Doyle Street, Toccoa

Sometimes called Toccoa’s Main Street, Doyle Street was once closed to vehicular traffic and covered with concrete canopies. The removal of these monstrosities was the beginning of a long-time revitalization plan which culminated in Toccoa being named one of the top 10 “Main Streets” in the nation. It’s an ongoing process and is very inspiring. [Travel Note: If you’re in Toccoa, don’t miss a breakfast or lunch at BJ’s Family Restaurant, seen on the far right above. I had the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten there, and the staff treats everyone like they’re locals].

This large block is best remembered as the Belk-Gallant Department Store, which was the 10th Belk franchise to open in the region, in 1937. It remained at this downtown location until 1995. It was a bank before it was Belk-Gallant.

The building at far left, bearing the sign of a bookseller, was built circa 1920. It served as Grooh’s Department Store for many years, and later, as the Gem Jewelry Company and Mullinax Jewelers.

The large building in this photo was built circa 1910. It is best remembered as home to Harper’s 5 & 10 Cent Store. It is now used as office space and a great example of commercial restoration.

Toccoa’s downtown really is amazingly busy, and if you’d like more information about its historic commercial architecture, they’ve produced a wonderful booklet, available here as a PDF. I’ve used it for research, and my apologies if I’ve misidentified anything.

Downtown Toccoa Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


1 thought on “Doyle Street, Toccoa

  1. Ben Dooley

    Brian, I was in Junior high or high School when those concrete canopies were erected. It was shortly after Lenox Square (original unenclosed) was opened in north Atlanta. Toccoa was hailed by city planners and the media as a forward thinking city that had “preserved” the economic viability of downtown by turning it into a suburban mall. What goes round comes round.


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