Alabama Coaches Co. on Main Street – Part 1
If you have been following “Throwback Thursday” for the past several months, you’ll recall an earlier installment that explored the early years of Montevallo’s home-grown bus company when its base of operations and passenger terminal was located on Middle Street.
By 1946, W.L. Brown, who started it all as a taxi cab business in the early 1920’s, had bequeathed the day-to-day operational responsibilities of the bus line to his sons, Wyman and Hansel Brown, appointing Wyman as president of the company. In addition to starting the bus company, W.L. Brown later served as chairman of the Shelby County Board of Revenue. His brother was the dynamic and multi-faceted Montevallo entrepreneur, J.A. Brown, Sr., but they were not business partners.
Alabama Coaches Co. had outgrown their cramped lot on the corner of Middle and Valley Streets and their success allowed them to build and move that year into a spacious and highly functional new bus station a few blocks away at the corner of Main and North Boundary Streets.
The Montevallo Times said the following in their coverage of the new terminal:
“The new structure is an expansive plant that provides adequate and convenient facilities for the operations of the company and at the same time provides accommodations greatly needed by the community of Montevallo and the public generally.”
“There is a large two-story building on the corner which provides space for ticket offices, waiting rooms, and a cafe downstairs. The second floor will be occupied by business offices of the company and a large room for use as a place of assembly. This will be made available for the use of community groups for banquets and gatherings, with dining service available from the cafe below.
Adjacent to the office building is a large open space of concrete surface where the buses come in and go out, loading and unloading passengers under a shed extending from the waiting rooms. On the opposite side of this space is the garage for upkeep and servicing of the buses. All in all, this structure comprises a most worthwhile and needed addition to the town of Montevallo.”
Upon the formal opening of the new bus station on October 1, 1946, the Times reported that the Town House Restaurant, located in the new building, opened at the same time to the patronage of the public.
The newspaper was highly complimentary of the Alabama Coaches Co., saying, “The development of the new and improved facilities of Alabama Coaches here is a far-reaching step of importance to the future of Montevallo. They urged their readers to go by and “see the great strides that have been made by this progressive local enterprise. You will find a just pride in the accomplishments.”
Thank you Clay Nordan, Vice President of Montevallo Historical Society, for this information!