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The Many Faces of Herndon’s Downtown

Take a walk through the history of downtown Herndon.

The buildings in Herndon’s downtown area have undergone many changes in use over the years. There have been lots of stores—grocery stores, drugstores, general stores, feed stores, and more—and a few surprises, too!


Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern: 
The building that houses Jimmy’s and Roaches in the Attics Antiques began its life as the W.T. Wilkins drugstore. In the 1940s it was a pub. It then became Feldman’s general merchandise store, which sold furniture, clothing, and toys. It also for a time housed Western Auto and then an army surplus store. Roberts Carpets operated at this location until it moved to its current location, a former Safeway store, across from the fire station. There were several other occupants—including a dart bar known as Foot Anakin’s—before Jimmy’s opened in May 1997. The one-story extension on Elden Street that is now the dining area in Jimmy’s was at one time a Hershey’s ice cream store. The small building on Spring Street between Jimmy’s and Roberts Carpets, where Jimmy’s Catering is now located, originally was used by Reed’s Funeral Home (now Adams Green) to store coffins. Then, for many years, Hazel’s Restaurant operated at this site.

The Upholstery Shop: This building originally housed the Herndon Movie Theater. It also for a time was a local teen hangout known as The Hornet’s Nest.

So Addictive Lounge: The white brick building across Spring Street from Jimmy’s where the So Addictive Lounge is located dates to the early 50s. An earlier frame structure on this site housed the McGuire grocery store in the 1920s and 30s, and then Prince’s Feed Store. The existing building originally was home to Arthur’s Department Store. For a number of years Simply Country, which featured an array of furniture, gifts, and handcrafted items, was located there. It served as office space for a few years before the current tenant opened its doors.

Stohlman Subaru: This building is the one constant in this section of Elden Street, having always been a car dealership (Ashwell’s and Paul Brothers preceded the current occupant)—although the town’s ABC store shared the west end of the building for many years.

Ice House Café: Despite what the name implies, there was never an ice house in this building or even on this site. Constructed in the 1950s, this was originally a drug store. There were several apartments and, for a while, a doctors office on the second floor. For a brief period in the 1960s the building housed Herndon’s very own claim to shame—The Pink Pussycat, a topless bar!

754 Elden Street: Last but not least, many Herndon residents will remember the Citgo gas station, which for many years stood empty and rusting at the corner of Elden and Station Streets. The building that occupies the space now (originally the TPI Center) houses O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub and several other shops.

We will continue our trip down memory lane, looking at the past lives of other buildings and sites in the downtown, in occasional future columns.

 

Remembering Herndon’s History is written by members of the Herndon Historical Society. Carol Bruce is the president. The Society operates a small museum that focuses on local history. It is housed in the Depot and is open every Sunday from noon until 3:00.

 The Historical Society is seeking volunteers to help keep the museum open each Sunday. If you have an interest in local history and would like to help, contact Carol Bruce at 703-437-7289 or carolbrcom@aol.com.

Carol Bruce June 24, 2012 at 02:37 PM
You might want to stop by the Depot (we're open on Sundays from noon - 3:00) and see if you can find more information. Be sure to check out the Berkeley Green photo collection. Can't remember if there are any old photos of the building or not, but worth a look.
Richard Wahl July 23, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Carol, I wonder if you could tell me, if the Stohlman Subaru building, was ever 'Horn Motors'? It just seems to me that there was, but I cannot be certain. I do remember Ashwells, but there is a portion of my memory that recalls Horn Motors. IF, it was called 'Horn Motors', it had to have been in the mid to late '40's. It could just be a figment of my imagination, mixing up two different towns, but I have this very convincing part of my memory, telling me that Horn Motors once resided there.
Carol Bruce July 24, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Richard, Horn Motors was (and still is) located across the street from the Subaru dealership. It's an auto supply place, though, not a dealership.
Richard Wahl August 02, 2012 at 09:53 PM
So, was the Horn Motors dealership, ever located in the Stohlman building, as a dealership, or was it always an auto supply business? I guess being so young, I didn't quite grasp the difference, but for some reason, it just had this fixation in my head, that Horn Motors, was a dealership and was located in the Stohlman building at one time. So then, Horn Motors was just an auto supply place, and never a dealership?
Carol Bruce August 02, 2012 at 09:58 PM
From what I have been told, Horn Motors has always been in the location it currently occupies. While it may have been a car service and repair business at one time, from what I have been told it was never a dealership. However, my same source tells me that the Stohlman building has been a succession of dealerships over the years. And, at one point in time the ABC store was co-located there, at the left end of the building.

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