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West Tennessee Treasure - Selmer - Latta Building

By Laura Bannon
By lbannon@wbbjtv.com

SELMER, Tenn. - Years ago, in McNairy County, there a car shop was the place to get your car fixed or even buy a car from. The shop was owned by the Latta the family in Selmer.

"The Latta Building was built in the early 30s. It used to be a Ford dealership, it was a business hub of the community. Not only did it sell cars and be the center of business," explained Executive Director of McNairy Chamber of Commerce, Ted Moore.

That was during the day, by night this building would transform into the birthplace of some of the most famous names in rock history.

"The garage would clear out on the weekends and bring in blue grass bands and other groups to perform and people from all around the world would come to Selmer to hear the different bands," said Moore.

He said, at the age of 19, Carl Perkins once played on this stage. It was also the place where he met Elvis Presley, which sparked the era of Rockabilly.

Many generations of McNairy County residents remember the Latta family for their generosity and hospitality. The Arts in McNairy County restored the Latta Building and reopened the doors to the community to relive the memories held there.

"Now, it's been reborn. It's a center of business and culture again. I think this is a very important step for Selmer and McNairy County to move forward." Moore said.

This historical museum not only relives the entertainment that once filled its halls, but it also holds memories that represent the City of Selmer.

"There is a display of broom equipment . We have been using and manufacturing hand made brooms in McNairy county that has been going on for over one hundred years," said Moore.
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