Tools

West Tennessee Treasures - Lexington - Soda Fountain

By Brittany Patterson
By bpatterson@wbbjtv.com

The soda fountain at Stewart's in Lexington is one of only three working soda fountains in the the state of Tennessee.

"You can go around court square and basically the soda fountain of the originals," said manager Jamie Simonton. "There's not many things that are original still left on the square, but the fountain is."

Installed in 1942, it serves up more than just soda for its customers.

"We have people now that bring their grand-kids in, and the first thing you know, they're talking about, 'I can remember when I was your age, and I sat right here in these stools,'" said Simonton.

"It's a way for them to bond with their grandparents, said "soda jerk" Dana Jones. "And their grandparents get to show them what they grew up like, and get to talk about the town and what they did."

Lexington is a town that has seen plenty of changes from its early 1800s foundation.

"They used to ride their buggies to town, and they said they would tie their horses out on the side," said Jones.

But things like the classic milkshakes served up at the bar and the coin-operated pony ride - still just a dime - help to keep some past times alive.

"It reminds me of when I was a kid, going to the local ice cream shop and sitting down at the bar and ordering an ice cream," said Lexington Mayor Tim Pierce. "I get that same home feeling when I go into Stewart's."

While the original soda fountain is old, employees say the actual building in Lexington's court square dates back to the early 1800s.