Traditionally, Florida has a “dry season” and a “wet season,” and before the commencement of the summer rains is a wise time to repair or replace a roof!
Arcadia’s Historic Preservation Commission had approved two Certificates of Appropriateness for roofs: for the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store building at 114 N. Polk Ave., and the flat-roof addition to St. Edmund the Martyr Episcopal Church’s parish hall at 327 W. Hickory St.
The Re-Store was built in 1954 by William Lewis “Scoots” Mattison for a Ford dealership. He had purchased the Ford Agency from Harley Watson in 1938 and kept it in the Watson building—now the Margaret Way Building, 23 N. Polk Ave. A service station was located to the south. In the 1940 U.S. Census, Mattison, age 39, was listed as the “dealer and stock salesman” of the Ford Motor Co. outlet. James L. Jones, age 34, who managed a “gas service station,” was a lodger living with Mattison, his wife Millie, age 30, and their eight-yearold son.
St. Edmund the Martyr Episcopal Church’s parish hall is the original sanctuary built in the “carpenter gothic” style in 1897 for the congregation established more than 125 years ago. The wood structure was moved to the northeast corner of the property so that the current masonry church could be constructed in 1930. The flat-roof addition was built alongside the old church in about 1945 to make it more functional as a parish hall, and that’s the roof that will be repaired.
A certificate of appropriateness for a business sign was also approved for the building now at 35 S. Monroe. Traditionally, the structure was accessed from Monroe Avenue, but the main entrance now faces the parking lot on Magnolia Street, and that’s where the new busines sign will be installed.
Although its exterior looks quite modern, the building was constructed in 1926 as the Arcadia Ice Cream Co. Joseph H. Stewart served as president and manager. The 1926 Arcadia city directory listed the company as “Manufacturers and Dealers of Ice Cream and Sherberts, Jobbers of Ice Cream Cones.” Later, Stewart’s Bar and Package was in the same building. After Joe’s death in 1949, his widow added a restaurant and record shop in the same location. Her 1978 obituary named her longtime business as “Miss Gussie’s Bar and Lounge.”