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The First Telephone of Crabapple

Crabapple's first telephone was a crank telephone. And everyone in the community could use it.

Even with all the development of recent years in Crabapple, there are, thank goodness, some structures of historical significance that remain.  Downtown Crabapple remains.  The old white house next to the gas station remains and has been re-purposed.  This was formerly the home of Euell Everett Broadwell?  Or was it someone in the Cantrell Reece family?  I need someone to tell me.

Anyway, right about where Sip, etc. currently is, across the street from Olde Blind Dog, was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Coleman, who once told me some history of the two-story, brick building that sits at the point of the "V" at Broadwell and Mid-Broadwell. 

I will forever call this old brick beauty "where Murf's Apple Cart once was" because when I moved here in 1997 that store took up the ground floor. I miss Murf's. There have been a lot of retail businesses on the ground floor of this building, going all the way back into its history.  But, I'll bet you didn't know that the upstairs used to be a dance hall.  Mr. and Mrs. Coleman told me that the upstairs was once the place to go to square dance.  I also heard that long, long ago Miss Jennie Rucker was thrown out of the local church for square dancing so I'm not quite sure how the community looked upon this square dancing business. 

Another notable thing about the 2 story brick building in Crabapple is that it housed Crabapple's first telephone - a crank telephone.  And the brackets for part of this contraption are still visible on the outside of the building today.  The community could use this phone if needed.  

Hope those brackets stay there forever.    

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Amanda Quintana November 24, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Love this history, thanks for sharing!
Travis Allen November 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM
As described in the Northwestern Elementary School published cookbook, "Under the Crabapple Tree" : "The Home Place Antiques is located on Crabapple Road near the intersection of Birmingham Hwy and Broadwell Road and sits on three acres of wooded property. It was built between 1905 and 1915 by Cantrell and Nallie Reese. Mrs. Reese was a music teacher who taught students in her home and played the piano for Crabapple Baptist Church. It is said that Mrs. Reese, being the proper and very particular woman she was, had requested that her home be built with timber that did not have knots. The Home Place is of Victorian architecture and with its 12-foot ceilings and fireplaces in every room, it is still the showcase it was from the beginning. The Reese's son, J.D. Reese, inherited the home after his parents death and maintained it for several years as rental property. Mr. Fred Devore (once a Northwestern Elementary caretaker) purchased it in 1949 and enjoyed his home in Crabapple for over 30 years. During this time the house was modernized to today's standards and a rear room was added. With the death of Mr. Devore in January, 1985, his family sold the home in August, 1985 to Dr. and Mrs. Elwyn Donnelly, the building's current owners." Obviously much has changed since 1985, however the building retains it's charm, most of the original windows, fireplaces, and "pocket" doors.
Travis Allen November 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Oh, and if you look carefully near the square in downtown Alpharetta, you'll see the old "switch" building for all the telephone lines that ran through Alpharetta...it's a pretty small building, maybe 10x15, on the back corner of the lot.
Julie Hollingsworth Hogg November 26, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Thanks Travis.
Tommy Statham April 20, 2013 at 12:41 AM
Enjoyed your writing. My grandmother Pat Statham ran her antique shop "crabapple penthouse antiques" upstairs from 1966 until her death in 1988. The design firm has been upstairs since '89. Murf was a hoot. We look forward to a new Murf or Eddy West store to brighten the Crossroads
Julie Hollingsworth Hogg April 20, 2013 at 11:28 PM
yes, we do look forward to that! Thanks for your comment Tommy!
Norm Broadwell April 21, 2013 at 07:38 PM
On a genealogical note: Nallie was the oldest daughter of John B. Broadwell and married Cantrell 20 Dec., 1894. John B. and and his son-in-law were very active in many business enterprises in Crabapple. One being an attempt to market the water from mineral springs as a health product.
Julie Hollingsworth Hogg April 25, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Thanks, Mr. Broadwell!

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