By Charlie Hutson

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – This is a look back to where it begin in 1948. Gorden Powell opened the first Powell’s 5 cents to $1.00 store on East Central Avenue. It originated in the building where Josie’s Hair Fashions is today.  A few years later Powell’s moved next door to a building that doubled the store’s size.

In the new store, a lot of days, you could smell fresh popped popcorn as you walked in, and it also featured a grill and lunch counter. But one of the biggest attractions at the new store happened in November and December when you could go up that wide stair case on the left to the second floor and arrive at Santa’s Toyland. This made Powell’s the store every kid wanted to go to.

Powell’s grew over the years, and at one time, there was a Powell’s store in Lafollette, Tazewell, Lake City, Madisonville and Jamestown.

Powell’s put in more than a 30 year run in Lafollette closing around 1984. Since Powell’s closed, the building has housed The Boston Department Store, Wenders Furniture, the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and now AAH SPA. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/10/2022-6AM)