CENTRAL SALOON - Our store building has an interesting history. It was first constructed by Henry Baxter Russell about 1880 as the Central Saloon, also known as the Russell Building. With his wife, Lucretia Ingram, and daughter Annie, the family lived on the second floor, accessed by exterior stairs. His family operated the Central Saloon with either a liquor or coffee house license from 1880 to 1910. Russell advertised being a "Dealer in "Fine Old Whiskey & Cigars." Photo at right shows the Central Saloon about 1900, with James T. Russell, brother of the owner, and the bartender.
AFRICAN AMERICAN BUSINESS - In 1917, the Sons and Daughters of Relief, a private Midway African American charitable organization, purchased this property. The organization operated a restaurant/bar on the first floor and held meetings upstairs. This was during a time period when black businesses and a fraternal lodge occupied many buildings on the north side of Railroad Street.
In the 1970s, the building was converted from a bar to a gifts/antiques shop, the Red Brick House. The present owners purchased the building soon after renting next door starting in 1996.