Photo of The Month – Jun 2007
Store Building-Phase I
Picture contributor: Ron Arrowood
Who would have guessed our beloved store building was originally only half the width it later became? This surprising photo from 1909 shows the Cliffside Mills Store probably just at the point of opening for business. Note the three windows on the front of the second floor. Compare it to a later photo of the store made around 1913 or so, on which you’ll see more than three. Obviously, in the year or two after 1909, the building was enlarged to almost twice its width (with six upstairs windows). Which raises the question: Was the store so successful that an immediate expansion was necessary, or did the original plan for the building include two construction phases?
In this closeup of the store window, there is a man or woman seemingly arranging merchandise (or is it a mannequin?). Wooden display frames seen inside the store are not yet in use; more are outside the building, leaning against the window. Haphazardly placed in the corner is a advertising poster of a well-dressed man, no doubt wearing a brand of suit sold by the store. Note the little boy peering in the window. What pleasures could he be anticipating? And what is the tent used for?
But we shouldn’t be surprised at “news” of this expansion. Evidence of it was visible all along. Look carefully at any later photo of the building’s front. You can see a distinct division in the center, precisely where phase one ended and phase two began. The color and shade of the bricks differ from one side to the other.
James Walker made the color photo not long before the building was demolished. The “new” brick starts at the right edge of the third window from the left. If we could only ask R.R. Haynes, or G.K. Moore, the builder, about the plans.
Where did the old photo come from? Ron Arrowood, who lives at Sunshine, in upper Rutherford County, tells us it’s origin exactly:
My mother-in-law, Agnes Green, who passed away about a year ago, had a lot of old post cards, some that were sent to her grandfather Sanders Green from 1890 to about 1912, and to her father Charles Abner Green, who this one was sent to. She was going to throw them out but my wife saved them. The cards were sent from relatives who lived near Cliffside, Charlie F. and Charlotte Naomi Green Beam. Charlotte was Sanders Green’s daughter and Charles Green’s sister. Sanders Green was old Revolutionary Tory William Green’s grandson.