Friday, October 14, 2016

Missing Teeth in Downtown Seminole, OK

Parks Drug Store Front Sign
Parks Drug in Downtown Seminole, OK which recently was destroyed by fire. 

Have you ever heard a downtown referred to as a mouth full of teeth? Well, part of those teeth in Seminole, Oklahoma went up in smoke recently. On October 2, 2016 five buildings were destroyed by fire on Main Street in downtown, our old neighborhood. Thankfully, the building we used to live in was not damaged, but our hearts go out to those who lost so much.

We lived on the second floor of an old bank building for two and a half years in downtown Seminole. G and I would walk up and down Main Street almost every day. He loved riding his bike on the bumpy sidewalks. We relished the old charm and community feel of living in a commercial area. There was an amazing thrift store, a delicious bakery, classic sandwich shop, and library all within blocks of each other.


Child riding bike on downtown sidewalk
Bike Riding in Downtown

Sadly the old Park's Drug Store caught fire on Sunday. It took 4 other buildings down with it. Over our time spent there, I would peek inside the drug store window hoping to spot an antique treasure.

My mom told stories about her childhood when she would go to the drug store, sit on the bar stools, and sip her fountain drink. I longed to take my children there to experience the same delight. During our time in Seminole, the drug store was closed which is too bad because it would have been a lovely addition to the downtown experience.


Walgreen Sign in Downtown Seminole, OK
Walgreen Agency sign on E. Oak Ave. in Downtown Seminole, OK

So many downtowns in rural America are going downhill or dying due to the competition of big box stores, online shopping, and the flight of youngsters. I love the idea of living in a place where you can walk to get a fresh cup of coffee or wave to the shopkeepers as you stroll down the sidewalk. Maybe I'm an old soul, but I think that kind of life has much appeal today.


Historic Bus Station Cafe Sign
Bus Station Cafe on E. Broadway Ave in Downtown Seminole, OK 

In recent years, Seminole Main Street, Inc. has been working hard to revitalize the historic downtown, but there is still so much to do and this fire was a tremendous setback. I know the people of Seminole will rise to this challenge, but I also know that it is okay to take some time to mourn the loss of buildings that held so many memories.


 

2 comments:

  1. Great post! Thanks for sharing. I drove through Seminole today and took note of the Walgreen Agency sign.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Rhys! So glad you were able to visit Seminole. That Walgreen's sign is so cool, huh?

    ReplyDelete

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