Sunday, October 12, 2014

Four Corners Business Men's Association

While perusing the extensive photo archives of the Woodmoor.4 Corners Facebook page, I found the below picture from the 1950's.  It depicts the dedication of some new benches in front of the Woodmoor Shopping Center, on land which is now part of the expanded front parking lot.  Most intriguing to me, besides the obvious historic nature of the photograph, was the organization which sponsored the new benches: the Four Corners Business Men's Association.

New benches being installed in front of the shopping center.  The Esso station in the background was demolished in 2000.  Photo from Jenine Olson-Heron


I was unaware that such a business association had existed in Four Corners, since I had never heard of it.  However, it is not surprising that the businesses in Four Corners had such an alliance, since business men's associations were fairly common in commercial districts of all size during this time.  

Since this organization has long since been defunct, I was curious about what had happened to it. 

I did some searching online and found few results.  Since the association disbanded before the internet era, there is little electronic trial relating to it.  

I did find a reference to it in the obituary of John A. Emory, a small business owner who used to own the Stone House Inn, a former restaurant on the site of the current 7/11.  Mr. Emory died in 1997, and the following is an excerpt from the Gazette from that year:

 Mr. Emory was a member of the board of directors of the Silver Spring Boys and Girls Club, a member of the Montgomery Hills Lions Club, the Civitan Club of Wheaton, Optimists International, Four Corners Businessmen's Association and the Moose Lodge of Silver Spring.
 He was the proprietor of the Stone House Inn in Four Corners and the Deep South Bar-B-Q in Langley Park.
Mr. Emory specialized in family style Southern cooking and all-you-can-eat chicken from the family farm.
He promoted programs for disadvantaged youth and donated a music room to the Greater Washington Boys and Girls Club, Silver Spring branch.

Sounds like Mr. Emory was very involved in this community, as his membership in the Four Corners Business Men's Association was just one of many organizations with which he was a member.

As for the association itself, I was unable to find any information pertaining to its span of existence or membership.  It is safe to assume that the Four Corners Business Men's Association represented most or all of the businesses in Four Corners at the time.   I can only guess that it was disbanded sometime in the 1980's or early 90's.

The Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, which now represents some of the businesses in Four Corners, was formed in 1993 (hence the guess that the Four Corners Business Men's Association was disbanded prior to this time).  The GSSCC assists and advocates for local businesses in the Silver Spring area, and many Four Corners businesses are members.  A list of member businesses can be found on their website.

Anyone with information about the Four Corners Business Men's Association is encouraged to comment.  It sounds like it was one o the few organizations that strictly focused on Four Corners, and it would be nice to know more about it.


  

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