ODENVILLE — “There’s a lot of history in this building.”
The words apply to many structures throughout St. Clair County. Lyman Lovejoy, owner of Lovejoy Realty, was referring to the former site of the Odenville Post Office and Western Auto, located on U.S. 411 in the heart of downtown. Lovejoy’s company has purchased the site and is in the process of restoring it.
“We take a lot of pride in this job,” Lovejoy said. “We’re hopeful we can create some jobs and some business here in Odenville.”
The original postmaster of the office was Paul Riddle, who was there in the late 1960s when the office was first built, until it moved to its present location in 1990.
“I was postmaster for 29 years,” Riddle said. “We started with one rural route, and we had three by the time I retired in 1996. I think we have eight now.”
The original business on the site, however, was Western Auto, built by George Scoggins.
“That’s my first memory of it, was Western Auto,” said Odenville Mayor Pro Tem Jimmy Bailey.
Bailey said the city is interested in seeing the building restored.
“We definitely don’t want to see downtown Odenville start to deteriorate,” Bailey said. “It’s good to keep as much business here as we can.”
Lovejoy said he has talked to people interested in locating a restaurant at the old site, and possibly a motorcycle shop as well. They have already paved the parking lot, and are in the process of restoring ceiling tiles and windows to the building.
One of the building’s more interesting features is a dug well in one room, complete with a millstone.
“It’s a very historical building,” Lovejoy said. “We’re hoping we can make it part of downtown again.”