Q: What businesses were at Porter Square when it opened in the 1970s?
Answer: According to the 1974 Polk’s Dothan city directory, J.C. Penney was at the east end and Roses was at the west end of the mall on West Main Street less than a mile from downtown.
Both stores had entrances from the mall interior and the parking lot. The A&P grocery store next to Roses had only an outside entrance.
The 1974 directory listed those businesses and more than a dozen others. Several locations at the mall were listed as under construction.
A tabbed insert in the 1975 directory lists those three businesses and more than two dozen others, among them Avco Financial Services, Barry’s Shoes, Behr’s, Beth’s Hallmark House, Bookland of Dothan, Burnham’s Shoes, Carl Leverette Studio and Camera, Connie’s Intimate Apparel, Curious Cargo of Dothan, Dot’s Chuckwagon, Dothan Bank & Trust Co., Eleanor Shop, Foxmire Jewelers, Green’s, Helen’s Mark Twain Shoppe, Jake’s, Jason’s, Maternity Boutique, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Morse Shoes, Music Scene, Todd and Son, Toyland, Walgreen’s Drug Store, Whitehead’s Male World, and Wig Tree.
The shopping mall’s hours were listed as 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Porter Square was Dothan’s second mall. Northside Mall opened at U.S. 231 North and Ross Clark Circle about 1970. Wiregrass Commons Mall opened in August 1986.