In a matter of minutes, the small cinder block building came down. What once was a busy, vital business known as The Dari-Ette, had been gone for many years.
Owners of PT Plus, a nearby thriving physical therapy facility, purchased the property and are now expanding. It only makes sense to tear down the small empty building.
The building had been built in 1951 by Alvie Clawson, son of Dick and Effie Clawson, owners of a local dairy. The Clawsons sold only ice cream in the beginning, but in 1952, the Clawson's daughter, Jeannette (Clawson) Carr, purchased Alvie's half of the business and she, along with her mother Effie, ran the business. It wasn't long before they began selling hamburgers and the business boomed.
Jeannette and her mother ran the business together until 1964 when Effie retired.
The Dari-Ette had faithful customers - some who would drive from Wichita and El Dorado. Jeannette gave many high school students jobs and some adults spent years working for her.
The location was a popular eating and meeting place for Augusta's teens during the 50's, 60's and 70's. It wasn't unusual to see the parking lot crowded with cars and kids.
After 30 years of serving hamburgers and ice cream, Carr sold the business in 1983.
Several businesses followed; a drive-in called The Black Cow, a chinese restaurant, a cell phone sales office - nothing stayed very long.
Jeanette Carr died at the age of 92 in 2004.
The Dari-Ette was an important part of the Augusta landscape and the absence of the building reminds us of good times, good friends and the good life that Augusta still offers.
(Pick up a Saturday print edition which includes special memories of the Dari-Ette from our Facebook friends and check out the demo video on our Facebook page)