Category Archives: bob lawrence photography

Roberts & Johnson Lmb’r Co


This grubby little number has been around for a while.  Roberts & Johnson Lumber Company, located next to Oakwood on West Sullivan Street, burned in the late 70s.  For some reason, nothing was ever done with the plot of land at 451 West Sullivan.  Except for now, since the land will be subsumed by the development taking place in that area.  Alas, if this were yours and you just had to measure something, you’d be out of luck…it’s rusted closed.


I thank Carl Swann for this item.  Its age is indeterminate.  The “Sobel’s The Men’s Store” appears to have been hot stamped onto the shoehorn. “Shoehorn” is an old word, dating back to the late Middle Ages, as a “schoying horne” (it’s all in Wikipedia)…a “horn” in the sense of a tool to help put on a shoe.  There were various sizes (long ones for boots); this one is 3.5″ long.

Nunn Bush shoes are still distributed by Weyco in Wisconsin…Weyco is essentially a Florsheim operation since 1964.  Weyco claims a founding date of 1892.  Nunn Bush was established by Henry LIghtfoot Nunn in 1912.  I don’t know what happened to Bush.  I can’t find a reference.  Really, his middle name was “Lightfoot”?  Too punny.

When I was in the Air Force, we had the opportunity to purchase Florsheim dress shoes.  For whatever reason, most all of us had gone back to our Government-issue shoes in six months or so.  The Florsheims just didn’t hold up well (this was back in the mid-60s).



This is the back of the old Coca-Cola bottling plant on West Sullivan.  The trucks backed up this ramp to be loaded for deliveries.  Backing up the ramp must have been fun, especially before dawn.  Or raining.  Or in snow.

The windows in front of the building allowed you to watch the process as the bottles whizzed by.  Hot stuff in the ’50s.

Tennessee Valley Dragway

This was part of the Tennessee Valley Dragway (1965 – 1969), looking east to Cleek Road.  Had the strip been completed, it would have spanned the 3/4-mile or so between Cleek Road and an area in front of the present Traders Village. Note: the access to this area is gated.  It’s on private land.

Interesting history…read about it here.