My Early Memories Of Weaverville – Part 4

Editor’s note: This is the fourth part in a series of articles.

By Morris Adler Robinson (part 4) from original article in Dry Ridge Museum archives, abridged by Jan Lawrence

Back to west side of Main Street. Nothing but Dr. Vandiver’s cornfield from south side of Church Street intersection to about present Georgia Avenue intersection. There Wesley Calloway ran a shoe shop. Later David Parker ran it. About where the present Erskine House stands (known as “Secret Garden until 2017) and old Mr. Anderson ran tin shop.

About in front of the white house where Dr. Chandler has his office (Weaverville Eye Associates in 2019) stood the Vandiver store building. When I first remembered it was run by Dr. Vandiver’s sons, Henry “Harry” and Ed. It was a general mercantile store and up a little alley behind that store building Dr. Vandiver ran a seed store in a tiny building.

The main Vandiver store building is still in existence as a store building. After the Vandivers were gone, it was moved across the street. Eb Leonard and Mr. Johnson operated a feed and seed store in that building (in recent years it was Preservation Hall and currently houses Blue Mountain Pizza, Keller Williams Realty and Shop Around the Corner-2019).

When Dr. John “Jehu” Vandiver retired as a Methodist preacher and came back to Weaverville in the early 1870s, he built his house on west side of Main Street on property given to his wife, Martha, by her father (Rev. Michael Montraville Weaver). The house is still standing on the north side of Shope’s Furniture Store (now owned by Alan Shepherd).

After the Vandivers, it became the home of Mrs. W.C. Sprinkle (in 2019 it houses law offices). Rev. Vandiver took an active part in all community affairs and was noted for his sense of humor. He served two terms as postmaster and during his term the post office was located in the Nichols’ Hotel which stood on the west side of Main Street between Weaverville Drugstore and Roberts Cleaners (in 2019 Well Bred Bakery and Root & Root Law Office) or just south of present Florida Avenue intersection.

The hotel was built by Charlie Nichols from Madison County who married Betty Reagan, daughter of Dr. J.A. Reagan. When I first remember the hotel (I think I was just seven or eight) Mr. Kinsey Rhea, from the Beech Community was running the hotel. He died soon after and there were several different people who ran it. At one time Eliza Weaver Myers Reagan and her second husband, Dan Reagan, ran it and called it the Reagan House.

Visitors to Weaverville stayed in the hotel as well as students at the college and at the academy of the college during the school term.Nothing more was on the west side of Main Street before the road that ran west from Main Street toward the north end of the college grounds. That road is now called Central Avenue.

Except for Montraville Weaver’s old barn which stood about where the parking lot for the laundromat is, there were no buildings on the north side of that road. The only building or house on the south side of the road in my first memory was the double-cabin that stood about where Stanley West’s house now stands.

That cabin was the first home of Rev. Montraville and Jane Eliza Baird Weaver when they moved in the early 1850s from their house and farm less than two miles away near Reems Creek. The move for them was such a short distance by today’s standard, but evidently Rev. Weaver wanted to be very near to the church and school for his younger children. The oldest three daughters were already married to Methodist preachers.

In my first memory the cabin was just a very dilapidated looking log house but occupied by Bill Bowen, his daughter, Louanna, and her stepmother, Jane. Louanna Bowen later became the second wife of potter George Donkel.

When I first remember Capt. Elbert Weaver, son of Montraville, [he] was living on a farm on Flat Creek but soon moved back to town and built a house a few feet west of the double cabin.

Back to [the] west side of Main Street. Another old stable owned by Montraville Weaver stood where thc telephone office building is now, The next building on the west side was the home of Dr. William A, Nelson, his wife Mattie Creasman and their family. I don’t know why we called him ‘Dr.’ I’m quite sure he was not a medical doctor. Their house was where the Weaverville Primary School stands now, except it was a hill when the Nelsons lived there. It was graded off before the school was built.

The Nelson house was on top of the hill with a pale fence around it. They built a fish pond at the foot of the hill (to the west) near where Wilson’s, garage is now ([in]1890.). There was a path toward the Methodist parsonage on present Brown Street Their son Charlie Nelson was near my age – probably a bit younger than I – but he and I were good friends; however, he died as a young man. My father said Mattie Creasman, Nelson’s mother, had been one of the wives of Col. Albert Anderson of Big Ivy.

The next house on Main was that of Dr. Charles P. West who had moved to Weaverville from his farm on south Turkey Creek in Leicester Township with his wife, Effie Reynolds and their older sons. He built his house at the east end of what became Brown Street and studied dentistry after he moved to Weaverville. He was born in Ellijay, Georgia, but his father, who was born in the Leicester Township, moved back when Dr. West was a boy. South from Dr. West’s house, as I first remember, there was nothing but fields to the Rims [sic] Creek Church Cemetery Old Weaverville Cemetery) where the first Methodist church stood and pine woods between the cemetery and factory hill where the Cairns Woolen Mill was located and later a grist mill run by their son-in-law Mr. Jimmy Wright. The Cairns family lived near the mill.

Not much of a road from the town of Weaverville to the old church cemetery but a sort of road from the cemetery, to the college ground existed. Town limits ended about where present East Street and Grove Street are.

Editor’s note: A map is being constructed of locations in Weaverville at various times snd will be available in early summer. There are grammatical errors in this article but we tried, as much as possible, to leave it the way it was written by the author.

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Clint Parker

Publisher & Editor Weaverville Tribune

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