Saturday, April 14, 2012

14 April 1911: New Bakery Opens in the Morton Building

On this day in 1911, Sidney J. Thompson opened Thompson's Bakery at 280-282 Hull Street, in the Morton Building. The Athens Banner even announced the opening and the day's specials:

Most African-American businesses did not receive front page notice in the Athens Banner when they opened, but Sidney Thompson was married to Dr. Blanche Thompson, a stockholder of the E. D. Harris Drug Company, and practicing physician who treated both black and white patients, according to the Athens Daily Herald's Business Supplement from 13 August 1914. She was the first African-American doctor in Athens to perform a surgery, and established her own sanitarium for tuberculosis treatment.

Unlike other African-American businesses at the time, Thompson's Bakery would advertise daily specials, such as 5-cent sweet cream biscuits, in the pages of the Athens Banner, alongside ads for white businesses such as Erwin & Company Real Estate, fire pails from Hardeman & Phinizy, and paint offerings from Bondurant Hardware Company.  For many years, the Thompson's Bakery was included in the Banner's lists of factories when boasting of Athens' manufacturing prowess.

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