Page 54 - Salem Magazine Spring 2016
P. 54

Salem Museum
A Long Time Ago
John Long - Salem Historian & Educator 375-2421 77 YEARS AGO
Photos courtesy Salem Museum - 389-6760
Mae’s Inn Opens. For African Americans in the days of segregation, opportunities to get a bite to eat or grab a drink were somewhat limited. An establishment that catered to the black community was sure to attract a large clientele, and such was the case with Mae’s Inn on Alabama Street, which is now South Market Street. Ethel Mae Myers Whitfield opened her Salem restaurant and bar about 1939. She and her husband, Thomas, also operated another establishment in the Pinkard’s Court area in South Roanoke County that was complete with a motel on the “Rocky Mount Road.” It was through a chance encounter at Mae’s in Salem in 1957 that Carver student Larry LeGrande got his chance to break into professional baseball. (see the full story on page 32 in this issue) In the late 1950s, Mae sold her Salem restaurant, but she operated the Pinkard’s Court location for many more years. Mae Whitfield died in 1986 when she was struck by a car while crossing Rt. 220. The building that once was Mae’s still stands, and is used today as a Masonic lodge.
SPRING 2016 |

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