A historic Sharpsburg landmark is said a complete loss after a major fireplace on the Heirloom Market and Bakery.
The constructing is situated at 8861 Freeway 54.
The decision got here after constructing occupants observed smoke and flames coming from the constructing. The constructing was efficiently evacuated as crews started the method of containing the fireplace, in response to Chief Robbie Flanagan of the Coweta County Hearth Division.
Upon arrival, crews witnessed flames coming from the roof of the constructing and had been unable to enter as a result of severity of the fireplace and compromise of the roof.
Firefighters managed to deliver the fireplace beneath management whereas members of the Coweta County Sheriff’s Workplace managed the visitors state of affairs, which coincided with typically difficult afternoon visitors patterns on Freeway 54.
The constructing is decided to be a complete loss, Flanagan mentioned, noting that a lot of the roof has collapsed. A number of vehicles from the Metropolis of Newnan and different businesses had been dispatched to cowl calls within the county in the course of the operation.
The reason for the fireplace is unknown at the moment and the incident stays beneath investigation. The fireplace is believed to have began close to the entrance of the constructing, in response to Flanagan.
As groups work to find out the trigger, a resident recollects her connection to the constructing and the recollections she created as an adolescent.
The constructing was hand constructed within the late Sixties by Willie Albert Thompson. Nonetheless, his household had lived on the property and had been operating a small retailer for the reason that early Fifties.
It is typically exhausting to think about one in every of Coweta’s most congested areas as a pastoral rural setting the place Willie’s son Don typically biked on Highways 34 and 54 and infrequently noticed many drivers.
Behind their house, the place Trinity Christian now stands, was pasture for “Rolling Meadows”, a cattle farm owned by the Candler household.
Don is now almost 74 years outdated and marvels at how a lot the realm has modified since he was a baby.
“Now, the whole lot is growing, and people cow pastures are subdivisions and a automobile dealership,” he recalled. “It is superb how a lot has modified.
Throughout that point, Willie ran a normal retailer constructed out of cinder blocks and bought necessities like beer, snacks, soda, and gasoline. Whereas he was stationed at Fort McPherson in the course of the day, his spouse ran the shop till he bought house that afternoon, Don recalled.
However in response to Don, his father’s ardour was barbecue, and there was all the time a smoker exterior offering tasty meals for touring prospects, lengthy earlier than Interstate 85.
“Folks touring from Atlanta to LaGrange all the time stopped, as a result of that is the way you went,” Don recalled. “We met individuals from in all places. It was a really good time again then.”
However Willie had a bigger imaginative and prescient that went far past the concrete partitions. His new constructing can be a direct reflection of his imaginative and prescient, which included using exhausting pine for the bones of the construction.
“All these homes in Newnan had been constructed with exhausting pine, and it was important that he construct his new constructing with it,” Don recalled. “It was tougher to seek out, even again then, however in some way, he heard about an outdated cotton mill in LaGrange that was being torn down and was constructed out of outdated, exhausting pine.”
Don remembered going together with his father to the outdated sawmill to salvage boards. Sooner or later, the constructing collapsed on Don and Willie. It took a number of hours for them to be rescued, however surprisingly, they weren’t injured.
Willie used wooden from the outdated cotton mill and created his new restaurant fully out of coveted exhausting pine.
“We all the time had a gap exterior and he would purchase the hams and cook dinner them himself,” Don recalled. “However even when he moved into the brand new constructing, it was nonetheless a traditional restaurant.”
However quickly Thompson’s Barbecue turned the primary place to eat out on the east facet of the county. Through the years, the restaurant entertained patrons, provided a dance flooring, and even hosted marriage ceremony rehearsal dinners there.
Don’s cousin, Susan Hines Peters, mentioned she remembers the constructing fondly.
“Again then, Coweta had Sprayberry’s and Melear’s, however there was nothing on the east facet of the county,” he recalled.
Whereas the meals drew individuals inside, the inside was one thing that caught the eye of shoppers, Peters mentioned.
“It was constructed out of yellow pine, and other people would marvel on the work he had achieved on the within,” he mentioned. “It appeared very fancy for a barbecue restaurant.”
Maybe in an effort to match the delicacies to the extent of the structure, Thompson finally modified his menu to supply a wide range of meals that Peters recalled as “sooner” than his earlier barbecue, together with a dance flooring.
“This was earlier than Peachtree Metropolis actually bought off the bottom, so this was the place to eat again then,” he recalled.
In 1984, Thompson handed away, and his household would finally promote the restaurant and the adjoining property that included his house, which was situated behind the present Valero gasoline station.
Through the years, the constructing modified house owners and identities. Many would possibly keep in mind it because the Jasmine Tea Room, then Collectors Nook, till it turned house to the Heirloom Market and Bakery in 2019.
The way forward for the constructing is unsure, however Peters mentioned recollections of his uncle and his dream of opening his personal restaurant will final a lifetime.
“I used to wander round that constructing and marvel that he constructed all of it together with his personal arms,” he mentioned. “As an adolescent, you do not actually perceive how essential that’s. It went from being a cinder block constructing to a unbelievable piece of structure, and I do know he was very happy with that too.”
After witnessing the footage of the fireplace on Wednesday, Don mentioned he’s heartbroken and ready for the solutions to return.
“My dad put his coronary heart and soul into this, so it is unhappy that it is lastly come to this,” Don mentioned. “We simply need to know what occurred.”