208 N. LIBERTY
d n english
Before there were individuals like John Allen and Hal Crocker buying and renovating Downtown Jackson there was Dan Gates.
Dan had started buying buildings as the traffic downtown had all but dried up. The businesses were closing and more vacant buildings were appearing. One such building was 208 N.Liberty
.This building was constructed in 1870 the first tenant was H.W. White ,cotton buyer, with the cotton yard located in front of the office. The cotton yard started at Lafayette to College on the west side of Liberty. ( now you know the street was a dirt roads and I used the names of the streets as we know them now)In 1890 208-210 were combined to become Wisdom and Duke Dry Goods. The store sold dry goods, farm supplies , feed and seed.
In 1890 Mr.R.L. Bissinger came from Nashville with Mr David Korman to open Jackson Produce Company. An ad in the 1900Jackson City Director stated the Jackson Produce Co was a dealer in wool, fur, hides , feathers and ginseng. Carpets of wool and horsehair along with household items.(moved to larger location 115-117 East College)
In 1910 E.L Forbes opened up a music and piano store. I cannot confirm the exact year but at some time around 1909 the wall between 208 and 210 was bricked up to make 2 stand alone stores.The music store lasted 2 years.
In 1912-1947 various dry goods and clothing stores occupied the building.
Then 1947 Beneficial Loan Company for 3 years.From 1950 there were clothing stores ,a vacuum cleaner store and yet another loan company.
Then Dan purchased the building taking down the drop ceiling to discover amazing metal ceiling tiles. When he and his crew got finished it was amazing and you could feel the pride of the building when you walked through the door.
Soon the place became the Downtown Tavern.Then there was a hiccup that because of false claims by an “outsider” caused so much pain..The building had a new direction (so they they thought) the poplar Tavern was closed down.
Now we have a new chapter the Tavern is back open. There are some very happy people in Downtown Jackson these days. Congratulations to Tony and Melanie Lupino for bringing love back to this amazing building.
thank you M. James for updating the details about the tavern closing.(see comments) and to PF Holdings for supporting downtown.
Research from my copies of the Jackson City Directories.The original story appeared in Downtown Wanderings I2002.