The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Thriving Business Community of Lomax

-by Jennifer Sparrow, Special For The Quill

The quaint Henderson County Village of Lomax has been undergoing much activity lately. Several new buildings have been built and others have received a face lift.

It may be hard to imagine now, but prior to the 1930's Lomax was a bustling "new town" with businesses such as: a meat market, a hotel, two restaurants, ice cream and lunch stands, a lumberyard,

...a flour and cereal mill, a telephone company, a power plant, a planning and saw mill, a brush factory, a variety store, a Ford garage, a photo shop,

...a shoe shop, an opera house, a new gents furnishing store, a consumers wholesale and supply store, a bank, a doctor's office,

...a button factory, an ore concentration factory, a brickyard, a handle factory, a harrow, gate and planter Co, an airplane factory, and a tomato canning factory.

The growth of Lomax declined sharply after the Lomax Town Co. went bankrupt. However, today the entrepreneurial spirit that led to the economic boom in Lomax in the early 20th century has been reborn in the 21st century.

If you haven't driven through Lomax lately, it would be worth your time to go for a leisurely drive and visit some of the businesses in this community.

Starting at the top of the hill on Highway 96 east of Lomax past Crane Cemetery is Rogers Pumpkin Farm which has been in business for ten years. Jim and Kathy Rogers are open for business in September and October.

At the bottom the hill by the big oak tree is Old Oak Country Dˇcor owned by Sheila Graham. She has been in business for two years and is open by appointment and on Saturdays from 10-4 p.m.

The Lomax Banking Center, a branch office of the Bank of Stronghurst, and the RiverBend Friends Folkart and Crafts are both located at the Junction of Highway 96 and the Carman Road.

The Lomax Banking Center has been in Lomax for 10 years and is open Monday through Saturday.

Riverbend Friends Folkart and Crafts has been in business for 12 years, owned and operated by three local ladies, Marie Ravenscraft, Pam Stimpson, and Deb Plasterer.

They relocated their business a year and a half ago to what was formerly the home of Clara and William Bradford. They are open year round on Wednesdays from 5-8 pm. On Fridays from 10-2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10-3 p.m.

Lomax now has three restaurants. If you turn north on the Carman Road, Herb Smith has built a new building in which he opened a new drive through or eat-in restaurant called Herbie's Ice Cream and Stuff. He is open 7 days a week 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and noted for his generosity, big menu, and good prices.

A year ago Herb built a 16 storage facility near the restaurant called Lomax Storage.

Also located along Carman Road is the Bear's Den. It is owned by Fred and Mary Carlton. The Bear's Den has been in business since 1993 and is open year round, seven days a week. Mary says the tenderloins they serve are very popular.

Located on Highway 96 is the popular bright colored pink building named The Pink for obvious reasons.

The Pink Tavern has been in business since 1965, and open for business year round, seven days a week.

It is owned by Harold and Maude Ravenscraft and is well known for its Wednesday night chicken special and Friday night fish special. Harold has a beautiful collection of wildlife prints hanging on the walls of The Pink.

On the south side of Highway 96, Mohr Vet Clinic has built a new vetenary clinic, relocating from their former location on the family farm. They have been in this location since October 2006. Mohr Vet Clinic has been in business for 41 years.

Across the highway from The Pink is a freshly painted red and white building that will be the new home for John Spiker Auto Sales.

John plans to relocate from his current location on Highway 96 to this renovated building sometime this year. He has been in business for over 30 years.

McDonough Telephone has a branch office south of Hwy 96 on Aviston Street. This branch office has been open for a year and a half, open on Monday and Thursdays.

Towards the middle of town along Highway 96 another building currently under construction will be the new home of Quality Flooring.

This business is owned by Aaron Tate and will be open for business this year.

A few blocks south of Highway 96 is Peters Greenhouse are noted for his large variety of plants. Their 5th annual Open House was this weekend and they will be open until plants are gone.

At the west end of Lomax is the brick home of Beryl and Fern Sparrow in which Beryl has a year round yard sale in his yard. He displays his antiques and wood creations.

The growth in communities such as Lomax is essential to maintaining a positive economic situation in rural America. It not only helps to promote healthy communities and new job opportunities, but it also helps maintain a better way of life for the citizens they serve in the area.

Promoting your local businesses will ensure the future viability of your community.