Historic Allgood building razed

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BOYKINS—One of the oldest buildings in town, which served a myriad of uses over its long history, has been demolished.

The former Allgood’s Shoe Repair building — a blue, one-story, one-room building on Main Street in downtown Boykins that sat next to the post office — was torn down after efforts to move it fizzled.

Boykins Mayor Spier Edwards said Tuesday that he wasn’t sure how old the building was, but one of the town’s older residents remembers eating ice cream there in 1929.

“They also sold soup there,” Edwards said, adding that over its lifetime the building has been many things, including the town library, a confectionery store, a pool hall and the mayor’s office.

“At one time the building was flush with the sidewalk,” Edwards said. “When the post office opened it was moved back.” The mayor said the building was presumably moved back 20 feet because it was blocking a window at the new post office.

But the building is probably best known as the home of Allgood’s Shoe Repair, which opened in 1964 after the Town Hall moved to its current location on Virginia Avenue.

Dr. Willie Allgood, a native of Boykins and a master cobbler, repaired shoes in town for more than 73 years. Allgood was honored in 2006 as the oldest businessman in Boykins, and the town celebrated Willie Allgood Appreciation Day on July 15 of that year. He died on Dec. 17, 2007.

Edwards said the building was bequeathed to the town as part of the estate of George Davis and Alice Pope, with the stipulation that if the structure were ever demolished or moved that the property would be used as a parking lot for disabled patrons of the post office.

David Stiglitz demolished the building for the town on June 22.

Edwards said the town had hoped that the building could have been moved to the Buck Lassiter Mini Park for use as a museum, an idea that Allgood himself said he thought was a good idea back in 2006.

“But it would have been expensive and we couldn’t get any grants to move it,” Edwards said. “The citizens felt that the best thing to do would be to take it down.”

The mayor said the proposed name for the new parking lot would be the “Allgood-Davis-Pope Handicapped Parking Area.”