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downtown today


 Beginning in 1900, local merchants started forming what is now the Downtown Carrollton Square. By 1913 when Carrollton incorporated, the Square was the center of a thriving community with rail access in every direction. The first gazebo was built in 1921. The gazebo soon became a place for concerts, speeches, and Saturday dances - providing entertainment and a community focal point for people in Carrollton.


Viewed side by side these photographs provide a panoramic view of Carrollton in 1902. Supported by the three rail lines that cross here, businesses and homes were established around the center of the Square. Their train depot with an engine waiting can be seen in the top right of the first image.


The second image documents various businesses including a lumberyard and a farm implement store. Telephone poles and lines extending from the Town Square to nearby homes and businesses are evident; the telephone was first available in Carrollton in 1890.


The two-story white building in the center background of the image to the right was newly opened schoolhouse, located at what is now the intersection of Belt Line Road and Erie Street, Stacks of lumber used for construction, and wood for cooking, and heating homes and businesses dot the scene.


Businesses and an ornately decorated home sit in the center of the image to the left. Hitching posts for horses are located outside each home and business. Clearly worn roads are visible. With heavy rain and bad weather, these unpaved, dirt roads would have been hard to navigate with horse-drawn vehicles.


WEST SIDE OF THE SQUARE 1902 This was Carrollton’s main row of business. In the foreground is the Cox and Everhart general store. Horses can be seen resting in the area surrounding the well, the location of which later became the site of the gazebo and the focal point of the business district. 9


EAST SIDE OF THE SQUARE 1940 This view of the east side of the Square shoes Sewell’s Variety Store, Perry Grocery, and Rainbow Pharmacy, the businesses located at the time. These same buildings still occupy the east side of Broadway Street today.


TOWN SQUARE DURING THE 1908 FLOOD During the widespread flooding, mail and rail services were suspended and telephones were out for days. The west side of the Square saw 2 to 3 feet floodwater. The flood left behind debris, mud, and abundance of snakes. Business owner George Myers described the finding of snakes on shelves and in bins at his general store.


MARATHON SERVICE STATION, c. 1935 Jack Ogle stands outside the Marathon Service Station located on the southeast corner of Belt Line Road and Broadway Street. The four boys standing by the gas pumps are unidentified. The price of gas in 1935 was 19 cents per gallon and the average car cost $625.


NORTHSIDE OF THE SQUARE, c. 1930 From left to right are the hardware store, Davis and Perry Grocery, and a combination drugstore and soda fountain. The far right of the image shows the front of the Bank of Carrollton building located at Broadway Street and W Main Street. 4