Reader Seeks Information on African-American Race Track from 1940's

Sunday, July 13, 2014 - by Harmon Jolley

A reader is searching for information on a segregated car racing track in Alton Park in the 1940's.  He came across an article in my previous series on River City racing (http://www.chattanoogan.com/2010/4/18/173711/River-City-Racing---Warner-Park-and.aspx).   The following is the reader's e-mail:

"I saw the story linked below in which you wrote about, among other things, an old car racing track on the site of Warner Park before the Fieldhouse was built there.  My brother told me today that my father (age 78) was telling him recently about a race track in the Alton Park area that my father (and his father) when to in the 1940s which featured African-America race car drivers (only).  My father, although not African-American, wondered if anyone else remembered such a track and racers."

"After reading about the Warner Park track, which I assumed was generally segregated, I thought maybe they had certain days that the track was available to African-American drivers, too, which may have meant dad was just remembering the Warner Park track.  But maybe there was another African-American-only track that there's little record of (although some other old people may still remember it).  As you know, there was a small segregated golf course in the Orchard Knob area, so the thought of a segregated race track didn't seem that unusual to me (or to my dad's memory).  So, any info you have on such a track would be interesting to my dad."

My theory is that the race track is the same Chattanooga Speedway mentioned in my article.  That race track was located in the lowlands along Chattanooga Creek in Alton Park.   Possibly there were certain days designated as African-American racers and spectators only.

If you have information which can help our reader, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net and I'll pass it along as an update to this article. 




Mountain City Milling Advertised The Health Benefits Of Graham Flour

“Exercise regularly.    Cut back on sugar and salt.   Get adequate sleep.   Eat more fiber.”   Those may all have been instructions from your physician at your last physical.   However, the belief that a healthy lifestyle is good for you goes back much farther in history.   John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. (1852-1943) promoted diet and exercise ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers The Clarence T. Jones Observatory

A true example of American   - and Chattanooga - ingenuity, it was Clarence T. Jones's childhood dream to build a telescope of worthy size and importance. As a professional architect he was able to connect with all the necessary local sources to produce the handsome instrument shown here. Working with the new Barnard Astronomical Society, the telescope with all its component ... (click for more)

City Administrator Lurone Jennings Suspended For Misallocation Of Funds

Rev. Lurone Jennings, administrator of City Youth and Family Development, has been suspended for one week for misallocation of funds. He also is to be issued a letter of reprimand and will undergo ethics training. The action came after a critical audit report from City Auditor Stan Sewell. It says Mr. Jennings transferred $18,500 of funds to a program, Journey Educational ... (click for more)

New Walker County Commissioner Whitfield To Move Public Meetings To Evenings And To Larger Venue; Will Also Be Listening Sessions

Walker County Sole Commissioner-Elect Shannon Whitfield said there will be a new arrangement for holding of public commissioner sessions when he takes place at the start of January. Current Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has held Thursday meetings at 3:30 p.m. from time to time in a conference room at her office near the Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette. Mr. Whitfield said those ... (click for more)

Roy Couldn't Possibly Be More Wrong - And Response (5)

Spreading false information isn't only harmful, as we've been made aware recently. The spread of false information can be outright dangerous.   Calling himself a Christian and all, Roy truly disappoints on so many levels with his recently opinion piece about black students attending predominately white schools being the cause of so much problems and grief at those schools. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Facebook Starlet

The Pants Store, a toney women’s boutique in Birmingham’s Mountain Book community, held its annual Holiday Open House about a week or so and, as usual, the popular store was full of customers and holiday cheer. It was a festive gathering, fun for all, but as store employees cleaned up for the next day, they happened across an empty designer-shoe box and a brassiere somebody had ... (click for more)