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Remembering Buchanan's Bait Shop and Trailer Court

The News-Democrat of Waverly, Tennessee

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The new Dialysis Clinic on Waverly's West Main Street is a beautiful addition to the landscape along this stretch of the road. Before it came in, the lot had been vacant for several years with the exception of the old springhouse, which still sits on the western edge of the property. It is that springhouse that stirs more than a few memories for me.

I remember, in my youth the springhouse sitting there along with the brown shingle sided residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Buchanan. And right beside it was the block building, which was Buchanan's Bait Shop. Behind it and on up the east side of the property was the Buchanan Trailer Court. The whole area was sort of a business and residential complex.

Mr. Edward Buchanan and his wife, Mildred served both as, the proprietors and the landlords. In its day this was a busy place.

The bait shop was a complete one-stop does it all stop for local or traveling fishermen.

They offered fresh, live baits: minnows, worms and crickets, artificial lures, hooks, line, sinkers, floats and just about any accessory a fisherman would need. The front windows were covered in boating merchandise, life jackets, boat paddles and minnow buckets. Mildred manned the cash register counter, and Ed was constantly scurrying about dipping minnows, caging up crickets or crushing ice from the icehouse for his customers. They also had Gulf gasoline in the pumps out front. Those pumps stayed busy filling both vethere. Most of the time, what I remember, was an unusually large catfish or largemouth bass. Occasionally, there would also be a giant snapping turtle someone had picked up.

I remember riding my bicycle from our neighborhood to downtown Waverly. Buchanan's Bait

Shop was about half way. It was my rest stop. I could air up my tires, take a break from the sun and have a cold drink sitting under the yellow and white awning covering the front of the business. Mrs. Buchanan always made me feel welcomed as I took my little break.

The trailer court in its early years was a mini neighborhood with 25 or so trailers. In my remembrances, most of the residents were construction workers who had located here as the plants were being built in New Johnsonville. But I know Buchanan Trailer Court was also home to several other families for many years. The Buchanan's ran a mostly quiet and well-kept little neighborhood there for many years.

There was a big bell located between the bait shop and the Buchanan's house. It was there if the trailer court residents had a need in the night, or if a bait shop customer needed something before or after business hours. Customer service was a key ingredient to their business at any hour.

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Original Publication Date: July 18, 2014

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