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Have you ever heard of this town of Advance, Alabama? Could these be early pictures of Vance?

Have you ever heard of the town of Advance in Alabama?   The pictures below were taken in July 1936 of some rural grocery stores around Alabama and the town name of Advance, Alabama is mentioned as one location.  I have not been able to locate a town of Advance in Alabama. Share you information in the comments below if you know where it is.


General and grocery stores in rural Alabama looked very different in July 1936 as compared to today. Look how many sacks of flour were needed. It’s interesting to see all the items displayed. These photographs were taken by Walter Evans in 1936 (Library of Congress)

Interior of General Store near Moundville, Hale County, Alabama July 1936

General Store near Moundville, Alabama July 1936

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This may be the outside of the general store above. July 1936

This may be the outside of the general store above. July 1936

Grocery Store in Sprott, Perry County, Alabama 1936

Grocery Store in Sprott, Perry County, Alabama 1936

McCollum Grocery Store, Greensboro, Hale County, Alabama 1936

McCollum Grocery Store, Greensboro, Hale County, Alabama 1936

 

Abandoned store in Advance, Alabama 1936

Abandoned store in Advance, Alabama 1936

Abandoned stores in Advance, Alabama

Abandoned stores in Advance, Alabama

 

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26 comments

  1. Daniel Robinson

    Heard of Vance al but not advance

    1. Remember Tuscumbia

      wonder if the name was shortened at some point?

    2. Daniel Robinson

      Possible I guess but there is supposed to be one in Florence

  2. Joey George

    It might not be a town but a community name… There are still communities that have stores bearing their names and are not considered towns

  3. Daniel Robinson

    It says from what I found its in FLORENCE AL

  4. David Chappell

    On the side of the store in Advance is an advertisement for CW Lewis Furniture Co. There was a CW Lewis Furniture Company in 1917. Advance must have been near Tuscaloosa.

  5. David Chappell

    CW Lewis Furniture Co. Was in Tuscaloosa.

    1. Alabama Pioneers

      Yes that one is Moundville the ones in question are the last two photos in the article

    2. Alabama Pioneers Sorry, missed that!

    3. Alabama Pioneers

      No problem we always appreciate any help!

  6. Ancestry.com 1940 census places W. H. Hughey (the general store owner in the picture) in Severe, AL (Perry County). Mr. Hughey was 67 years old in 19940. Maybe Advance was a suburb of Severe! That’s the only W. H. Hughey in Alabama.

    1. W. M. Hughey – my error. The man in the census is W M Hughey

  7. Correction: W. M. Hughey.

  8. Allison Houston Olson

    Chuck Gerdau can you assist?

    1. Benny Pitsinger

      Looks like my Dad’s store!

  9. Advance looks alot like old stores in Stewart, Alabama.

  10. Logan Keith

    Heard of Vance but not Advance

  11. I think Advance is now known as Vance Al just East of Tuscaloosa AL.

  12. I think Advance Al is now known as Vance Al just east of Tuscaloosa Al.

  13. Jane Luckie Burkett

    There is an Avant, AL. It is off old 31 Highway near Georgiana and there was a rural

    1. Alabama Pioneers

      I wish someone could identify the store but it was so long ago.

  14. William Craig Mann

    This Advance was definitely near Tuscaloosa, as the C.W. Lewis Furniture Company advertised on the side of the building was located in the city of Tuscaloosa. Vance, however, has been called Vance since around 1880. Sounds silly, but I suspect a possible cataloging error at the LOC: CLERK: “Where’d you say these pictures were taken?” PHOTOGRAPHER: “At Vance.” CLERK: “Advance?” PHOTOGRAPHER: “Yeah, at Vance.”

  15. William Craig Mann

    The name on the “Advance” general store appears to be Dunnavant. There was a dry goods company in Huntsville owned by a Dunnavant family in the 1920s; this might have been one of their retail outlets. Doesn’t give you a location, but it could be a piece of the puzzle.

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