Built in 1931-32, the Kennamer's Mill Ends building is located at 242-244 South Broad Street. It is a one-story, brick-and-block construction with glass display windows. It is currently the home to the Nerdtopia video game business (244 side) and was until recently home of Timeless Treasures Antiques (242 side).

Current view: Nerdtopia and Timeless Treasures

This building is divided into two retail location: 242 and 244. The 244 (left) side was home to the Mill Ends fabric store from 1956 or before until the 1980s. The store was owned by Lawrence Kennamer and managed by his son and son-in-law. This space is currently occupied by Nerdtopia video gaming business. In 1962, Mill Ends was remodeled and expanded into the 244 space, which it occupied until the 1980s when the business closed.

The 242 (right) side of the building was home to Scottsboro Beauty Salon in the 1940s. By 1958 (probably earlier), it was home to the Peggy Shoppe. When Mr. Kennamer remodeled his business and took over both business spaces in this building, Peggy’s moved further down South Broad. At some point, the single space that had been Kennamers was again turned into two addresses. In the 1990s, Hammers took over the 242 space for a time and used it for a rug display and sales facility. The opening from Hammers to the Mill Ends Building was closed in 2010.

1929 Owens Grocery and Jimmie’s Tailors

Before Kennamer’s occupied this space, it was the home of J. W. Owens’ grocery and Jimmie’s Tailor shop.

These ads are from the 1929 yearbook and the 1935 newspaper.

1930s location of Mill Ends on Caldwell Street

Before Kennamers moved to its well-known location on the square, it was located on Caldwell Street, in the location of the current Hammers warehouse directly behind the Mill Ends building. This location is shown in the photo below.

Later, when Mr. Kennamer moved to the location on the square, he built a shed in this location, and Peanut John sometimes lived in this shed. This Facebook photo of Jughead (Eskil Godwin) on the left and Peanut John on the right shows their peanut business in the late 1960s, and on the right, Peanut John, whose real name is not known.

1940s Mill Ends at 244 and Beauty Salon at 246

This is the familiar storefront of the Mill Ends store through the 1940s and 1950s. Notice that on the right, the Scottsboro Beauty Salon shares this small space with another business, though the name of this business is not legible. Notice the two doors.

Diane calls attention to the fan over the door. “When I was little we did have any air conditioning [in the store] and the doors would be standing open. We didn’t start school then until labor day. Daddy would buy paper by the cases” and he and Dianne’s brother Danny would sell notebook paper. “And I think whatever Danny sold, he got to keep the money. People would buy it like crazy” when they were shopping for back-to-school supplies.

1949 ads for Peggy’s Shoppe from the Jackson County Sentinel

Peggy’s was at this location as early as 1949, the date when this ad was found in the Jackson County Sentinel. Peggy’s Shope was a women’s clothing store run by Mary Ellen Caulfield and Mary Alice Tipton Stewart Harrison, who, according to her obituary, was a third grade teacher in Jackson County School System and later worked for many years as a clerk at McCamy’s Drug Store. Peggy’s Shoppe moved to 322 Broad Street in 1961 when Mill Ends renovated this space and took both sides of this building.

1958 Mill Ends at 244 and Peggy’s at 246

This photo of the 1958 homecoming parade was part of Bill Bradford’s slides.

1962: renovations, covering and preserving the original sign

In 1962, Mr. Kennamer expanded Mill Ends to take up both sides of this building. ”Daddy was so proud of his new store front,” Diane remembers. Here is a photo showing the old, historic sign being covered and saved rather than removed. It is probably still under the aluminum siding at the top of this building.

1960-70s: renovated with “dog house” front

This photo shows the front of Mill Ends with what Mr. Kennamer called his “dog houses,” the trapezoids over the top of the awnings that became the look of this location until the business closed. They are green in this photo. They were painted multiple colors later, as can be seen in the photo below.

Diane remembers the creative ways in which her father promoted his business and encouraged customers to pay attention to his store. She remembers that in the old two-story location, he would stand a chicken on a plank outside on the second story of his store. He…did crazy stuff from the windows upstairs. I have a picture of a chicken that he put out there. There was a plank and the chicken would walk out on the plank to attract attention to the store.”

In the new building, she points out that the “grey dot up here is a speaker so he could talk to the people on the street if he needed to. Well he did all kinds of crazy advertisements. Daddy had a little cart pulled by a donkey and it had Kennamer’s Mill Ends Store on it.”

1970s First Monday: Mill Ends in the Background

Notice that the “dog houses” have been painted different colors.