News stands
are another piece of a by-gone era. 
Throughout the early and mid-1900s most business districts had at least
one news stand.  These small shops sold newspapers, magazines, comic books, paperback books,
cigarettes, tobacco, cigars, school supplies, greeting cards, candy, and

One of the earliest and longest operating news stands in Brevard was
Ward’s.  Thomas Ward had a barber shop on
W. Main St. where West Main Barber Shop is located today.  A late 1920s photograph shows a news rack
hanging on the outside of the shop.  Ward’s
wife, Bessie is listed on the 1930 census as a teacher, in 1940 she is listed
as a news stand sales lady.  Thomas Ward
had died in January 1936.

The one-story store front on the far right was the home of Ward’s Barber shop.

The front window is flanked by a news rack on the left

and a barber pole on the right.

The earliest advertisement found for Ward’s News Stand was in Brevard
College’s student paper, The Clarion,
in January 1936.  The first telephone
directory listing for Ward’s News Stand was in 1955.  By that time they had moved to 5 West Main Street.  Ward’s was in business until 1974. 

The Ward’s had two daughters, Juanita and Virginia, neither of whom
married.  Both worked in the news stand
with their mother and both died before their mother.  Bessie Ward lived to the age of 102.  She passed away in 1987.

Jones’ News Stand window and outside rack display

many of the the items they sold.

longtime news stand was owned and operated Roy and Ruth Jones.  Jones opened his first news stand on E. Main
beside the Aethelwold Hotel in 1946. 
After five years he moved to 6 S. Broad St., just around the corner from
Ward’s, where the business remained until 1966. 
In 1967 Jones News Stand moved to 30 W. Main.  When Roy Jones died in 1969 Ruth continues to
run the news stand.

In 1972 Ruth
Jones and her brother-in-law, Jack Gravely, purchased Mack Allison’s Hardware
Store and joined in business.  They
relocated for the last time to 16 W. Main, across the street from Ward’s.  In addition to hardware and news stand items
they carried sporting goods.  Jones’ son,
Jim, managed the sporting good department.

In an April 5, 1973 Transylvania Times article, Cal Carpenter described
the business as
“sort of
local ‘teen center’ and an unofficial information bureau for many
Transylvanians and out-of-town-visitors.” 
As Ruth Jones explained they regularly received inquiries for local information,
hometown newspapers, sports scores, and even local television scheduling.

downtown Brevard news stands included Tinsley’s, Mull’s, and “Peavine” Price’s
in the 1940s, Clark’s in the early 1950s, Grogan’s from 1953-1973, and Messer’s
from 1974-1993.

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 828-884-1820.

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212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712