Can you smell the fish?
d n english
216 N Shannon
Before we get into Haynes Fish Market let’s do the history of the location.
In 1860’s this location was a livery stable where many a horse got new shoes. Metal shoes then they started putting rubber shoes on the horses and rubber wheels on many wagons and carriages . These changes were made by the City fathers to protect the new paved city streets.
In 1928 Mr Hubert A Haynes moved his family from Samburg
Tennessee to Jackson. He purchased the former Livery Stable located at 216 N. Shannon . For the first year his family lived in the resident on the second floor. They gutted the livery to make it suitable for his fish market.
That first year Mrs Haynes would clean and cook the fish while taking care of their sons Robert (4) and David (2) .
It wasn’t long the moved out of upstairs and into their home.
Haynes Fish Market became the place to buy fresh fish in Madison Co. They sold Tennessee River Catfish, Buffalo and when in season Crappie from Reelfoot.
Mr.Haynes would go to the river or Reelfoot Lake to buy his fish from local fisherman. They also sold cooked fish at the market. In his trips he would buy corn and take it to Blackwell Grist Mill in Jackson to get the corn grinded into meal.
Mr. Hubert and Miss Daisy ran the market with their sons.
One of the boys would go with their father on buying trips to get fish. They would visit with the fisherman and their families. The boys thought it was great fun to play on the houseboats. It was a whole new world for them but when it was time to go it was time to go. They would get the fish iced down and head to Jackson. It was all hands on deck to get the fish “skinned” and out for sale and cooking.
Robert went off to war in the 1940’s When he came back from service he took over day to day operations of the market.
Mr Glenn was a friend of Robert’s said that Mr. Hubert and Miss Dasiy would come and help out for as long as they were physically able.
Robert continued going to the buying trips to the river for fish.
Now it was his daughter ,Carrie, to follow in her father’s footsteps playing on the houseboats and riverbanks on those trips. This is where Carrie met Maggie Sayer and became familiar with her photography.
The trips to the river soon were a thing of the past as more commercial fishermen came to town. Haynes fish market started expanding. In the 1980’s they would receive shipment of shrimp and other seafood to expand their inventory . Then they purchased the building next door to expand the market to make room for a dining room. Robert said this was so people could eat “good hot fish and the fixin”.
So many told me Robert and his family continued the family goodwill by making sure the “down and out” had a hot meal.
They would show their community pride by hosting dinners.
Many a law enforcement officers would attend Robert “fish fries”. This gentleman of Jackson was well respected and loved. Though through life he had experienced some hard knocks. He had a big heart and loved to tell a story and hear one.
When Mr. Robert died his daughter Carrie and her husband
Dave carried on the tradition. It became to much so they sold the building in the late 1990’s.
Gone were the days of the trips to the river and grist mill but when you entered the doors “you could smell the fish”.
Looking around you can imagine all the people that enjoyed not only the fish but the fellowship.
I remember I was about to enjoy a plate of Catfish in the 90’s. I looked around and saw this lady waving to me inviting me to join her.
She introduced herself to explain she had met me the New Southern one day when I was visiting with Shine.
Speaking of Shine he was there playing his “juice harp” while a gentleman was playing his guitar and singing. My table companion looked at me you know “youngin it is fittin the blues be playin in here. Mr Robert was a kind man but he lived the blues like the rest of us. Besides fried Catfish and Buffalo Ribs just go with the Blues.”
We continued to talk as she finished her Buffalo Ribs let’s just say I got an education on the Blues and Fish. Not only from her but Shine and the other people who joined our table.
What a wonderful Saturday in Downtown Jackson in the 1990’s
Since that Saturday there have been restaurants at this location. It seems that the building was just waiting for The Blacksmith to call it home. Now the building is filled with good food and individuals enjoying each other’s company. Laughter now echoes off the walls Mr Robert would be pleased I think.
Downtown Wanderings 2002 d n english and interviews