Bemis Mill and much more.
J.C. Edenton Wholesale Supply was the largest in West Tenn. outside Shelby Co.
As business improved Edenton opened wholesale operations in 11 West Tennessee counties. In 1955 the original warehouse became a cash and carry operation. The main operation warehouse was moved to Highway 412. Then in 1957 after 63 years in business was sold to Raglan -Potter wholesaler.
Later the business would be sold to Malone Hyde. From 1957 to 2003 the buildings served as a warehouse served as a base various businesses.
With the advent of the automobile and the ownership of them being affordable the need of gas station increased. In 1920 the Gulf service station opened in the tip of the property.
This was back when people came out to fill your car or truck, check your oil , tires and wash your windshield. The station would offer promotions including free comic books. Many a boy would stop by the station visit and get a new comic book. When the Gulf station closed several other businesses opened but 1980 the area was cleared.
Then in May 5th 2003 after tornado it was clear the buildings would not recover. The permit was granted to demolish the buildings selling the brick and timber. Then the City finished the clean up and created a green space.
Now in 2021 there are plans to created a Bicentennial Park to honor Madison Co. and City of Jackson. I would think it would be a wonderful place to sit and reflex on the history of the area.
Research JMCL and interviews with Edenton family published in Still Wandering Downtown 2004 d n english