Kimbrough’s Used Cars / Penn’s Hamburgers

The second largest city in Morgan County, Hartselle was founded in 1969 along what was then known as the South and North Alabama Railroad. Named for one of its founding fathers, George Hartselle, the city was incorporated on March 1, 1875.

Prior to 1916, when the second of two fire outbreaks claimed all but one of buildings that comprised the original Hartselle business district, a restaurant and inn stood at the southeast corner of Main and Sycamore where the Something Blue Shoppe is currently located. Farmers who brought their cotton in a horse- or mule-drawn wagon to the gin often faced long wait times for ginning, forcing them to tie their mules to a hitching post for the evening and rent a room for the night.

The lot next door was later occupied by Kimbrough Used Cars, which enticed automobile buyers with its trademark sign in the form of a car with an engine on both ends. After Kimbrough’s closed, Penn’s Hamburgers, which first opened in 1927, operated here out of a boxcar. To see what the lot looked like before Penn’s moved here, tap the image above, then grab the arrow on the left-hand side and drag rightwards.

This was later the site of Marilyn Jeffery’s Florist, operated by Joe and Merle Roberts’ daughter, and then became the Zoey’s Downtown gift shop.