The oldest photo shows downtown Marianna as it was about the turn of the Century. Jefferson Davis Smith's General Store was the first building on the right at the corner of Jefferson and Lafayette Street, (now Buddy's Appliance Store) looking west. He sold furniture and other things, but his main items were buggies and wagons. You will note the dirt streets appear to be extremely rutted from the wagon wheels. Andrew Dykes told us that Marianna dirt streets were either dusty or muddy. There wasn't much in between, and he emphasized how badly the city smelled, particularly in rainy weather, because of the location of the much used hitching posts down the center of town.
On the extreme left of the street scene there are some covered wagons which brought fish and oysters from the coast on cold days in the fall and winter. (Note winter season by tree leaves.) Smith states that the oysters were a favorite of everyone and they were sold for fifteen cent per dozen, with crackers, and $1.00 for a hundred in the bag.
He also states that there was a water system installed about this time. He says that out in the middle of Jefferson Street there was a small two-story building that was used as City Hall, with a "calaboose" (jail to us). South of this building, also in the middle of the street, was the power plant of the city waterworks and electric generating plant. There was also a tall water tank and a ground reservoir, all installed about 1900. This was later moved down to the bottom of the hill near the railroad (where you see a later water tank today).
J. D. Smith’s Buggy and Wagon Store
We don’t have any photos of the entire scene in the middle of Jefferson Street, but the overall photo of Mr. Smith’s Store does show the water hydrate and perhaps the water reservoir in the extreme lower right of the photo. This very large building was moved back to Market Street to prepare for the new building in 1902.
Interior of Smith’s Store
The interior store scene includes Mr. Smith and his niece, Willie Smith. He is standing beside a beautiful buggy, and you can see several items of furniture and wall hangings and a wonderful baby buggy.
Early 1900’s photo
In 1902, J.D. Smith and Robert Daffin built the series of stores filling almost the entire block that were later occupied by J.D. Farrior and B. Schreiber. The east most stores had similar architectural design, with the center store appearing to be three separate buildings in one, as it is today.
Smith’s corner store later housed the original Citizens State Bank, which was soon moved across the street. Many Marianna folks remember Hightower’s Drug Store, there for over 50 years. George Farley occupied some of the building for many years. At the time of this photograph, the large two-story wooden building was still there on the west end of the block, as the awning of the old building can be seen through the trunks of the two trees. Robert Daffin built the Daffin Building several years later.
There is one very early model car parked in front of one of the stores. Since doctors were the first to have automobiles in our area, and Hightower’s Drug Store was known to be in that part of the building, perhaps the doctor has come for some medication. The trees are still down the middle of the street, almost all area folks are still using their buggies, wagons or horses for transportation, and the point where Green Street goes past the Plaza area is still sloping greatly, not level as it is today. Do note THE street light in the middle of “Fayette” and Jefferson Streets. You can also see some electric lines running toward the Plaza if you look carefully.
It is not possible to see the bank building, built in 1902, through the trees, but it would have been there at this point in time.
These buildings on the north side of the street have been in constant service since the early 1900’s and are still serving the public very well today, which proves the quality of their construction work and materials at that point in history.
The Liddon Building under construction
C. C. Liddon has built his very large four-story building on the south side of “Fayette” Street. The photos show the enormous size of the building. This building sat where SunTrust Bank is today and was torn down to accommodate the new bank. For many years it housed A. J. Cobb’s Insurance Agency, Dr. J.Y. Folsom’s dental office, several other offices, and a number of businesses on the ground floor. There was no elevator.