Historic Downtown Hanceville

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HANCEVILLE – Downtown Hanceville is truly a sight to see, there are so many buildings lining the streets that are filled with old memories. Take for example, the current Marie’s Flowers or the Hammock Building. Large, white and quite impressive, the old place has seen more than its fair share of Hanceville history over the years.  

The building was originally built in the 1920s as directed by Miss Anna Rauchman. It was constructed after a tremendous fire burned a major portion of Hanceville. The fire happened on March 17, 1920 and had been extremely destructive. It left the town’s people devastated and 16 buildings destroyed.

Miss Rauchman’s new building was the first masonry constructed structure in Hanceville. It really stood out and looked very impressive. The original door opened to the corner of Bangor Avenue and Commercial Street. There was a second door near the back of the building, along with two small arched windows. Years later the same windows were filled in with brick, completely enclosing them. Today, if you look closely you can still see their outline along the old wall.

The upper part of the building had been an apartment for the business owner, Miss Rauchman, to live in. It had three bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry and a bathroom. A wide hallway ran the whole length of the apartment, and the place had two lovely fireplaces, which are still there today.

When the building was completed, Miss Rauchman and her sister Lizzie lived in the apartment and opened a dress shop on the main floor. Later, the building became a funeral home. During the 1930s and 1940s, brothers Wallace and George Green bought the place and the dress shop became Green Brothers General Merchandise. It was the only meat market in town at the time. Wallace “Wally” and wife Edna lived in the apartment upstairs.

Years later, during the 1950s, first cousins Carl and Thelbert Bland bought the store and opened up shop. Bland & Bland Merchandise was one of Hanceville’s favorite places to shop at the time. It is not known if the Blands lived upstairs or not back then.

Sometime during the 1960s, Grover and Lou Burks opened Western Auto in this building. It remained there until the late 1970s when the store was relocated to where Finders Keepers is today. It is said that Western Auto had many great buys, and children loved their bicycles, wagons and other neat things that they got there while shopping alongside their parents and grandparents.

The building was purchased by Faith Moody Hammock from her father, Jim D. Moody, around 2000. Today it is home to Marie’s Flowers.

As with anything of age, a few places that had occupied the old building, such as the funeral home, did not contain specific dates. If walls could talk, I wonder what these historic walls would say.

Contact Sharon Schulersharon@cullmansense.com.

This story was originally published in the February 23 issue of CullmanSense print edition