Beginning in the 1940’s, Black-owned businesses emerged in Shepherd. The businesses were varied and met the needs of the residents. Many of the businesses no longer exist but for a time, they thrived and proved to be lucrative for the owners. A majority of the businesses were located in “Downtown Shepherd” on Shepherd Road and what is now Tuskegee Blvd. A few of the businesses continue and are doing well. Some of the businesses perform services that are desired by residents of the community and citizens from throughout the city.
Following is a listing of businesses that have existed or continue to operate in Shepherd. Businesses that are still in existence are in BOLD type: Grand Finale Events & Décor, Sanders Lock & Key, Sax’s Collision And Repair Shop, Simmons’ Car Wash & Washeteria, Sister’s Catering, Smith’s Red Hot Bar- B- Que/Airport Pizza, Smith’s Service Center, The Rock House, Tom Jenkins Dry Cleaner, Whitehead’s Barber Shop, Willie’s Truck & Tractor Shop, Alert Plumbing, A & M Grocery, Bessie Hines’ Beauty Shop, Brown’s Restaurant, Cabe Petty’s Store, Carrie Johnson’s Thrift Shop, Delta Brodgen Enterprises: (beauty shop, barber shop, restaurant and designer wheels), Fountain of Hope Community Child Care, James Hines’ Barber Shop, James Smith’s Construction Company, Inc., Jimmy’s Service Station, J & B Club (Later, The Smartt Spot), Lawrence’s Grocery, Mack King’s Cleaner,s Mary Austin’s Beauty Shop, Right Way Inn # 1 (Goolsby’s Store), Right Way Inn #2 (Behind the Moon), Roberts’ Hardware Store & Roberts’ Grocery Store.
“Behind The Moon”
In 1952, George W. Maffett, Sr. acquired a property that consisted of three lots on Fisk Avenue. On the property was a house that the builder, Noland Heard lived in when it was first constructed. Also on the property was a two-story building and in the rear of the two-story building were eight cabins. In the downstairs area of the two-story building, George operated a confectionery. The upstairs area served as a night club that became popular throughout Black Chattanooga and beyond. The club was known as “Behind the Moon.” “Behind the Moon” featured bands and other entertainment acts such as fire eaters that drew crowds from miles around. Believe it or not, entertainers who were traveling the “Chitterlin Circuit” at the time and performed in Shepherd at “Behind the Moon” included James Brown and Little Richard. The house on the property was referred to as the “Guest House.” The entertainers stayed there when performing at “Behind the Moon.” The eight cabins served as motel rooms. They could be rented by the week, day or by the hour.