100 Years Ago
by Brad Hayes


Do you love candy? My favorite candy bar is Snickers, but I remember as a child I loved Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. In the early 1970s, I recall attending Trion High School baseball games with my dad. The high school field was over near the Trion Recreation Department, swimming pool, and tennis courts. Today, the baseball field is named the Cherry Crisp Field or the old Pony League field. In the early 1970s, the back stop and home plate was where centerfield is today. The bleachers sat along Pine Street.

Whenever my dad and I watched the Bulldogs play baseball, there were always some “regulars” attending the games. I remember Buck Rich, T. Emmett Nunn, John B. Gilreath, Red Bulman, and Coach Al Harwell’s dad would attend most of the baseball games. Another man who always attended the baseball games was Charles Logan. His son, Dan Logan, was the first baseman for the Bulldogs. My family and the Logan’s also attended church together at Pleasant Grove Church of Christ. Charles Logan was the person that introduced me to Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. He knew I loved them, and he would ocassionally have them for me at the baseball game. Still today, I love Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and I often think about Charles Logan when I enjoy one.

Another one of my favorite candy bars has been around over 100 years. In October 1912, Howell Campbell created the Goo Goo Cluster in Nashville, Tennessee. In the Sunday, October 21, 2012 edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press it was reported that Elise Campbell Whaley, the 89-year old daughter of the late Howell Campbell stated, “I can remember going to the Standard Candy factory, where a mural on the side of the building advertised Goo Goos as a nourishing lunch for a nickel.”

The first time I remember eating a Goo Goo was in the 1970s at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Roy Acuff and other country music entertainers would advertise and talk about the famous candy bar, and I remember my parents buying them at the Grand Ole Opry concession stand.

As a young child, I enjoyed visiting Nashville for several reasons. I enjoyed the Grand Ole Opry, Opryland Amusement Park, worshipping at Madison Church of Christ where Ira North preached and Pat Boone’s brother, Nick Boone, led the congregation in singing. Of course, the Goo Goo candy bar was a special treat.

Finally, October 2012 marks 100 years since Benjamin DeWitt Riegel purchased the cotton mill in Trion. Mr. Riegel purchased the Trion Company from the Allgood family.


Under his leadership from 1912 to 1941, the cotton mill and the town of Trion expanded. As recorded in the book Trion: Our Own Favored Land, “Mr. Riegel created a large and modern dairy with his prize Guernsey herds, including Green Meadow Melba.


The YMCA was remodeled and housed a theater, recreation rooms, bowling alley, gymnasium, library, dining room, and an indoor swimming pool.



A row of brick apartments was built along Park Avenue. Trion had its own service station, sawmill, ice plant, bank, barbershop, and beauty parlor.


The Riegeldale Tavern, built at the south end of town on Highway 27, for many years served meals not only to people in this area, but also all over the Southeast.


Two of the grand buildings that stood in Trion were the Trion Plaza and the Trion Department Store, also known as the Big Friendly.


The Trion Plaza was built across from the Trion Department Store. The Plaza was first used as a hotel. Miss Patty Gaillard was the first hotel manager. In 1935, the hotel closed and was used as apartments.


It is great to see our cotton mill still going strong after 100 years when Mr. Riegel purchased the financial troubled mill. The total years of service for the cotton mill in Trion is 167 years. Thanks to the Allgood, Riegel, and Pamplin families for their investment in our town, and a special thanks to all the employees and supporters of Mount Vernon Mills. May the passion for our industry continue for many years to come. Mount Vernon Mills’ motto is “Passion for Perfection.”

Brad Hayes graduated from Trion High School in 1986, where he played baseball and football. After a distinguished career in Education, Brad became a full-time minister at Lookout Hall Church of Christ in Chattooga County. He also serves as Sports Editor and Historian for the Trion Facts, and as Vice President of Publicity for the Chattooga County Historical Society. He and his wife, Judy, have two sons, Luke and Jake. Brad kindly allowed Chattooga Photo History to reprint this essay which originally appeared in the Trion Facts.

Postcards courtesy of Mackie Carson.

Copyright 2013 Greg W. McCollum.  All rights reserved.