Yesterday (May 18), this building was completely gutted by fire.
It’s latest label had been as an IGA, before Food City opened their downtown location on the former Kingsport Press property. The IGA closed shortly thereafter. Earlier, it had been a White’s Supermarket, but it had been built as Oakwood Market #2 in 1949 and was the first of the grocery stores to make up what would be known as Supermarket Row, along Canal Street. Wallace Boyd, Sr. had come into Kingsport from Kentucky and had opened the first Oakwood Market in Greenacres in 1947 (this is from a story in a 1947 issue of the Kingsport Times).
The store in Greenacres had an “exotic” canned food section that mom and I would drop by and snicker at. Chocolate-covered grasshoppers and snails and the like. But, like some of the things you see in antique stores, they hadn’t moved in years.
Btw, when Oakwood #2 was built, it had a waterfall on top. It was a triangular structure over the middle of the building. At the top of this, say, 20′ waterfall was the Oakwood sign, painted by Carter’s Art Shop (I used to know a guy who did some of the painting), and under it, on either side, was a continuously-cycling flow of water down a simulated rock waterfall. Most amazing. It is the nature of water to go anywhere there’s an opening, so I suspect that it leaked.