Four years ago, my family and I had a dream of moving to the country and getting a farm. Well, we didn’t get the farm, but we did move to the country.
My husband and I have been driving up to Commerce for nearly 20 years now; long before we were married, or parents. The historic charm of Commerce Mainstreet has always appealed to us.
Driving into Commerce is a little like going back in time, and it is that slower pace that has always made us enjoy our visits. It is a picture-postcard for small town America, in real life.
When you pull off the interstate there’s a beautiful, rusty, old water tower across from a quaint country church. There’s a cow pasture and lumber yard on one side of the tracks and an organic farm behind the church on the other side. The railroad track runs parallel to the main road into town, which opens up into a traditional Main Street with shops and restaurants on either side. Most of the architecture is original and has that unmistakable aura of a small community with historic charm.
The Civic Center is in an old denim factory that has undergone minimum renovations and retains much of it’s original charm – and it is a sight to be seen. The historic Presbyterian church is now the Cultural Art Center and its bell tower can be seen from several neighborhoods across town.
The majority of people here are just nice. They want to know about you and where you come from. If you make an effort to brush off the dust of city life, it’s not so hard to settle down and fit in. Suddenly, you’re a part of the ‘community family’ and folks are helping you out. There’s a sense of belonging and community spirit here that I never saw in Atlanta or the burbs.
Now, I’m trying to find a way to purchase and renovate one of those beautiful historic buildings. I have a friend well into the process. Rena owns the former Commerce Printing building in the photo above, and she has her own story to tell called South on Broad. Local business owners are offering help and support with my projects and I am finding ways to give back to the community at large. It is a good place to be.
This is a new chapter for me and my art. I hope you will continue to stop in and follow my progress.
#LibertasAmericanaArt #commerceliving #southonbroad #ourtownantiques #SouthernSistersCouture #LibertyArt #MyBigDream #IheartSavingPlaces #TakeBackOurCulture #LeadByExample #BeTheArtYouWant #SupportTheArtYouWant
Frances Byrd is a stay-at-home mom, community volunteer, and artist. She loves all things old, living in the country and keeping chickens.