History: Two local businesses of long ago

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Often researchers who come to the History Center are seeking information about early businesses in the Shreveport/Bossier area.  In the early 1930s The Bossier Banner published short, informative advertisements of some local businesses.

In the August 4, 1932 issue The Banner featured The Red Rock Grocery.  “How many of you remember that as you used to walk along the six hundred block on Commerce Street, in Shreveport, a rock, painted red, was to be noted lying on the sidewalk?  It was in front of what was then known as the Red Rock Saloon.  For a long time the old rock has been missing from its occustomed [sic] place, but now it is to come into use again.”

“The owner of the old red rock has just given it to Mr. S. Willer, former Benton merchant who for some years has now been residing in Shreveport, and who is this week to open a grocery and feed store on Commerce Street; and the old rock is not only to mark his front, but to give his store its name—‘The Red Rock Grocery.’  There may be some degree of sentiment in all this—we don’t know.  But it is safe to say there is advertising value in the suggestion, and it is well to carry it out.”

“Mr. Willer’s location is next door to the popular firm of Roos Brothers.  For the present he will operate only a grocery store and quite likely add dry goods later on.  We are pleased to make known his selected location to his many Bossier Parish friends, and invite their attention to his advertisement appearing in this issue.”

Cumming’s [more likely Cummings’ Garage] Garage was featured in the September 29, 1932 issue.  “Located at 1513 Barksdale Boulevard [in 2013 this location is across the street from Mobile Bail Bonds], in Bossier City, offers an excellent General Garage Service and features Expert Repairing on all makes of cars.  Their Towing and Wrecking Car is always at the beck and call of the public.  Phone, 5057; night 2-5139.”

“One of the centers of activity that is visited by autoists [sic] from this section of the country is this very popular garage, owned and operated by Mr. J. L. Cummings, which, by reason of his accommodating policy, has wide popularity.”

“At the call of the public its Wrecking Service always answers promptly all calls and is efficiently manned with mechanics who will get you out of all trouble.  They will take the car in, take out the dents, put the equipment in first-class condition and when turned over to you it is in as perfect mechanical condition as it is possible to make it.”

“In the garage are mechanics who are able to look after all phases of auto and truck repairing.  No matter what kind of a car you may be driving, they will be able to give you complete service, as they are up on all the late developments and understand the troubles that annoy the motorist.”

“They have mechanics who are able to take care of the most intricate as well as the simplest adjustments, as they have made a study of modern construction of autos, from the Ford to the imported car.  We are pleased to compliment Mr. Cummings as conducting a complete automobile service garage that makes motoring both safe and pleasant on the highways, and would suggest that all motorists stop at this garage for general repair work of any kind.”

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us