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Adairsville • Cassville • Cartersville • Euharlee •
Kingston • Lake Allatoona • Summer Hill

Between 139 & 135 West Main Street | Cartersville, Georgia

Today, Conyers Alley is just a remnant; a driveway between two buildings that marks where a road used to be. But in the early 20th-century, Conyers Alley was the center of the black business district downtown. This alley formerly connected West Main Street with what was then known as West Market Street (now Cherokee Avenue). First seen on the Sanborn Maps in 1890, a well was drilled there by 1895, and buildings sprang up around 1900. The 1909 Sanborn Map shows a barber shop and a restaurant in the alley, and there is a good chance that the restaurant in question was the original Blue Front Café, which moved around the corner to Main Street within a decade and operated well into the 1940s.

The earliest black-owned public eating establishments grew up in the 1880s. According to the 1884 “Colored Department” of the Cartersville City Directory, Carrie Alexander (born 1852) ran a restaurant on Railroad Street, while an 1884 newspaper article cites Alex Kennedy (born 1845) as running a “first-class eating house for colored people” in downtown Cartersville (although the location has been lost to history). Pomp Johnson (born 1854) was a saloon keeper as early as 1880, and an 1890 newspaper article noted that he had moved his restaurant to Main Street. Local oral history also reports that Angelina Peacock ran a restaurant adjacent to Gassett’s Grocery, possibly the Blue Front Café, which may be the same restaurant as one run by Mary E. Young in the 1910 census.

Mary E. Young and Dave Sullivan were noted as restaurant proprietors in the 1910 census, but it is Charlie “Big Doc” Richardson whose name is frequently associated with the Blue Front Cafe in popular memory. The entire district around this area was known as Blue Front during that time, likely as a result of the bright blue paint that enhanced the front of the building. Later, this area became known as Bull Neck.



African American

Heritage Trail

Bartow County, Ga

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