Glendale Fast Foods and Recreation
1920's-1960's
Story furnished by Clarence Crocker


Darracott’s Lunch Room was in operation long before the term “fast Food” had been coined. Though the exact date cannot be confirmed, it is believed that it opened sometime in the late 20s or early 30s, owned and operated by Lillie Darracott, a local resident who lived just across the river from the mill. 

The lunch room was located in the bottom floor of the old Glendale Community building in “the flat” as the area was called. Having the Post Office, barber shop and village recreational rooms all located in the same building, the lunch room became a very popular spot for relaxing, snacking and entertainment. Movies were also shown in the building on Fridays and Saturdays. Hot dogs, hamburgers and other short order sandwiches were available along with a good variety of cold drinks and hot coffee.

Anticipating the replacement of the Community building with a new gymnasium which would include a modern cafe, “Miss Lillie” as she was known, knew it was time to move. After having a small building built adjoining her home on the Emma Cudd road, she moved to her new store in the late 1940s.


Known as Darracott’s Candy shop, it became very popular with the young people, especially the girls who met soldiers from Camp Croft which was approximately four miles from Glendale and had been built to train soldiers for WW2. Miss Lillie had added among other things, a modern juke box which was played by the young people almost continuously in the evenings. Helen Ruth Solesby McCreary, a native of Glendale, told how she had learned to dance to rock and roll by that “juke box” in a story she wrote for the Glendale Reunion September 10, 1994.

According to her obituary, Lillie Walker Darracott died in December 1980 at the age of 87. The Candy Shop was closed and became covered with vines and weeds and was eventually demolished along with the home.

Solesby’s Lunch Room was owned and operated in the late 1930s, early 40s by Dick Solesby. It was located at the Mudd Bridge about 1/4 mile from the mill on the Glendale/Ben Avon road, just below the ball park. The lunch room had a very small business and was operated only a few years before Mr. Solesby closed the operation and left the area. The building having been built many years before was first used as a auto service station. It was a typical old style service station, small one room building with a long overhanging porch. Just when it was converted to a lunch room I am not sure but from what old timers have said, it was in the late twenties. I am told that it had been operated as a lunch room for a few years before Mr. Solesby but I cannot ascertain the operator’s name. 

There was an old oblong store building at the side of the lunch room which had been converted into a home. It was one large room with a large open hearth fireplace at the left end as you enter the front door. The family cooked their meals in the fire place using iron utensils. The building was torn down along with the lunch room somewhere in the 60s or 70s. The area where both once stood is grown up with weeds today. 

 

W. D. Reaves Lunch Room was owned and operated by Walter D. Reaves Sr. The cafe was located in a concrete/rock building just above the cluster of grocery stores where the Glendale-Whitestone roads intersect. Mr. Reaves had operated a barber shop just below the cafe for many years before opening the cafe in the late 1930s or early 40s. Serving hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. along with a variety of cold drinks. The lunch room became a popular place with the youth in particular. 

According to his obituary, Mr. Reaves died in January of 1950 at the age of 67. 

After Walter’s death, his daughter in-law, Ginette, the wife of Walter Jr. “Buster” Reaves, continued to operate the business for a few years. After closing the business, the building stood empty for some time until it was rented to Gladys Jett for the purpose of operating a barber shop. Following the death of Mrs. Jett, the building became vacant and remains so today.

For more information on Reaves and Jett, Click on Barbers.

 

Hyder’s Service Station and Pool Room was located just over the hill from the bridge on the Glendale/Ben Avon road on the outskirts of the village. It was owned and operated by Loyd Hyder. The station was built just below his home, separated by a white picket fence. 

Originally the store sold gasoline and other auto supplies but eventually discontinued these, serving only short order foods, cold drinks and beer while also operating a pool room. As best I remember, Loyd continued to operate the store until his health failed at which time the store was closed. 

Mr. Hyder, a local resident, was married to Vaudie Harris Hyder and they were the parents of two children, Betty and James. According to his obituary, Mr. Hyder died in August of 1975 at the age of 67. Since then, the store has been demolished and the house stands vacant. 

 

Glendale Cafe was owned and operated by Glendale Mills and was under the supervision of this writer. It was located on the bottom floor of the new Gymnasium and began operation in 1950.

The Cafe served various kinds of cold sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, hamburger steaks, etc. along with coffee and various non alcoholic cold drinks. Outside the cafe was a recreation room in which table tennis and checker facilities were located. The facility was operated daily, 8am to 9pm except Sundays. 

Avery Minton was the primary morning operator Lucile Cash, Emma Riddle, Willine Hughes were primary evening workers and would fill in for Mrs. Minton when absent. Other store and mill canteen employees worked in the lunch room as needed. The cafe closed following the sale/merger of the mill to Indian Head Mills. 

 

The Glendale Grill was owned and operated in the mid 1960s by Mr. Mace. (first name not remembered) After working as a supervisor with Arkwright Mills, Camp Croft Div. for a number of years, he had retired and opened the Grill as a new venture in his life. He operated the grill for only a short while before selling the business to Harold Bridges.

The grill was located in the back of the old company store building between the Post Office and Sams Shoe Shop. The Company store had been closed in 1958 and the building was sold to the Glendale Masonic Lodge. Entry to the grill was through the side door located under the side porch. 

Following the purchase by Harold (Bobby) Bridges, he and his wife were the primary operators of the Grill. Though I never knew Mr. Bridges, I am told that they lived in the Boiling Springs area. 

Today, no short order or lunch rooms operate in the Glendale community.

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This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is Mary McKinney Teaster.  Contact her at:
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