Photo of The Month – Sep 2003
Myles Haynes, Jr.
This photo was taken by W. E. “Will” McArthur (1859-1956), of Rutherfordton, whose photographic skills preserved for posterity many of the events and locales in Rutherford county. This copy was acquired by Mr. Haynes from W. H. “Bill” McArthur, of Forest City, who possesses much of the photographer’s collection.
An interesting feature in the picture is the public well located in front of the future Memorial Building site. Note the crowds lining N. Main Street on up towards the Haynes house. Probably the parade had just ended. Look carefully and you can see horse-drawn floats, soldiers in uniform, and at least six people dressed as Indians. (Can you find them?) Was it July 4th—or Labor Day? In any event, it was a very big day for the proud people of Cliffside.
Update — From Jim Haynes:
A while back I was looking through the 1910 Cliffside census and spotted the Reuben McBrayer family on N. Main Street. I have been friends with this man’s son and grandsons for many years. I remembered R. B. (the son) telling me that he was born in Cliffside and that his dad managed a store there.
I made copies of this part of the census and mailed it to both grandsons. A while later one of them, Blanton, wrote to thank me for the copies and enclosed a copy of the picture of the month on your web site. He wrote, ‘Just a word about the [photo on the web site]. I have the original photo. The copy on the web came from the picture I have here. Bill McArthur usually comes by our store once or twice a week and throughout the years he has been a camera and photo buff. I let him take our copy of the picture and he made us several copies.’
Here is the good part:’The [original] picture came from a house up the street from our home [in Forest City]. My granddaughter Keely bought this house several months ago. Her father, my oldest son Macky, is a house builder, and is in the process of remodeling the home, Macky found the picture, brought it down to our house and asked if I knew what it was. I told him I did not know, but it looked a whole lot like Cliffside in the early days that I remembered. I brought the picture up to the store to asked other old timers, and most of them said it was Cliffside, but did not know what event was taken place. When I get a chance, I am going to ask the lady who lived in the house before Keely bought it if she or someone in her family knows anything about the picture. If they do, and let me know, I will write and let you know.’
This just goes to shows that you do not know what you miss if you don’t ask the question. I just thought you would like to know, as Paul Harvey says, the rest of the story.
Reuben Mc Brayer left Cliffside and went to Forest City and opened a furniture store some time after 1910. When I met his grandson, Blanton, Reuben was still coming to the store every day, but his son R.B. and wife were running the store. Blanton, their oldest son, worked on Saturdays. Now Blanton and Eddie, his brother, still go to the store every day, but their kids are running things. This is a fourth generation family business still in the same building where Reuben started about 85 or 90 years ago (on Main Street in Forest City next to Ron & Eddy’s Cafe). Their customers are still the sons and grandsons of their original customers.
For more information about this photo and Blanton McBrayer see this Reader Comment.