On this day in 1912, a small item appeared between news about the upcoming Stewart County soil survey and an ad for the Atlanta Coal and Ice Company ("phone 117") in the Athens Banner:
Says Athens Is a Plenty Good
Mr. L. M. Leathers, who moved to Atlanta several months ago, has returned to Athens. He prefers Athens to Atlanta. He will be at his place of business at 1366 Foundry street. His family will return in a few days.
- Athens Banner, 10 October 1912, p. 8, col. 4.
According to a mid-century business directory for the city of Athens, the L. M. Leathers company started in 1907 and moved to Athens in 1909. They specialized in roofing and other metal work, including doing all the cornice, sheet metal and roof work on the new courthouse in 1913. Their phone number for decades was 264.
Mr. Leathers retired from the company in 1942, and his three sons, Fred, Claude, and Milton, took over the business. By the 1940s, their manufacturing building was located at 675 Pulaski Street, and the company had expanded their offerings to refurbishing Coca-Cola bottling equipment, and "orchestrated the mass production of two of America’s favorite snacks- the peanut butter cracker and the Moon Pie."
Their manufacturing building was refurbished by Athens firm D.O.C. Unlimited, with an emphasis on retaining much of the original structure, including skylights, the company name on the exterior of the building, and high ceilings with brick walls inside, while also making the space pedestrian-friendly with plant beds and platforms that act as porches for the businesses now in the space. In 2005, the renovation won an award from the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation.
Some of the current occupants of 675 Pulaski Street include Rubber Soul Yoga, Koons Environmental Design, and Shiraz Fine Wine & Gourmet.
- Athens Banner, July 1912 - Dec. 1, 1912 on Microfilm in the Heritage collection.
- Athens Historic Newspaper Archive collection in the Digital Library of Georgia.
- The Leathers Building page on Facebook.
- Athens, Georgia: A Pictorial History by James K. Reap in the Heritage and general collections.
- Athens, Georgia Business Directory (n.d.) in the Heritage collection.
- Redefining Southern Culture: Mind and Identity in the Modern South by James C. Cobb in the general collection.
- Origins of the New South: 1877-1913 by C. Vann Woodward in the general collection.
- The Metalsmiths by Percy Knauth in the general collection.
- Redux: Designs that Reuse, Recycle, and Reveal by Jennifer Roberts in the general collection.