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Wrinkled Lincoln: 1957

Wrinkled Lincoln: 1957

From circa 1957 Columbus, Georgia, comes this uncaptioned snap of an accident's aftermath -- a wrinkled '56 Lincoln coupe across from the Motor Mart. 4x5 inch acetate negative from the Shorpy News Photo Archive. View full size.


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The church at the left is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The marker in front of the church has the following information.

"This one-story Victorian Gothic structure dates back to 1870. The cornerstone of the church indicates that the building was constructed in 1870, with the basement added in 1890. This suggests that the original wooden church was raised, a basement added, and then the entire structure bricked-in. St. John AME Church was originally named St. John Chapel and its congregation descended from that of St. James AME Church in Columbus. The congregation was forced to move to a new site when the historic structure was severely damaged by a tornado. The Faith Tabernacle Full Gospel Outreach Church bought the St. John AME Church in 1993, committed to its restoration."

Additional details from the Internet state that the church suffered a fire in 1951, and that an arsonist burned the structure in 1998. The Faith Tabernacle Full Gospel Outreach congregation left after the 1998 fire, and it had remained mostly unoccupied until 2014 when the Church of God purchased the building. The church is next to the Claflin School which was the first school for African-American children in Columbus.

Closer to the intersection is the Auto Body Rebuilding Company and Georgia Welding Company (note the billboard) at 1500-1510 5th Avenue.

Surprisingly, the Motor Mart does not have a city directory entry. Behind it was the Modern Coach Corp. parking lot.

The building with the Coca-Cola sign is Mrs. Texas Persons' (May 17, 1895 - July 19, 1984) Friendly Grocery Store. She and her husband Charlie had been living there since at least 1920. Charlie was a fireman at the cotton mill.

The last property in the block is the used car lot of the Hugh Pollock Motor Co.

The third ’56 Chevy

Perhaps the one with its hood open under the bunting-bedecked canopy across the street? It’s a six-cylinder model Two-Ten.

More car spotting

A very rare car, even then, would be the Kaiser Traveler sedan at the very left of the picture right above lopsided Lincoln's roof.


A good body man can straighten that fender right out and probably replace the door with one from the junkyard.

Back in the '60s I was an Auto Tech at SUNY Morrisville. We had to bring in a fender from a junkyard; the instructor would whack it with an iron pipe; we would make it good as new using only a body hammer and a dolly. Not enough steel in todays cars to do it that way.

They're new in town

Moved here from Oakland.

5th Avenue and 15th Street

This accident would have taken place at 5th Avenue and 15th Street, just one block from Swift Manufacturing, later renamed Swift Textiles.

I worked at Swift from 1981 to 1984 as a teenager and made good money, even for a part time job. When my friends were making $2.65 an hour at fast food joints, I was making $4.85 an hour and working 44 hours a week in the summer.

Most of the mill burned in 2011, but everything you see in the picture still stands and are now loft apartments.

A common thread?

Proximity to military bases and news photos of car wrecks.

Gee, I feel like I'm in Oakland CA right now.

Name those cars

I think I see three 1956 Chevys, a '54 Chevy and a '52 Chevy.

[Car on the far right is a 1957 Dodge. - Dave]

16th Street and 6th Avenue

The pedestrian bridge still exists - and this tired looking old mill was actually listed on the National Register of Historic Places back in 2014.

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