It is never easy to watch a part of your childhood disappear. Change is progress they say
and as such, little by little, parts of our earlier lives give way to new and improved. How
many of you recall shopping at the Town Pantry or Stephenson storeís in Collinsville and
taking back your empty Coke bottles for refills? How about buying paint at Bob Owenís
Hardware or taking a Sunday drive with grandma and grandpa to eat lunch or get an ice
cream at Barterís Drive In? Ah, the simple joy of getting to buy candy at Ben Franklinís in
downtown Whitesboro before anyone had ever hear of Wal-Mart. Today they remain only in memory.
So it was with great sadness that I learned of the impending demolition of another north
Texas landmark the Sher-Den Mall. Thanks to a $25.00 permit and an estimated $750,000
worth of bulldozing still yet to come it will take its place in our collective memories. I recently
had a chance to meet and speak with Brian Rogers who is helping to finalize the plans to
level the existing structure. Brian was nice enough to allow me to shoot a few photos for
historical reference and for those who are curious to what currently remains of a place where
many north Texans spent countless hours shopping.
The building and the entire internal infrastructure is in very bad condition. Despite outward
appearances the inner view from the mall is one of shock. It would take millions of dollars and
very delicate asbestos removal to make the mall fit for new tenants and then who would come?
All of the action in the area is quickly relocating to the new highway 75. Those who have
interest in the few items that remain can purchase items Wednesday Ė Thursday the 17th,-19th
between 10am Ė 4pm providing arrangements can be made and the proper safe guards can
be put in place by then.
The Sher-Den mall opened in 1960ís and despite extensive renovations
in the late 1980ís simply could not compete with the new Midway Mall just further up the road.
In fact, the Midway Mall may see attendance shrink as development has started to ratchet up
on the highway 75 corridor. The Sher-Den mall tried to hang on with an odd store here and
there until Montgomery Wards, which was the last business in the facility, went bankrupt and
closed a few years ago.
As I walked the floors of the Sher-Den mall for the last time it was like
visiting an old friend you know you will never see again, and having a chance to reminisce
about the good times before it all fades away.
Remember when you fell into the fountain
in the middle of the mall and your mom had to buy you dry clothes? How about when your
dad bought you that first foot long hotdog and the Orange Julius you drank waiting for Star Wars
to start? Remember all the times you won free games of pinball and when you got to put your
high score initials on Asteroids at Gold Mine? Do you remember when?
Yes, indeed I do remember.
In fact if you will excuse me, I am going to go pop the top off a bottle of Dublin Dr. Pepper
and sit a spell on the front porch swing. Maybe come Sunday Iíll just take that drive with
my son and go get ice cream.
Inside Of Mall Photos Before Demo
Click Here For The Demolition Photos