Charlotte Record April 2, 1925

Land Mark – Is Razed

Old Blacksmith Shop Gives Way for Modern Filling Station

A deal was made last week where by Carl (unreadable) becomes owner of the Spelman corner. He will erect a modern filling station and will commence the work of construction as soon as the old frame buildings are torn down and the ground is cleared. Work of tearing down the buildings was commenced last week and is well underway. The building of the station will make a very noticeable improvement in south Charlotte.

The tearing down of the old Spelman blacksmith shop marks the removal of one of the oldest landmarks in the town.  We have been unable to get the exact date of its construction, but as near as we can learn the main shop was built in the early 60’s, as early or earlier than 1865 and was erected for Patrick Spelman who opened a blacksmith shop which he operated for a number of years. Later his sons Thomas and John conducted the business and then Thomas took hold of the business alone, retiring about twelve years ago. In the early days the shop enjoyed a very large business, the middle building being equipped with lathes and other machinery and the corner was a veritable hive of industry.

When the main building was built there was not much to Charlotte. About the only buildings here at that time besides the Spelman house which was built on the same corner, was a saloon conducted by the late Jack Albright whom, it is said started business with one gallon of whiskey, and a store conducted by a Mr. McClenahan on the site of the Gollobit building.  Across the street where the brick buildings now stand was an old fashioned rail fence and at the rear of the shop hazel brush grew and thrived.

The other two buildings were added later. The center building, which was formally used as a school house, was moved from north of town.

There are very few people here now who were residents when the shop was built and our citizens who were here at the time were too young to remember such much concerning the early days when Charlotte was in its infancy.  Could the old building speak, however, many an interesting tale could be unfolded concerning the stirring days of “Auld Lang Syne.”

TThus one by one the old landmarks of the pioneer days of our thriving little village are disappearing to give place to modern buildings, just as the horse is giving way to the tractor, the old flail and “cradle” to the modern harvesting machinery, the tallow dip for the electricity and other modern conveniences to replace the old things that were good enough in their day, but have become obsolete concerning the remarkable improvements and the inventions of the 20th century.

Record supplied by Central Community Historical Society in Dewitt.