Hwy 71B pictorial history in the works

I’m not sure if it’s still there or not but the McDonalds on the corner of College and Sycamore used to have a painting of College Avenue from way, way back in the day. It was similar (if not identical) to the image attached to this post and as a child, it blew my mind to see the busiest street in Fayetteville looking so lazy and quaint.

If there’s anything that rules more than old photos, it’s old photos of Fayetteville. Seeing our streets, buildings and businesses in old fashioned form is as cool as it gets which is why Once Upon Dickson was such a hit here at the Flyer and probably with many other folks here in town.

Fortunately for all of us, Once Upon Dickson author Tony Wappel is at it again. This time, however, he’s focusing on Fayetteville’s historic north-south route, Highway 71, specifically the stretch from Drake Field to Lake Fayetteville. Awesome? Yes.

Just like Once Upon Dickson, Wappel is seeking the help of the community.

If you’ve got any photographs of businesses (including factories, gas stations, car lots, motels, grocery stores, restaurants, night clubs, office complexes, shopping centers, etc.) from any era on this stretch of 71B, Wappel would love to check ’em out. Businesses aren’t all he’s looking for, though. Photos of churches, houses and farms, as well as the people who occupied them are also needed.

According to a flyer for the project, “He also plans on including that portion of School and Center Streets which were a part of Highway 71 until 1955, when Archibald Yell (Fayetteville’s first bypass) became the preferred route.”

“I’m not sure what level of detail I will get into (with the Highway 71 project). It just depends on what I can find. I’m thinking it will be primarily photographic rather than textual history,” said Wappel.

If you’ve got anything you can offer by way of photos or even leads to possible photos, please send Tony an e-mail at awap63(at)yahoo(dot)com with “Highway 71 Project” in the subject line. You may also leave a message at 479-236-2548.

[For more photos like the one featured in this post, head over to fayettevillehistory.com and browse through the post cards section.]