Built in 1936 and now know generally referred to as the McCamy Pharmacy Building or the Skelton Pharmacy Building, the Sentell Building is located at 248 South Broad Street. It is a one-story brick building with glass display windows. There is evidence that during some periods, the left and right sides of this building were separate businesses. This is evident in the fact that some records report tenants for a 246 Broad Street address. The building currently houses CASA (Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound).

Current view: CASA

What is CASA?

The sketch about CASA appears in The History of Jackson County:

In 1979 Bob Gonia, then director of the Tarcog Area Agency, noticed that many elderly persons were not receiving services which would help them live more independent, productive lives due to “falling between the cracks” in other agency requirements for providing services. Bob felt that a program utilizing volunteers to provided needed services to the elderly was the answer.

He brought his idea to Interfaith Mission Services and CASA was born. Funding through a grant for Appalachian Regional Commission provided full support for the program….As the CASA program developed, notice was taken to the fact that other homebound persons, besides the elderly, needed volunteer services. It was at this time that “and Homebound” was added to the name.

Deeds, builders, and early tenants

As a general rule, the south end of the square developed more slowly than the north end. The early occupants of this space are currently under investigation. Anita Kern whose father established and owned Hammer’s, remembers that this space was originally occupied by Scottsboro Produce Company. Others recall that building was used as a gas station, but became the home of Blackwell Feed and Seed in 1949. In 1956, Blackwell Feed and Seed moved to its new location at the site of the current fire station between Peachtree and Appletree streets, where it replaced a Church of Christ that was dismantled and whose materials were used to to build rental houses. Blackwell Feed and Seed continued to operate in the new location until 1963 when the business closed its doors.

Blackwell’s seems to have occupied the entire space covered by the Sentell Building. But when this business moved and the building was repurposed, the two sides became separate businesses. In 1960, the 246 side of the building was home to the Upholstery and Drapery Shop, run by Nell Word and Olive Bishop. By 1965, this space was occupied by the Kerwin Clothing Shop. Kerwin was in this space until at least 1972. In 1975 a business called Blends and Trends Boutique was in this space.

The 248 side of the building was the home to McCamy Pharmacy and later to Skelton’s Pharmacy.

CASA now occupies both sides of this building.

1931, Blackwell Feed and Seed during the Scottsboro Boys trial

Here is detail from a 1931 photos the Scottsboro Boys crowds, showing Blackwell Feed and Seed. This business occupied the entire Sentell Building.

Photos from a 1936 First Monday showing Blackwell Feed and Seed

1955: McCamy Drugs from the Reminder yearbook

In 1955, the Sentell Building housed McCamy Pharmacy and was at this location through the early 1970s. In the transition from Blackwell Feed and Seed to McCamy Pharmacy, the display area in the front of the building was added, clearly identified by the newer building materials (stone and glass).

This business was located in the left side of the building at the 248 address.

1956 ad for McCamy Drug Store

1960: upholstery shop at the 246 address

The city directory shows the Upholstery and Drapery Shop at the 246 address in 1960.

Early 1960s aerial view

This photo shows the McCamy Pharmacy at the 248 address on the left and the Kerwin Shop at the 246 address on the right.

1975: Skelton Pharmacy

In the 1975 city directory, the business in this space is Skelton Pharmacy.