BRIEF HISTORY OF THE KIMMEL BAKERY, HISTORIC DOWNTOWN ABERDEEN
Given the locations on an insurance map in 1860, what is now the Kimmel building was once two buildings, separated by a big, thick wall. The building to the right was a saloon, and the one to the left was a billiard hall. Each were only one story tall. The Kimmel Brothers bought both buildings in 1892, ripped off the roofs, and built brick structure to make it a two- story building. They were in the Bakery business since 1876. They opened for business in their downtown location, after renovations and repairs, in 1894. The Kimmels were the first bakery in the region to advertise sliced bread. Also, during WWII, they were alotted special privileges and extra rations of sugar by the government, in order to make their world-famous Kimmel candy to the troops. All the while, the Kimmel candy made in the downtown Aberdeen, for its citizens, was made from sacrin. (The Candy Machine [as well as the marble on which the candy was placed] has been found and saved, and it will be relocated to the new Aberdeen Museum).
They rented the upstairs of their building to Mr. McKnight, of McKnight photography. He had a studio there with a natural skylight; he was in business for 34 years.
The Kimmels remained in business until they passed away, at which point a daughter in the family married a gentleman named Buster Brown. Brown kept the Bakery open under the Kimmel name until the late 1950’s.
Oscar Nelson, of Nelson’s Bakery, took over the business but kept his name. It was in business in the late 1970’s. For a short time, there was a small business, a sandwich shop of sorts, a restaurant that didn’t survive for very long.
Then in 1981, a group of young lawyers bought the building: Mike Mills (now a judge), Jeffrey Navarro, and a Deborah Davis (also, now a Social Security judge).
Following that acquisition and many years of divided ownership, Mr. Navarro became the sole owner of the building. He stopped practicing law in Aberdeen shortly after 2002 and retired from the building itself in 2005.
Save Aberdeen Landmarks Group, Inc. acquired the building, in great disrepair, from Mr. Navarro in March of 2007. S.A.L. is the current owner of the building. After a full year of renovation and reconstruction, the historic building in downtown Aberdeen, Mississippi now supports both a full service hair salon/massage parlor as well as three loft-style rental apartments.
The preservation and development of the building and its architectural assets is a testament to the dedication of Save Aberdeen Landmarks Group, Inc. and the hundreds of supports and donors we have in our community.
View the following links to see how we found the bakery and watch the progress as we return her to her original beauty.