Built in 1878, the Garland Brick is located at 129 East Laurel Street and is the second oldest brick building on the square. It is a two-story brick building with the ground floor altered. The upper floor has three recessed window bays; the outer two bays form a single window and the center bay is a double window, There are jack arches above windows and stone sills. The cornice on this building has been removed. When this building was complete, period newspapers noted that J. E. Brown and W. J. Robinson were the first tenants of the second floor and had their law practice here. It is currently the law office of Bill Tally.

Current view: Bill Tally Law Office

Deeds, builders, and early owners

In the January 9, 1879 Alabama Herald, this short notation was found: “The business house of the Garland brothers on the square is approaching completion.” On March 28, 1879The Scottsboro Citizen carried ads for two new businesses: Hugh B. Garland and E. W. Garland on the public square and W. D. Parks next door to M. P. Brown (that is, in the Robinson Brown Building next door to the Brown Building on the corner.

The Garland Building was built by E. W. Garland in 1878-79 and advertised the opening of his store in early 1879 newspaper. In the March 28, 1901 Progressive Age includes this confusing bit of information: “The directors of the Bank of Scottsboro have bought the Garland lot on the north side of the public square and will erect a building, the work to commence at once. The building will be a single story with a double front and will be occupied by J. W. Gay and the bank.” And the later, the April 24, 1901 Progressive Age noted that “The old Garland store house has vanished to give place to the fine brick bank building that will be finished by August 1 (1901).” Obviously at some point during its construction, the bank directors decided to add a second story and they are talking about the Bank Building.

1917: Early view of the Garland Brick

This photo of the Bank Building and the Garland Building. It is from 1917 was part of the set purchased from eBay.

1920-1970: City Cafe under different owners

In the 1956 phone book and earlier, this location is still the City Cafe, shown in the photos above. The photo seems to be from the late 1930s or early 1940s, so this business was in this location for some time. Ann Chambless said in a Facebook discussion: “The City Cafe was located on the North side of the square next door to the Bocanita Theater and was owned by Mose Swaim in the 1940s and into the 1950s.” In the 1961 phone book, the business in this location is Swaim’s Restaurant, so while the business has changed names, the owner seems not to have changed. By 1975, this building was part of the building next door and both were called the Charles Restaurant.

1929: Ad for the City Cafe from The Jackson County Sentinel

Notice that the proprietor at this time is J. B. Patterson. In the March 28, 1929 Sentinel, Johnny Bryant announced, “I have bought the City Cafe” from J. B. Patterson and states that he will continue running a first-class restaurant, and invites old friends and new ones to visit.

Early 1940s: Unknown woman, City Cafe and the Bocanita

1942: ad for City Cafe from the JCHS yearbook

1949: City Cafe from the JCHS yearbook

1950: City Cafe from the JCHS yearbook

1975: Charles Restaurant

1980 Garland Building after the Charles closed

Tales of the Garland Building

Charles McCutcheon told this story about the City Cafe: “Okay, I remembered a story about the City Cafe and I had my mom elaborate on it. She worked at the City Cafe as a waitress when she was 13 years old. This was probably about 1950. She was sure about her age because she recalled her school principal "butted heads" with Mr. Swaim about working at her age. Mr. Swaim won out. It was the she met my father. She accidentally spilled tea on him or so I thought but last time she told the story she hinted she might have done it on purpose to get his attention.”