|The Aethelwold Hotel shortly after completion.|
Around 1900 John McMinn built
the Aethelwold Hotel on the corner of Main and Broad streets in the center of
town. The main entrance into the lobby
was near the middle of the Broad St. side of the building. Hotel rooms were located on the second and
Numerous early businesses were located
on the main level through the years. These included
Brevard Banking, Deaver & Loftis Grocers, Galloway, Duckworth & Co.
(Real Estate), Morris Fred (Dry Goods), a barber shop and a pool room.
|T.W. Whitmire behind the Waltermire Hotel lobby desk.|
In November 1919 T.W.
Whitmire purchased the hotel for $22,550 from McMinn’s estate. Whitmire renamed it Waltermire in memory of
his son Walter.
The Waltermire continued to
operate as a hotel into the mid-1900s. Brevard Hardware was located on the main level
from the mid-1940s-1970. In 1956 Mrs.
Alma Cox purchased the building and moved her jewelry store in beside Brevard
Hardware. Brevard Jewelers closed in
Tim Hall purchased the old
hotel from Mrs. Cox and has worked to restore it since, including replacing the
third floor which had been removed.
An article in the
November 3, 1960 Transylvania Times states, “The gigantic job of removing the
third story of the Waltermire hotel here in Brevard is now underway. This work is being done in order to make the
building structurally safe and help in eliminating a potential fire hazard. Recommendations regarding the renovation work were
made by the town manager, the Brevard building inspector, the fire chief and
inspectors of the North Carolina Department of Insurance. When the upper story is removed, the floor of
the third story will become the roof deck.”
|Early wooden frame stores on East Main.|
In the early 1900s Weilt’s
Clothing was located in a two-story wood frame building next door to the
Aethelwood. Other wooden structures down
East Main housed a grocer and a dry goods business. Between 1924 and 1931 these began to be
replaced by brick structures.
|East Main, south side, 1941. Farmer’s Federation, Feed & Seed at the corner
of Main and Gaston was a two-story wood frame structure at this time.
Stores between the Aethelwold
and the alley over the years have included A & P, Austin’s Studio, Cato’s, Fall’s
Landing, McBride’s 5₵ to $1.00 Store, Pender’s, Western Auto and various other
The building that is currently
the home of Jaimes Creole Brasserie was B&B Feed and Seed in the late
1920s, Whitmire Motor Sales in the 1930s, Houston’s Furniture from 1941-1990,
and from 1991 until 2005 Grover’s Office Supply.
Belk’s Department Store
opened in a new store next door to Whitmire Motor on March 14, 1940. It was there until moving to the Forest Gate
Shopping Center in 1993. Today the
Brevard Antique Mall is located in the building.
Trantham’s department store
was on the corner beside Belk. It had
moved to that location in 1939 but the store dated back to T.E. England’s
general store established in 1885. Trantham’s closed in 1976.
The next block also had
wooden stores. Around 1950 Farmer’s
Federation, Feed & Seed and Western Auto opened in a new brick building on
the Gaston St. corner.
|North side of East Main in the early 1950s.|
On the north side of East Main
St. there were not any commercial buildings past the Library and the Courthouse
prior to 1950. Pearlman’s Furniture, Dixie Home Super
Market, Duke Power and Schulman’s shared the brick building constructed about
1950 for many years. Later Dollar
General, Rick’s Furniture and others were in this location. Love’s Jewerly, originally Parson’s Jewelry,
is a separate building and was built around 1958.
A look back at downtown
Brevard will continue on South Broad St. next week.
Photographs and information for this column
are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County
Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday)
to learn more about our history and see additional photographs. For more
information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy
at [email protected] or 828-884-3151 X242.