McDoel History


The 1920s were a boom time in our neighborhood, as they were for many places around the country. In 1923 the Gentry family platted their farm into 150 house lots, creating the Dixie Highway Addition. Over the next six years more than 75 houses were built in the addition. As far as we know, all were either bungalows or kit homes.

Bungalows are of course familiar to all of us, long narrow houses, usually two rooms wide, with low, gable-front roofs, front porches, horizontally-oriented windows on the sides with tall narrow panes. The style was very popular with families looking for convenient, one-story homes. Kit homes were often quite similar to the bungalows, with an even more compact form. The most distinctive features on many of these are the little “snub-nosed” roofs over porches or at the side, in which the pointed end of a gable roof is angled down to form a small triangle roof.

In the 1920s a cornerstone for the neighborhood was built: the original limestone building of McDoel Baptist Church was constructed on the corner of Allen and Rogers Streets.

During the decade many folks in the neighborhood had jobs here, too: about half the workers were employed within the neighborhood or at its margins, at the railroad, the stonemills lined up on the east side of the tracks, and at the new Showers Brothers Company Plant 4. Commercial establishments in the neighborhood included three or four cafes or restaurants a grocery, a barber, a filling station, and a candy store. Most of these were along Rogers, some up near the hospital and others across from the Showers Brothers factory.

All written material and illustrations not otherwise noted copyright 2000-2001 E. Sieber.
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