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Area firefighters work together to control and eventually extinguish a fire at Davis and Son Grocery in Rockford in August 1992.
James D. “Bud” and Eva Thompson of Hanover were honored in the August 5, 1992, edition for celebrating their fiftieth anniversary.
Members of the West Coosa Parent Teachers Organization work on giving the school a facelift before the new school year started August 24, 1992.
The second “thank you” notice to run in “The Coosa County News,” and the first nonpolitical one, was this thank you from Jim and Marty Rittmann to those who helped during the fire.
The faded “Davis Gro.” Coca-Cola sign standing near the intersection of School Street and U.S. Highway 231 in downtown Rockford is all that remains as a reminder of the Davis and Son Grocery that was destroyed by a fire 30 years ago. Photo by Christa Jennings
By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
Downtown Rockford was changed 30 years ago this week when a fire destroyed Davis and Son Grocery on August 3, 1992.
As reported in “The Coosa County News” 30 years ago today, firefighters from nine area fire departments combined efforts that evening to help control and extinguish a fire at the grocery store in Rockford. Those who responded to the fire were Rockford, Equality, Goodwater, Hanover, Kellyton, Ray Community, Richville, Weogufka, and Stewartville volunteer fire departments and the Alexander City Fire Department.
It was reported that the fire began between 6 and 6:30 p.m. that day, with a passerby observing a small flame coming from an ice box near a front window and reporting the fire.
The fire was “brought under control immediately,” and the majority of the lingering flames were put out by 7:30 p.m.
At that time, then Mayor Patricia Wingard was quoted as saying, “I cannot express my thanks enough to the departments who responded in support of our volunteers. Their support demonstrates the ability of volunteer fire departments to work together and effectively protect our communities. We would be in big trouble without these dedicated volunteers.”
It was reported that the Davis family had owned the grocery store for more than 60 years and that it had become a gathering place for area residents.
In that edition three decades ago it was noted that the grocery store was not expected to be rebuilt. In the present day, all that remains as a reminder of the store is the old faded “Davis Gro.” Coca-Cola sign standing at the empty lot next to the old bank building along U.S. Highway 231.
The August 5, 1992, edition also noted that a public meeting was scheduled regarding county emergency services, with the public invited to attend the meeting to discuss the future of emergency medical services, including ambulance operations.
It was noted at the time that the county had three state-licensed ambulance services, and those were based in Goodwater, Weogufka and Rockford.
Also noted in that week’s edition was that members of Rockford Boy Scout Troop 65 would be conducting a flag retirement ceremony for the flag being replaced at Rockford Town Hall. Local residents were encouraged to join the scouts for the ceremony.
The August 5, 1992, edition also covered 12 Rockford residents seeking municipal offices during that month’s elections.
It was reported that only one candidate was running unopposed. That individual was Margie Lee, who ran unopposed in her effort to serve as a council member from District 2, Place 2.
Others who were reported as seeking municipal offices in Rockford 30 years ago were Wayne Windsor and Charles MeShad for mayor; Fay McClenny and Perry Ellison for District 1, Place 1; Catherline Slater and Bill Ellison for District 1, Place 2; Doris Culver, Jim Rittmann and Bobby White for District 1, Place 3; Keith Lewis and Fred Sneed for District 2, Place 1.
Other coverage from 30 years ago today included the continuing work on the Weogufka beautification efforts; members of the West Coosa Parent Teachers Organization spending their summer vacation giving the school campus in Weogufka a major facelift, with it being noted that the combination of the students from the two West Coosa campuses would be implemented at the start of that school year; and the Rockford Men’s Club All Terrain Vehicle weekend that saw more than 100 people participate in the two events Saturday and the main event Sunday.
That edition also highlighted and honored the fiftieth anniversary of James D. “Bud” and Eva Ramsey Thompson of Hanover, who were wed on August 18, 1942, in Mississippi. Hosts for their anniversary celebration on August 15, 1992, were their children, Lynda Shelton, Patricia Nix, Sharron Ward, Buddy Thompson, Bill Brady, Deborah Berry, Cynthia Lee, Judy Turner, and their spouses.
That edition also had information from Joel Glover; wildlife biologist with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Game and Fish Division; regarding a mandatory hunter education course that would begin the following year.
At the time Glover mentioned that the 1992-1993 hunting season would be unlike any before. It was reported that beginning August 1, 1993, successful completion of the state’s hunter education course would be a mandatory requirement of all hunting license buyers born after August 1, 1977.
See other highlights of 30 years of “The Coosa County News” periodically in future editions throughout the year as we continue to celebrate three decades of dedicated local news coverage.