South Third Street was the Center of Richmond

Dublin Core


South Third Street was the Center of Richmond


When I was young (many years ago), South Third Street was the center of Richmond. If you arrived by bus (Greyhound or Black Brothers) at the station on the corner of Water and South Third, you were only a block away from everything.

You could check into the Glyndon Hotel, then send a Western Union telegram or mail a letter, both less than a block away. Downstairs in the hotel you could get a shave or a hair cut or get your pants mended or pressed.

For supper you could cross Main Street and eat at either the Ideal Café or Joe’s Delicatessen. If you had a headache, the Glyndon Drug Store was attached to the hotel, and in the lobby was a newsstand with all the latest newspapers, weekly magazines, books, comics and pulps.

Before my day, if you switched to travel by train, in front of the hotel you could catch a mule-drawn streetcar which would take you either along East Main Street to the L&N Depot or along North third Street to the Riney-B Depot, a local-regional line servicing Richmond, Irvine, Nicholasville and Beattyville.

If you wanted your photograph taken, you could go to McGaurghey’s Studio. To have very heavy items carried, you might engage the services of City Transfer. If you took sick, there was Dr. Hume’s practice nearby; if you died Oldham, Roberts and Powell funeral directors were also nearby.

If it was a Sunday or a Wednesday night, you had a choice of open and welcoming churches within a block or so (Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopalian, Christian or Methodist). If you wished, you could walk the additional block along Main Street to the Catholic Church for Mass.

Across Main Street from the hotel was the State Theatre with double features, cartoons and “selected short subjects.” And if you wished, you could go up the street to Richmond Motors and buy a new car. Across from the hotel, you could fill the tank of your new car (regular or ethyl) at Schilling’s Standard Oil Service Station (and get your oil checked, your windshield cleaned and your tire pressures checked as part of the deal).

How ecologically sound and “green” it was then. Everything was contained within walking distance in one city block. Back then, if you had wanted to talk history or baseball with a much younger me, I was at 222 South Third Street, having walked a block or so down the hill from Madison High, sitting on the front stoop or on the swing beside the house in the cool of the late afternoon and early evening. If you wanted to place an ad in the Richmond Daily Register, you had to walk two whole blocks to its location on the corner of Water Street and South Second Street. A very different scale of living that was once a part of Madison’s heritage.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “South Third Street was the Center of Richmond,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed June 15, 2024,