Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Farmers Bank of Mathews

The tan building on the right above is the Mathews Public Library, but when I was a kid it was the Farmers Bank of Mathews, aka my favorite bank in the whole wide world.

My parents opened an account for me when I was knee high to a heron, back in the days before the abacus ATMs had been invented.

All that was necessary to make a deposit was my little transaction book, which I timidly held up to the teller. She'd fill in the date and the amount of the deposit, and return the booklet. Transaction complete. No receipts, no pulling up the account on a computer--nothing, at least not that I remember.

Aside from the huge, gorgeous vault inside, what I remember most about that bank was all the free stuff. Lollipops--the kind with the stick looped at the bottom; pens (they were silver and white); plastic owl (not piggy) banks (mine was red), calendars--all kinds of treasures.

I was in love with the Farmers Bank of Mathews and was satisfied that this would be my bank forever.

Alas, some time in my teenage years, the bank was bought out. Someone can correct me because I'm sure to be wrong, but I think it went from Farmers Bank to Sovran to Nations Bank to Bank of America, but it seems to me I'm forgetting one other name change along the way. (United something? I can't remember. Update: Thanks to Kate in the Comments I think I've covered all the names now. What I couldn't remember was that it's now Bank of America, and I'd been calling the current bank Nations Bank which has been gone for years. My mind is as sharp as jello.)

Bank of America still gives away candy, and they also have coffee and cookies in the lobby. However, gone are the days when you hand over your little booklet and the teller writes the information in for you.

One service they do provide, however, is a treat for dogs that come through the drive-thru. These would be dogs sitting next to their owners, not driving the car, although around here it's hard to tell sometimes, they'll sit so close together.

The other banking option in Mathews, Chesapeake Bank, reminds me a little of the old Farmers Bank of Mathews in that it is a regional bank with a small-town feel to it. So far, though, I've not been given a plastic owl /piggy bank. But their candy is really good. And that's what's important in a bank.

The candy and the free stuff.

What memories do any Mathews folks have of Farmers Bank?

For the one other person reading, what memories do you have of your first bank?

How many times can Chesapeake Bay Woman use the word "bank" in one sentence post?

23 comments:

Annie said...

Well, in one sentence, not many, but in one blog post 19, if you count the "bank" in "banking" ...or twenty if you count the "Bank" in the labels at the bottom as well!!

Just fyi, since you seemed inclined not to want to count them yourself!

;-)

Ah, I am so funny this afternoon.

I should do a post seeing how many times I can use the word "Clot" in a sentence, or post. As in: I have developed another blood CLOT in my left leg, as distinct from the CLOT I had in the right leg last year. Or should that be Thrombosis? But I won't go on and will spare you all the details. Except that I am a bit cranky about it all. Especially since I can't really walk very well at the moment. ARGH. Seems to me my traveling days are over. Sigh Cry.

Kate said...

Oh boy. I came along after the bank became the library so to me, the library is just that. So in my memory, the bank has always been in the same place. Farmers bank went on to be Sovran, then Nations, now it's Bank of America, right? I'm not sure there was anything inbetween?

When I was a kid, Miss Kay was always at the teller window when we went in, and she always asked us if she would see us at church that sunday. And of course she gave out lollipops too!

As a young teen I remember when it was still Nations bank and they started using debit cards and got the ATM in the front of the building. I was just so excited that I could have a card to use for my banking purposes instead of always having to write checks!

Bayman said...

I just pulled a yardstick, no... ruler, well it is longer than a yardstick, out of my closet. It reads: A "Large" Measure Of Appreciation Farmers Bank Of Mathews Mathews, Va. 1933-1973 Our 40th Year.

CBW, you should see the back. It has all sorts of info. I am bringing this to you. You will be able to blog for weeks.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie - You're going to have to do a recount because I had to make a change to the post this morning, but as I wrote this last night all that seemed to come out was bankbankbankbankbank. Don't tell me your traveling days are over! I won't hear of it. You'll be up and about in no time, and if not, well, I might have to get a passport and make a trip to Australia.

Kate-THANK YOU. I was calling it Nations Bank and it IS Bank of America. I went back and changed it. The ATM was truly a miracle, especially around here.

Bayman-Can't wait to see it. I'm running low on blog material as well as brain cells. Do you have any of those over there that you could loan out?

No rain but still gray skies and a little chillier than it ought to be. Off to work. Again.

Mathews Mark said...

Don't go in banks a lot of bells start going off and the camera all ways. follows me around.Chesapeake Bank had one of the first drive threw stations in Virginia. This was done for watermen. The first one was done over the water, money was past back and forth with a dip net (crab net) right to the boat. No I'm not that smart I heard it on a radio add for the bank. I will ask the 505 club I believe there is a few more names used at the bank, not sure but I think one was farmers and fishermans bank of Mathews. I will ask. MM

Jamie said...

