Beginnings of Change
By 1915, the Sanborn maps were showing a strong shift in the direction of Sanford's commercial development, perhaps influenced by the location of Little Buffalo Creek to the rear of the buildings on the east side of Chatham Street.
In the preceding seven years, numerous buildings had been constructed along Moore, Wicker and Steele streets, while Chatham Street from Charlotte to Maple was fairly complete. A few dwellings survived in the area, but by then, it was given over almost entirely to commercial, light industrial, and civic structures.
The town's growth as a retail center for the surrounding rural areas necessitated the construction of Buildings dedicated to:
- Sales of dry goods
During this time there were also:
- 5& lOç stores
- Barber shops
- Bottling works
- Insurance offices
- Livery stables
- Lodge hall
- Moving picture theater
As is true now, the majority of these buildings were one or two stories in height and of brick construction. Notable exceptions were the Sanford Buggy Company (#84) and the McCracken Building (#76), both three-story buildings which still stand.
A handsome City Hall (#83), built about 1910 on the north side of Charlotte Street just east of Chatham, featured the decorative brickwork which was to become a hallmark of the town's commercial area, reflecting its debt to the important local brick - making industry.
The building is most notable for its massive three-story central tower, covered by a convex four-slope roof and capped by a domed and columned lantern.