Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Downtown in My Town

Take a walk with me around my town...

In 1882 two railroads built their lines into the county and crossed at a point where a town would be built. One was the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad, later to be known as the Missouri Pacific, headed by the famous railroad magnate, Jay Gould. The other railroad was Texas and St. Louis, later called the Cotton Belt. The line was built to ship Texas cotton to St. Louis. J.W. Paramore served as president.

Caboose that resides downtown behind the local merchant shops...also where the annual Loose Caboose Festival is held every year in May

When a name was sought for the newly created town at the junction of the two railroads, “Para-Gould” was derived form the surnames of two early railroad tycoons, J. W. Paramore and Jay Gould. Paragould evolved by combining syllables from the names Paramore and Gould, a truly original name for a unique town.

Mural painted on one of the old buildings downtown depicting early life in Paragould

Paragould was incorporated March 3, 1883, while it was still an uncultivated timber-covered tract. Most of the area was part of a 281-acre farm owned by a settler from Tennessee, Willie Pruett, who had purchased it in 1869

The Collins Theater, which as you can see, is still used today. I remember watching my very first movie on the big screen here..."The Muppets Take Manhatten." Today the theatre is used to host beauty pageants, gospel singings, The Nutcracker performance and many other events....The big screen is reserved for the new theatre in the heart of uptown.

The old courthouse which now is home to the Chamber of Commerce...was restored several years ago

The old clock tower that rests high upon the old courthouse...every day at noon it chimes it's songs

This older, more historic part of the town is often forgotten, but it really has some beautiful sights. Even the street signs are quaint, black iron with little filligree embellishing.

Paragould now has around 25,000 people and more than 30 manufacturing facilities. The newer part of the town boasts some of the best restaurants...Chili's, TaMolly's, Dixie Cafe, Zaxby's and more. We have two very large schools...Paragould School District and the Greene County Tech School District...an awesome community center...

It's just a great place to live. I've often threatened that I want to get out of this town, but as I get older (and wiser) I realize this is home. This is where I want to be. To raise my family. To hang out with my friends. To live life.

I hope you enjoyed my little mini tour of my town...there is so much more to see, but that will have to wait for another time and another post.

Historic information taken from Paragould Chamber of Commerce website.

1 comment:

mindi said...

What a lovely little town - I can see why you are so attached to it! I wish I were attached to where I live . . .