Speculation is brewing in Springfield about the property known as 116 North Laurel Street. It is currently under renovation by new owner Becky Tebeau and we wonder what the historic building will house.
It is difficult to get the history of the building except by word of mouth. The Dickeys ran a full service gas station there offering Standard Oil Products. Bob Brogdon operated the building as a sort of drive-in with car hop waitress service (featured in Echoes a few years ago). Beer was sold from the building in its varied past. Mr. Milton Rahn operated Springfield Merchant offering groceries and dry goods according to his son Ruben Rahn. Milton’s wife Eunice had a sewing shop there. Watson Bragg operated a Grocery Store at the location at one time. In the 1960s Hartridge Reiser and Junior Metzger operated a grocery store. Around 1960 George Seckinger operated a fried chicken and short order restaurant with take out. I recall George and Paulines’s daughter Georgianna Seckinger (Steese) riding her little character wheeled ride out front on the sidewalk.
Sometime later Mrs. Blocker, from out of the county, opened Blockers. It offered plenty of delicious fried foods including fabulous fried chicken, chicken livers, gizzards and fish with hushpuppies. They had the best hamburgers and hamburger steak with onions and we cannot forget the crinkle cut fries.
Last week Becky Tebeau was interviewed by WTOC on the news as they showed the building, she recalled the coleslaw from Blockers. Everyone would buy slaw to take to events because it was so good. I believe Maggie Young knows the recipe as she was Mrs. Blocker’s long time employee. After Blockers closed the Fields Family operated the restaurant but it closed before too long.
What is next for 116 North Laurel Street? It is jacked up and will soon get a new foundation and time will tell. We really hope it will be an eatery of some sort and look forward to the grand opening.
This was compiled by Susan Exley from Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos or historical information to share contact her at 912-754-6681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org