Loyola Federal was my first bank located in Catonsville, MD. My mom worked there, and was involved in a robbery while pregnant with me. Meaning she was a teller present during a bank robbery not that she was robbing the bank. They used to have this huge grandfather clock that had the sun and the moon painted on it.

Mathews Mark said...

Jamie I have never been to Catonsville so it wasn't me. LOL

Kate said...

MM, I thought it was farmers and fishermans too! But I thought maybe my brain is probably like swiss cheese (which is bad for someone who is just shy of 31) and I'm confusing it with the building for hudgins pharmacy....

Jamie said...

MM- the robbery was nearly 35 years ago, you would have been only 4 or 5 at the time right? Couldn't have been you ;)

Mental P Mama said...

I remember my first passbook! And we got those little boxes of chiclets...you know the ones with two squares? I loved the pepsid flavored ones....

Anonymous said...

hudgins pharmacy was the bank at one time!!!

TSannie said...

I also remember having a savings account and all the transactions being conducted by someone writing it in my book. God, we're ancient! (And me much more so, thank you very much!)

Country Girl said...

About as many times as I said butter dish when I proclaimed my love for my new one this week.

Daryl said...

Bank of America is evil .. be careful of those treats ...

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

My first bank was the Juniata Valley Bank, on the square in my hometown, and it's still there today under the same name, believe it or not.

ATMs had just taken off when I went to college - there was one in the union building, owned by the bank in town where my mom helped me set up a checking account. The best thing was, I could withdraw $5, and know that I still had $2.68 left in the account. Fee free!

Then in DC, that's when all the banks started being bought and sold. I think I was with National Bank of Washington maybe? It was on Connecticut ave, just below Dupont Circle. Then it was bought by Crestar (remember them?) and I stopped liking them so much. Service wasn't nearly as good.

Mathews Mark said...

Thanks Jamie but more like 19 and those days kind of run together!

nativedevil said...

I remember going to Farmer's Bank on Friday night while my parents were getting groceries at the A&P. I saw Lisa Owens at the bank that night, and they were giving out yardsticks to celebrate an anniversary. It was 1973!! I know cause I still have that yardstick!
Also, Lester Smith was the bank president. We sang in the choir together for years, and I interviewed him for a paper I wrote in college.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I remember those little books too
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deborah said...

The bank here in town used to be a big old red brick building on the corner. It was reported that it was robbed by Jesse James, and my great-great uncle was reported to have worked there at that time. The vault is still in that building now turned into an apartment bedroom. Then the bank moved across the highway into a building built on the old golf course. I had a savings plan from the day I was born, I think, and had a passbook. I loved it when they added a few cents of interest to your balance each month:) Customer service was great then. Now it is owned by an evil banking company that has no customer service whatsoever. Across the highway meant I could only cross the highway with an adult or if I was walking to school (the highway was guarded by those girls with the flags on poles). Same rule applied to going to the river (Ohio) except there was no girl with a flag on a pole.
We only got yardsticks from the hardware store, which used to be down the street from the old bank.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Just popping by to tell you I blogged again, finally. You can find out how I did on the SPHR exam if you go read it...

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thank you all for commenting, I love reading about your experiences.

Isn't it amazing how much things have changed in our lifetime thanks to technology?

And Mathews Mark - I can assure you the ladies at Chesapeake Bank would be happy to see you with or without the bells and sirens going off, but you do make me laugh. A lot.

Also, Bayman and Native Devil - you are talking about the same year so must be the same yardstick. My parents had a yardstick too but no idea if it came from the bank or not. How often do you suppose a yardstick would have been needed in your average household? Ours pretty much stayed in the kitchen closet.

The week is almost--almost--over. Cannot wait.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Oh and also for the record - I knew (or at least thought with some degree of certainty) that Hudgins Drug was once Farmers and Fishers Bank (since it still has the words on the exterior), but in my day the only bank I knew was the Farmers Bank.

It would be wonderful to hear from someone about the Farmers and Fishermen's Bank. If you know anything about it, send me an email, I'd love to know more about it: ChesapeakeBayWoman@gmail.com

John Lee said...

It was Virginia National Bank for awhile, I think maybe right after it was Farmers Bank.
Did you know that years ago there were two banks, i.e the Farmers and Fishermen's Bank (where Hudgins Pharmacy now is) and the Bank of Mathews. They merged to form the Farmers Bank of Mathews... why didn't they name it the Fishermens Bank of Mathews. Don't you think that would have been more appropriate?