The Cannery, c1929

1901 Main Street

During the Great Depression (1929-1939), the Federal Government equipped this building with a high pressure cooker and machinery for preservation and canning of excess farm produce. The cannery quickly became a place where women could meet and share a sense of community. The person in charge of the cannery, Mrs. Clara Schweitzer Smith (“Miz Clara”), was a hard-working, outspoken, quick-tempered woman who was very active in civic work. Miz Clara, the daughter of a Daphne blacksmith, had trouped with the Ringling Brothers Circus as a featured bareback equestrian. Said her husband, Captain Fred, “You never saw anything neater or prettier than her and that light-stepping pacer!”  Miz Clara also helped design the Weary Willie costume for Emmett Kelly, the famous clown.