If you attended Brainerd High School in the 1960s, this popular Brainerd Road drive-in might look familiar.
The Dairy Gold restaurant, near the corner of Brainerd and Moore roads, was a favorite cruising spot for teens in 1963, the year this photo appeared in the Chattanooga News-Free Press. The address, 4903 Brainerd Road, is now the site of a Waffle House restaurant.
The image is part of a collection of vintage newspaper photos appearing on the website ChattanoogaHistory.com, which is curated by history buff Sam Hall.
In 1963 there were five Dairy Gold locations in the Chattanooga, area according to newspaper records: this one on Brainerd Road, plus stores at 1750 Dayton Boulevard, 3116 South Broad St., 1112 Hixson Pike and 2220 East Main St.
This photo appeared in the newspaper in May 1963, 57 years ago. At the time, "Dr. No," the first movie in the James Bond film series, was playing at Chattanooga theaters. It was also about three months before a historic march on Washington in August 1963, advancing civil rights.
Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, ChattanoogaHistory.com is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available.
If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives, or original non‐digital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.
The photo appeared on a page of the newspaper called "Week in Industry and Business," and the caption touted the restaurant as being newly renovated. The report also notes that this Dairy Gold restaurant — unlike others in the chain — offered indoor counter service.
"This store features a variety of ice cream goodies and food as well as popular fountain drinks," the caption read. "Also featured are cones with a twirl on top, either vanilla or vanilla dipped in chocolate."
Hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and "ice box pies" were also on the menu.
Lewis C. Smith of St. Elmo was the owner/operator of this Dairy Gold location. Smith, a native Chattanoogan, had moved back to the city to run the restaurant after 25 years in the food service business in Wichita, Kansas, where he had been the chef of the Chimmel Hotel, one of the largest in Kansas.
This photo was taken by newspaper photographer Bob Sherrill.
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