Remembering Bert Brown Ford's Twenty-five Years in Business

Once a Landmark along Rossville Boulevard

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Top half of advertisement in the 1965 Chattanooga Sesquicentennial program, with a picture of the newly-introduced Ford Mustang
Top half of advertisement in the 1965 Chattanooga Sesquicentennial program, with a picture of the newly-introduced Ford Mustang

Rossville Boulevard has long been the address of several used car dealers.    Some names have disappeared, along with the buildings, while other businesses have rolled into the area.   The boulevard also was once the home of dealers selling new Chryslers, Datsuns, Plymouths, and Volvos (and other brands).  Down at the 4509 address for twenty-five years was Bert Brown Ford.

Bert Hillis Brown opened his dealership in 1952.  At the time, the surrounding East Lake and Rossville communities had several manufacturers and neighborhoods where employees lived.   Many of the families became customers at Bert Brown Ford.

The Ford lineup of 1952 offered variations of the base model car, including the Mainline, Customline, Sunliner, and Victoria.  There was a station wagon called the Country Squire, and the always popular Ford pickup truck.

According to a June 19, 1977 Chattanooga News-Free Press interview, Bert Brown won Ford’s Distinguished Achievement Award in his first year in business.   He went on to receive a total of twelve of the awards.

Bert Brown was active in Rossville civic associations, and believed in getting involved.   He was member of the Rossville Kiwanis Club, and served as its president.  Walker County Schools gave him an award for doing the most for the system during the 1962/1963 session.   He worked with the Rossville Development Corporation to revive the area after the closing of the Peerless mill.

Over the course of Bert Brown Ford’s history, the Ford Motor Company increased the number of car models offered.  The sizes, features, and prices targeted different types of buyers.   Over the years that Bert Brown Ford was in business, some of the popular models introduced were the Thunderbird, Falcon, Fairlane, Galaxie, Torino, Maverick, and Pinto (popular before its infamous gas tank design issue was publicized).  Oh, and one called the Mustang, which is still with us today.

After reaching twenty-five years at his Ford dealership, Bert Brown sold the franchise to Marshal Mize.   This was announced in the October 4, 1977 News-Free Press.  The next year, Marshal Mize built a new facility in Hixson on Highway 153, and is still in business today.

Bert Brown passed away in 2002.

If you have memories of Bert Brown or his Ford dealership, please send me an e-mail at

Bottom section of same advertisement
Bottom section of same advertisement

Tri-state (TN-GA-AL) Rail Stops - Orme Branch Railroad, Chattanooga Traction Company

ORME BRANCH RAILROAD, 1904   The Orme Branch Railroad (OB) was built by the Campbell Coke and Coal Company in 1904 as the Doran’s Cove Branch Railroad (DCB), primarily to send its coal and coke from its mines at Orme, opened in 1902, to market along a more efficient route than the mountain roads it had been using.   The Battle Creek Coal and Coke Company bought ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers St. Elmo

I am (highly) qualified to make the brash pronouncement that St. Elmo (Chattanooga's first suburb) is as much a state of mind as it is an actual place. It is a place that gets into your mind and into your blood, and sometimes under your skin - indelibly. I have witnessed the same phenomenon in distant cities, but I do not think it is so strong an emotion there as it is here ... (click for more)

Man Shot And Killed In St. Elmo Monday Morning; Police Interview Person Of Interest

One person was shot and killed in St. Elmo Monday morning. Police said they had interviewed a person of interest in the slaying. Chattanooga Police at 8:30 a.m. responded to a person shot at the 5000 block of Florida Ave. Upon police arrival the victim (male) had already succumbed to his injuries. The victim suffered at least one gunshot wound. At this time the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

6 People, Including 4 Children, Die In Mobile Home Fire In Trion, Ga.

Six people, including four children, died in a mobile home fire at Trion, Ga., on Sunday night. The fire broke out on Airport Road in Chattooga County. The victims were identified as Miron Bradley Jones, 29; Demi Josephine Jones, 22; Clair McKenzie Jones, 5, Lola Rosanna Jones, 3, Olivia Josephina Jones (three months), and Jada Marie Kendrick, 5, who was a cousin spending ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Testerman Forum

I badly misjudged how long it would take me to do my “early voting.” I was in-and-out in no time so I got to the Hamilton County School Board’s agenda meeting well enough beforehand to have an “educational forum” with board member David Testerman. If you haven’t noticed, forums and summits and “community enlightenment” groups are the new rage and, as my friend David laughed, “They ... (click for more)