For many years Patterson’s
and Plummer’s Department Stores were fixtures on West Main Street in downtown
|Plummer’s Department Store
on West Main, 1941
Henry Plummer and Fred
Johnson opened Johnson and Plummer dry goods store in Brevard in 1911. In 1914 Plummer bought Johnson out and
continued to operate the store as Plummer’s.
In 1918 B.W. Trantham went into business with Plummer. The store grew quickly and in May 1919
Plummer and Trantham Department Store moved to a larger building. In 1922 the store again changed ownership and
became Plummer-Cobble. By the late 1920s
it was just Plummer’s.
Robert Plummer took over the
family business from his father under the name of R.H. Plummer Company in 1932. In 1957 they began selling clothes and shoes
exclusively. Robert Plummer died is
February 1969 and the store closed in 1970.
The building on the north
side of West Main St. where Plummer’s was located for most of its existence was
built in 1912 by Shipman, McMinn, and Weilt on the site of the old McMinn
house. The 3-story brick building had
offices on the upper floors.
The building also has a large
auditorium, officially named “The New Auditorium”, on the 2nd floor
at the back. It had a 40’ x 20’ stage,
with space for an orchestra. There were
two dressing rooms and a property room.
Entertainment, consisting of “first class shows” or “first class moving
pictures”, was offered every night throughout the summer. A “first class moving picture machine” was
installed in the gallery for the movies.
The first performance in The
New Auditorium was “An Evening in Dixie” presented by the United Daughters of
the Confederacy as a fundraiser for the new U.D.C. Library. The auditorium was also available to rent for
meetings and performances when available.
|Today the exterior of
the old Patterson building
has been restore to the way it looked prior to 1970
when this photograph was taken.
Alex and Bessie Patterson
opened Patterson’s Department Store across the street from Plummer’s in
1940. After Alex’s death in 1952, the
Patterson’s son Ben managed the store and specialized in clothing. At its peak in the mid-1970s Patterson’s
occupied about 7,500 square feet and had entrances on both West Main (Ladies’
Apparel) and South Broad (Men’s Shop). Patterson’s operated until 1989.
Alex Patteron’s uncle, Harry
Patterson, operated a department store in Hendersonville for many years. In 1922 he opened a second store in Brevard
on South Broad St. It closed in 1929.
Next week’s Picturing the Past article will feature the Clemson and Co-Ed Theaters.
|Men’s Department inside Patterson’s.|
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