Posted in Historical Photos, School Building on Dodds Avenue

Aerial Photos from 1956 and 1961

Central in 1956

Central 1961


Graduated from Central in 1965. Had the honor of being Mr. Central 1965. Started on the Central Basketball Team for three years and was a member of the Track Team in my senior year. Shared command with Bryant Millsaps of the Central JROTC unit in my senior year. Other activites at Central are documented in the 1963 -1965 Champions. Received an athletic scholarship and played Division I College Basketball for four years. When I graduated from Auburn in 1969, I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Adjutant General Corps and served 25 years on active duty, retiring in 1994. Some of the military awards I earned include the Legion of Merit, one Meritorious Service Medal for Achievement, six Meritorious Service Medals for Service, Joint Service Medal for Achievement, two Army Commendations Medals, and Viet Nam Service Medal. After retirement in 1994, I became a Real Estate Broker until my second retirement in 2010. I am passionate about Central History and am pleased to be Administrator of this Blog/Site.

11 thoughts on “Aerial Photos from 1956 and 1961

  1. One thing that strikes me about these photos is the disappearance of residential buildings where the baseball field is in the 1961 photo and those immediately behind the church.

    1. Bob, On the Dodds Ave. perimeter There was the drug store, Ridge Drugs on the corner later to be Bill’s Varsity. Bill moved across the street when they tore down that block for Centrals baseball field, probably 1960. Going north on Dodds in the same building Mr. Geren (Bechies dad) had a hardware shop there for a while. There were just two more houses on the east side of the street before Westminster Presbyterian Church. In the first house beside the drug, hardware building, Doug Nolan”s (class of 55) family lived, and in the upstairs part of the house Billy Nolan who started Central when I did in the fall of 55 lived with his parents. There were two or three houses going east up Chamberlain Ave. behind the drugstore that had been made into Apts. and I really don’t remember ever knowing anyone who lived in any of them. The house that were on Woodward Ave between Chamberlain and Duncan were well kept and I knew a couple of families that lived back there at one time or another. All in all that was a great neighborhood to grow up in as we played on the McCallie fields often, when we were not at Wassman Park, Ridgedald Center or riding our bikes all over that part of town.

    1. Bob,The fence ran from Duncan Ave. to Union Ave. and had a gate at the entrance to the McCallie School property for cars to pass through that was locked most of the time, however there was a pedestrian gate on the sidewalk part that was almost always open. The fence was built atop a rock wall the whole distance between the streets mentioned. McCallie’s football field was directly behind Central and their baseball field was where the football field is now. They basically swapped positions sometime between when these pictures were made. McCallie allowed Central to use the field to the left (north) of their football field to be used for outdoor phys-ed classes when weather permitted. McCallie also allowed us to use their football field for several different uses such as Federal Insp., class pictures, (sitting on bleachers) and several other functions. The fence had been there for as long as I could remember and was still there when my twins attended McCallie (80- 86) and were using the old Central gyms.

      1. Thanks Robert. I remember and can see the rock wall in the photos. Gates may have been open when the photos were taken, or they just don’t show.

  2. Such great pictures’, Our generation was so lucky to live in a time that will never be duplicated.
    Gary Thomas ’53

    1. Gary, all the time you were at Central, all those adjacent homes were there. My intellectual curiosity compels me to know more about those homes and their owners. I’m hoping we can include more history about Ridgedale as the mother community of Central.

      1. Bob,
        I have told you I grew up in the old McCallie home place My home was at the right hand top of the picture, just out of site. I have a picture of it to show to you if you are going to be at the lucheon on the 2nd. I am aware of the fence of which you speak. It was there as long as I can remember. I played on Mcallie’s field all my life. My brother as well as all the boys in my neighborhood swam in the pool at night when the guards were not looking. I lived there all my life My home is now torn down and there is a tennis court where my home stood. It is so sad for me to go through that neighborhood. When I was growing up on Lewis Street, a two block long street, we had the Commissioner of Fire and Police and two judges living on that little street. It was a great place to grow up. We skated on the sidewalks and I use to skate beside that wall with the fence on top when I was just learning to skate. Lots of memories there,. Wish we could go back, but, of course, that is no longer possible. Thanks for all your good work. I have a nephew who was appointed as Cherokee teacher of the year a few years back and he said he thought he had met you. His name is Mike Green.
        Pat Keown Fortenberry, Class of 56

      2. Pat, I will be at the luncheon August 2nd, and it will be my pleasure to talk to you more about your neighborhood and years at Central. I will post your picture to this site as soon as possible. While back there, I will visit the grave of my Cherokee great grandmother near South Pittsburgh.

      3. Pat, your story is , in my opinion, a very good example of Central history we’re trying to capture. We need more fellow alumni to share their stories.

      4. Bob,
        I will be happy to share my story. Ridgedale, in those days, was somewhat akin to Beaver Cleaver’s neighborhood. One block with drug store bookends. There was an old shoe repair shop who was operated by my best girlfriend’s grandfather who always made me think of the man who carved Pennochio, a fire hall with firemen who always let us pet the dog, sit and talk, the first Red Food Store in Chattanooga, and lots more history which was so great. Look forward to seeing you.

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