Exploring Climax’s history with the Trulock Supply Co.

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2015

According to “The History of Climax” Author Robert E. Page III, during the 1880’s and into the 1900’s Climax was a thriving small town, established after the Civil War, becoming incorporated on August 11, 1905.

In 1879, the Atlantic and Gulf rail way was acquired by the Savannah, Fla, and Western Railway Company and was better known as the “Plant System.” In those days the railroad built a link from Thomasville to Bainbridge and sold stock in it. About 1880 the railroad wanted to build a branch line from Bainbridge to River Junction, the junction of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers. It was decided that the best place to build the line was on the Fowlstown ridge 8 miles East of Bainbridge. The Fowlstown Ridge is a high ridge that runs the length of Decatur County. In 1883, the town of Climax was laid out along this ridge.

On March 13, 1903 an article in the Bainbridge Post Searchlight newspaper stated: “The Atlantic Coast Line R.R. announced the building of ten miles of track from near Climax to Amsterdam to serve the large tobacco industry of A. Cohn and Co. there.” This extension of track was later abandoned and the track removed in 1944 to be used for war material.

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During these years an impressive business district built up in Climax with Frank Shores having the first store located on Main Street. Then there was Trulock Supply Company first located on the corner of East Main and Broad Street where the Kudzu Cottage is located today and houses an appliance repair shop. In the 1900’s Trulock Supply moved to Main Street. The Trulocks built a large brick store in the middle of Main Street.

Several other stores quickly added to the businesses along Main Street, Brinson Meat Market, Bert Cliatt’s café, Miss Inez Allen Mercantile, and with the progress of automobiles, Climax had Porter’s Gulf Service Station and bus station on the West corner of Broad and Main Street.

Trulock Supply Company had two large stores in one. One was for feed, and farm supplies, and groceries. The other was called a dry good store. Both stores had large glass windows and doors. The dry goods windows at times were decorated according to the seasons and what was for sale. Men’s dress hats were sometimes on hat stands along with dress shoes, then there would be a window for the ladies displaying household items or maybe some dress material or ladies’ hats too.

Climax reached its zenith as a community from the time it was incorporated until cars, trucks, and highways made it easy for people to go to Bainbridge only 9 miles away. In 1959 Trulock Supply Company went out of business, and at that time it was the second oldest business in Decatur County with Kwilecki’s of Bainbridge being the oldest.