Built in 1867 as a hardware store to supply post war rebuilding, First & Green was owned and operated by the Doak family for almost a century. Grenada was the market town, the place where cotton was brought for loading onto steamers on the Yalobusha River and shipping off down the Mississippi to Natchez and beyond, and freight was received and shipped off on the railroad.
In the early 1940’s, during a building boom fueled by another war, which also spawned the Grenada Airport and Camp McCain, the Boone family bought the store and renamed if Grenada Hardware. Joe and Katie ran it together for almost 50 years. Grenada Hardware provided first bicycles to many, the odd nut or bolt or anything else needed to complete the job. Many memories were made at Grenada Hardware, often centered on the old hand cranked elevator. Joe Boone was, according to Katie, the first merchant to extend credit to black folks, but Joe simply remembers treating all customers alike.
Tricia Shankle bought it when health challenges required a change for the Boones. Tricia, famous for her energy and creativity, transformed Grenada Hardware into First & Green, and many in Grenada share wonderful memories of wedding receptions held there over the years. The venerable building was getting tired, however, and, contemplating a possible move and the desire to have more time to focus on her burgeoning crop of grandchildren, Tricia sold it in 2013 to Deborah Bailey of Prevail Investments.
Rebuilding and Restoration
Aided by the amazing builder Jim Stuvee from Duck Hill and his team, Deborah set about restoring the building, going all the way down to the dirt. The termite ridden and rotted floor was removed, the dirt was treated, a new concrete base was poured, and the gorgeous heart pine floor joists, impervious to rot and termites, were remilled to create the gorgeous old new floor. The supporting piers under the center posts were badly eroded, so new supports were built under the posts while Jim held the building up with steel supports. Each plank old brick still intact was removed by hand and saved.
With the building stabilized, the work of rebuilding started. The brick work was tuck-pointed and cleaned, every single window upstairs and down rebuilt, new electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning installed. We also added a sprinkler system throughout. To the greatest extent possible, we relied on Grenada area subcontractors and suppliers, supplemented on occasion by the ubiquitous Amazon. See the list of contributors below; if we left someone out, shout!
We walked the space, and Jim laid out 2’x4’s on the floor as we considered possible configurations. And again and again, until what we have done, including lovely loft apartments upstairs, feels as if it has always been there. One day Jim found himself admiring the bead-board ceiling upstairs, thinking it was in remarkably good shape, until he burst out laughing, realizing it was new, and he had installed it.
When the dropped ceiling was removed, the original bead board ceiling was found intact, along with Hunter Original ceiling fans and the old ladders on sliding rails used to access high shelves along the side walls. The walls were stripped and re-plastered, and the bead-board replaced. New floor to ceiling cabinets and shelves were built by Paul and Stoney Wilbourn, who also hand crafted each door, inside and outside.The new staircase took shape, as did the wall with the window looking into the kitchen. The hatch idea came from a business trip to the British Virgin Islands.
And then there is the glorious new kitchen. Michael Santirojprapai of Hotel & Restaurant Supply worked with Jim and me to design it, as we focused on equipment needs and placement, traffic patterns, and of course our fantastic drainage system, the brainchild of Jim Stuvee, who also oversaw installation of the amazing ventilation system and tiled the floor and the walls with the toughest tile and a special epoxy sealed grout that repels dirt and grease. The resulting kitchen is easy care and a joy to cook in.
The old hand cranked elevator was taken apart and cleaned and returned to the place it has occupied for 150 years. The lights and sound and new front door were installed, and finally, the sign was hung. We were finally ready to go, though folks had not waited to book the space for weddings: time and again Jim cleaned up the construction site to make way for the wedding party, and then started again on Monday.
Team First & Green
Shari Jordan Knight
Jennifer Brissette Stuvee
The Transformation Team
BA Brandon Andrews
Paul Baker & Crew
Bailey & Sons
Belinda Stewart Architects
Calhoun Insulation Inc.
The Computer Doctor of Grenada LLC
Filo Coats Real Estate Services
First Class Tax Solutions
Harrell Metal Works
Hotel & Restaurant Supply
Mad Lemmings (Web Design)
Marchbanks Specialty Company
Mississippi Farm Bureau
Mississippi Stone Guild
Mitchell Sign Company
Pass Termite & Pest Control
Provine Machine Works
Quarles Fire Protection, Inc.
Robin Whitfield Studio
S&G Heating & Cooling
Safety Link Inc.
Shamrock Electric Supply Company, Inc.
Sherwin Williams Company
Southern Pipe & Supply
The Stage Depot
Steve Couch Appraisal Services
Thomas Wood Preserving
Tunes Glass Service, Inc.
True Value Building Materials
Trulite Glass & Aluminum
United Parcel Service
Yalobusha Lumber Company
Universal Awards and Trophies
Wilbourn & Son Cabinets
Wilbourn Custom Creations
Greg Williams Millwork
State Bank & Trust Company
Grenada City Building Inspector Will O’Bannon
Grenada City Code Enforcement Sonny Ammons
Grenada City Council and Mayor Billy Collins, City Manager JoJo Weathers, & Martha Sanders
Grenada Fire Department and Chief Ronnie Willis
Grenada City Planning & Zoning Commission and Wanda Palmer
Grenada City Water Department and Chief Dale Ratliff
Grenada County Board of Supervisors and Chancery Clerk Johnny Hayward
Grenada Certified Local Government Historical Commission and Charles Latham
Mississippi Department of Archives & History and Todd Sanders and Bill Gatlin
National Park Service
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