HeardTell: The North Carolina Room, Pack Memorial Library

Where Research is a Delight!

A View of Grace, Then and Now

Last month’s post on “Grace: A Community That Got Absorbed by an Avenue” featured a photograph of the Grace Supply Company.   According to Miller’s City Directory, the location was numbered 637-641 Merrimon Avenue in 1931.  In 1932 the avenue underwent a new numbering system which gave the building its present address of 853-855 Merrimon Avenue. MS285_001B Photo 23

Here is a view of the Grace Supply building as it looks today:

032 lighter

In the same collection (MS285, donated by Aaron Mundy) is this wonderful photograph of the intersection of Merrimon Avenue and Ottari Road, presumably taken in the mid- to late-1930s:

O077-DS copy

Looking south on Merrimon Avenue, from the intersection of Ottari Road and Merrimon. Circa 1935. (From the NC Collection at Pack Memorial Library; Mundy Collection, MS285, photo O077-DS)

The Grace Supply Company building is the brick building near the center of the photo.  On left is a Standard Oil service station.  Standard Oil Company stations later became Esso, then Exxon.  The filling station at 873 Merrimon was listed as a Standard Oil Company station until the 1940s, when it became Ford’s Esso Station (Norman E. Ford).  An Exxon Station stands at that location today, though it recently closed and the building is abandoned.

The 1935 Miller’s City Directory lists the following establishments on Merrimon, south of Ottari:

  • 873 Standard Oil Co. service sta
  • 861 Furniture Shop (The) [in 1940, listed as Raleigh Kilpatrick, cabinet maker]
  • 857 Grace Dry Goods Co.
  • 853-855  Grace Supply (Inc) general merchandise
  • 841 Grace Pharmacy
  • 837 Asheville Ice Co (br)

Some of those signs are visible in this detail from the photo:

Detail of the photo, tone-adjusted and sharpened, shows (l-r) Grace Supply Co., Grace Pharmacy ("Drugs"), and Asheville Ice Company depot. (click photo to enlarge)

Detail of photo O077-DS, tone-adjusted and sharpened, shows (l-r) Grace Supply Co., Grace Pharmacy (“Drugs”), and Asheville Ice Company depot. (click photo to enlarge)

The photographer must have been standing on the hillside that is the church yard of Grace Episcopal Church; in other words, roughly where the yellow marker is located on this map:

Finally, here is the same intersection as it looks in 2016 (click the photo to view a side-by-side comparison with the 1935 view):

Merrimon Avenue at Ottari Road, February, 2016.

Merrimon Avenue at Ottari Road, February, 2016.

The North Carolina Room is grateful to Mr. Mundy for donating these photographs, and giving us a glimpse of the Grace community as it appeared approximately eighty years ago.

Posted by Ione Whitlock, library staff.

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2016 by in Local History, New Donations, Photograph Collection and tagged , , , , .

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