The Walton Roller Rink
Ostensibly, this is a photo from the late 1930’s of Walton-Verona student Sue Evelyn Mann as she stands posed in front of the old gym of High School Court.
It's included because of the dark colored building on the left side of the photograph. That building was the Mayhugh Lumber Company building. It sat vacant during the 1930s and for several years into the 1940s when three of Walton’s leading gentlemen decided that having a roller skating rink in Walton would be a profitable business venture.
The three were: Wallace Grubbs, Frank DeMoisey and the dentist, Dr. D. Maddox (Johnny Maddox’s father). They bought the old building, strengthened its structure, but in it a large first class skating floor, concession and rental skate area, opened for business and discovered that they were correct about its business potential. Immediately, and for as long as it existed, the skating rink was a busy and fun place.
Somewhere along the line they attached an addition on the front of the skating rink so as to have a nicer entrance and concession area. That addition was constructed like a small one story house. Later, it was moved to the Chambers & Grubbs Funeral Home property and became the building where caskets were on display. It was there for years but was, of course, torn down years ago. Now the funeral home’s parking area takes up that and much other space adjunct to the funeral home.
The three founders, growing tired of the responsibilities of operating the skating rink business, sold it all to a man named Cliff Pruitt. Brisk business continued under Mr. Pruitt’s ownership but, horribly for the kids, one cold night in the late 1940s the skating rink caught on fire and was totally destroyed. All of the kids, 100% aficionados of roller-skating, practically went into mourning. Mr. Pruitt built another rink on the same lot but by that time television and other interests had taken away most of the customers of the skating rink. The rink was later converted to a bowling alley but that didn’t succeed for long either. The building is still there, of course, but is mostly just taking up space.
from an email from Walton's Asa "Buddy" Rouse, September 11, 2009