It was just a few months ago that renovations at 106 S Broad Street for the new Rinse Bath and Body location revealed the beauty of one of Monroe’s oldest buildings, according to local historians. Visitors to Rinse also get a tour of local history with beautifully renovated floors, moulded ceilings and a secret passage, revealed after being bricked up for decades.
This week, history was again revealed in the continuing revitalization of S Broad in the building just next door to Rinse. Over the front door of the building next to Rinse was the name “Jac’s.” The building was once home to Jac’s, “a trendy clothing store that opened in the 50s,” according to local historian Steve Brown.
“It was operated by Jack Whitley who owned it along with Mr. J. T Stowers. Mr. Stowers had a clothing store in the same building prior to Jac’s called, ‘Stower’s,'” Brown said. “Jac’s was very popular with the young people. They carried all the trendy names in teen fashion at the time. Even before Stowers, this same building, in 1902, was home to a grocery store operated by Wayman and and Alvin Bell. The Bell brothers began bottling soda water here and a few years later the Monroe Bottling Works, as it was called, became one of the earliest Coca Cola Bottling companies in the state.”
According to officials at Monroe Downtown, it is not yet known what Jac’s will become once the renovations are complete, but is just the latest in Monroe’s Back to the Future renovations that are making downtown Monroe one of the greatest little shopping districts in the area.