Metter Fitness will be moving soon to the old Badcock building beside Little Chick Restaurant. While renovations were underway last week on Feb. 2, there was a unique historic discovery that Metter Fitness owner Blake Whitfield shared on Facebook: A cement signature by W.E. Cartee under the end cap of the roof. What was especially interesting was that Cartee’s signature was dated Feb. 2, 1946, exactly 75 years to the date it was uncovered.
“I definitely thought it was a weird coincidence, and it just goes to show how there is still history standing in even the smallest parts of our town. I could have built a new building, but being a part of a downtown restoration project is good for our downtown merchants,” said Whitfield.
“Our plans for the renovated space are to move the Metter Fitness facility over into the building sometime this year. It will bring a bigger and better version of Metter Fitness to our community,” Whitfield explained.
Whitfield has lived in Stillmore for most of his life. His grandparents have owned and operated Little Chick Restaurant for 49 years.
“I started going to Metter and Little Chick with my granddaddy when I was six weeks old. Since my renovation project is next door to Little Chick, I would say that I am very familiar with the area and the building,” he said.
Though the current location on North Broad St. does the job for now, Whitfield said he always planned to move to a larger location.
“I realized shortly after buying the business that in order to reach the goals that I had set forth for Metter Fitness, I would need a much larger facility in order to make that happen. My first visit to the former Badcock building was pretty quick… I walked in and immediately walked out.
“It was difficult to see my vision with the condition of the building. After a few months of meeting with contractors and assessing the building’s potential, the idea started to grow on me. The location was perfect for me, and I knew it would be an excellent choice for my new endeavor,” he said.
Hoping to complete the renovations and the move sometime this year, Whitfield said, “We can't wait to complete the project. It is going to be a lot of hard work, but well worth it to bring a great facility to Candler County.”
Read James Jones’ column for more insight into W.E. Cartee.