Do You Remember the Milki-way Drive-in?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - by Harmon Jolley
Advertisement from 1955 Kirkman yearbook.  Not sure what "zippy drinks" were, but the Milki-way sold them.
Advertisement from 1955 Kirkman yearbook. Not sure what "zippy drinks" were, but the Milki-way sold them.

The advertising sections of school yearbooks provide a glimpse into the various businesses that existed each year.

Often, the advertisers are also favorites of the students, since the staff of school publications goes out into the community in search of sponsors. That may have been the case with the Milki-Way Drive-in, which was a supporter of the 1955 Kirkman High School annual.

The Milki-way restaurant was located at 205 Cherokee Boulevard from 1950 to around 1965. That was the golden age of drive-ins of all types – dry cleaners, movies, restaurants, et al. The address was previously that of Furlow-Cate Used Cars.

The city directory listed the eatery as "Milki-way Drive-in" each year, but the Kirkman yearbook ad used the correct spelling of "Milky Way" - wouldn't want to get into trouble with a teacher.

The Milki-way was located in a manufacturing district, with employees of American Lava and Samuel Stamping and Enameling likely being regular customers. Others could walk from their homes in North Chattanooga.

High school students in the Chattanooga school system, such as those from Kirkman, generally rode the Southern Coach bus to and from school using student tokens. The Milki-way was on a bus route, so it may have been a popular spot for teens to congregate after a day of history, biology, and French.

Abe Blacker, who also owned Blacker’s Bargain Store at 46 East Main Street, was the original owner of the Milki-way.

By 1955, Edgeworth B. Hunt became owner of the Milki-way. According to his January 12, 1999 obituary in the Mobile Register and U.S. Census information, Mr. Hunt was born in 1916 in Easley, SC and later moved to Chattanooga. Following his restaurant stint here, he relocated to Mobile, AL where he managed a Gidden & Rester movie theater.

In the mid-1960’s, Mildred Powell opened Mildred’s Drive-in on the site. By 1970, William Langston was operating The Pig House at the same address. As of the 1975 city directory, there was no address of 205 Cherokee Boulevard.

In addition to the reference in the 1955 Kirkman yearbook, the Milki-way is mentioned on a current Web site that lists former local favorites. If you have memories of the Milki-way Drive-in, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net. I will update this article with some of the reader feedback.

 

READER FEEDBACk

Sure, I remember the Mily Way very well. it was the first place I ever drove to when I got my own car.Ate in the car ..great hamburgers and shakes;I also knew the Blacker family very well.I believe Mr.Blacker died about the late fifties,I went there a lot,don't know who took it over,

 

 


Chattanooga Books Available By John Wilson

John Wilson, former Hamilton County Historian, has written two volumes on the early families of Hamilton County and also books on Chattanooga and on Lookout Mountain, as well as editing books on Chattanooga's railroads and the Stokes and Hiener photo collections. Railroads In And Around Chattanooga , featuring Chattanooga's intriguing railroad history, has 69 chapters and covers ... (click for more)

South Hamilton County Place Names

These are the historic communities, those completely past and those still extant, of Hamilton County, Tennessee, south of the Tennessee River to the Georgia state line and west of Missionary Ridge to the Marion County line.   Everything here falls within the current boundaries of the City of Chattanooga, and is largely taken from my previous article “Chattanooga and Its Historic ... (click for more)

Partnership With Volkswagen To Establish $1 Million Science Lab Program

Volkswagen Chattanooga officials announced on Tuesday the establishment of a $1 million program that will allow all Hamilton County middle and high schools to apply for funds to create a science lab in their school. Named the Volkswagen eLabs, the program will allow students to gain access to emergent technologies, including automated manufacturing equipment, 3D printers, robotics, ... (click for more)

McReynolds, Brooks Arrested After Police Chase Ends In Crash On Monroe Street; Accord Had Been Stolen From Dealership

Marquis McReynolds, 25, and Jermichael Brooks, 23, were arrested after a police chase on Monday.   A task force including the ATF, FBI, and Chattanooga Police Department officers pursued a stolen vehicle. That pursuit resulted in a traffic crash and the arrest of two convicted felons.   The pursuit began at 5200 Highway 58 just after 7 p.m. after police ... (click for more)

City Officials Should Tour Our Roads - And Response (2)

As we near the election in March, now would be a good time for our city officials who are up for re-election to spend a little time exploring their realm.   I would invite them to take a scenic tour starting at Lake Resort Drive paying attention to the portion of the road which was recently repaired which now appears to be sliding back towards the lake again.  Follow ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Puzzling Women

After Rhonda Thurman left the “Enlightment” meeting of the Hamilton Country School Board Saturday afternoon, she must have been catching up on the news when she posted this message on her Facebook page: “I am really trying to understand. I am a woman and I cannot think of one "RIGHT" I do not have. Can someone enlighten me?” Not one person enlightened Rhonda because nobody could ... (click for more)