This Rossville, Georgia, parade photo from 1950 reveals a busy town center in they city's textile heyday. This October photo could have been a high school homecoming parade. Photo by Delmont Wilson from the Chattanooga Free Press collection at

Who doesn't love a parade?

This photograph of a parade in Rossville, Georgia, was taken by Chattanooga Free Press photographer Delmont Wilson in October 1950.

A deep dive into the photo seems to show the Rossville High School Band marching in what could have been a football homecoming parade that fall. (Cheerleaders in a convertible trailing the band have the letter "R" on their sweaters.)

The photo recalls a time in the middle of the 20th century when there was a bustling retail district on Rossville Boulevard in the heart of Rossville, complete with 5- and 10-cent stores, furniture stores and jewelry stores.

U.S. census records show that the population of Rossville in 1950 was 3,897, which almost matches the modern-day (2019) estimate of 4,009.

In the 1950s, Rossville was a textile town. It was home to the Peerless Woolen Mills (now closed), which was said to have been the largest single-unit textile plant in the world. In that era, the plant employed more than 3,000 workers, according to the town's website.

One of the landmark retail establishments in this photo is Callahan Furniture Store. Newspaper archives note that the store was opened in 1946 by John Milton Callahan, a prominent local merchant. The store moved to Highland Plaza in Hixson in 1991, and Callahan died in 1994.

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Also seen in the photo is an F.W. Woolworth's Store, part of one of the largest retail chains in the world. Woolworth's got its 5- and 10-cent label because of standardized pricing that for years marked all its merchandise at a nickel or a dime.

If this stretch of Rossville Boulevard is your "Memory Lane," another photo from this era shows that on the west side of the street along with Woolworth's and Callahan's were the Hamilton National Bank, Rossville Diner, Rossville Drugs and the Anchor Inn.

On the eastern side of the boulevard, businesses included the Dixie 5- and 10-cent Store, Rossville Jewelry, Goodyear and American National Bank.

This photo is part of the Chattanooga Free Press collection of images at, a legacy photo website curated by local history buff Sam Hall.


Several readers responded to last week's "mystery photo" of an unidentified Chattanooga lunch counter.

No one was able to provide a definitive identification on the photo but guesses were varied.

"I could be wrong, but the picture reminds me of the food counter at the old Loveman's department store basement," wrote one observant reader, among several who guessed Loveman's.

"I think it is Woolworth lunch/ice cream dessert counter in the 700 block of Market Street," ventured another reader.

"I consulted with someone who spent a lot of time in Brainerd Drug Store, and she agrees that the picture looks like their lunch counter," wrote another reader.

Two others believe it might have been the McLellan's 5- and 10-cent store lunch counter.

Try your luck at identifying the photo at the Remember When, Chattanooga? public group page on Facebook.

Contact Mark Kennedy at