VINTAGEGASTONIA.COM

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TRENTON CREATIVE ENTERPRISES


(TIMOTHY CRAIG ELLIS DBA TRENTON CREATIVE ENTERPRISES)

Where Old Gastonia Lives


On Gastonia, On Gastonia. We Are All For You!

Lest we forget.


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"GREASY CORNER"

T&T Supermarket (Tatham and Treadway)  was  an anchor of the Firestone Square (Greasy Corner) business district from the 1940s until the 1970s. Located on the southwest corner of West Franklin Avenue and South Vance Street in a building previously occupied by the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P--until it relocated to the present site of the Sav-A-Lot Supermarket), T&T was the last (along with A.D. Blanton and Sons) of the several grocery stores that operated in the populous and busy old West Gastonia from the time of the Loray Mill's construction in 1900-1901. (The circa-November 1952Gastonia Gazette  article appears courtesy of Gail Treadway Elmore, T&T proprietor G.M. "Spoon" Treadway's daughter.)

Franklin Drug Store was established a short distance west of Loray Square/Firestone Square/"Greasy Corner" in West Gastonia at 1343 West Franklin Avenue next door to a McCoy Gas Station around 1920. In 1941 it was purchased by Mr. Henry C. Bell, a local pharmacist who had received on-the-job experience following graduation from the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy.  He moved the business across the street to 1402 (currently the location of an automotive paint business) in the mid-1950s where it remained until it closed in the 1970s. 

When on-street parking was eliminated on Franklin Avenue in the late 1960s (when it became "Franklin Boulevard"), much of the human scale and walkability of Gastonia's central traffic artery was replaced by what amounted to a six-lane freeway. If life is ever to return to the abandoned storefronts and under-utilized structures all along Franklin, on-street parking must be re-established. This is now possible due to the existence of three crosstown highways (Long, Garrison, and Hudson) that did not exist or did not exist as high-volume arteries when Franklin parking was eliminated.  The City of Gastonia Planning Department has developed an interesting 
draft plan for the Loray Village area that includes reclaiming Franklin Boulevard as a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare.
 
(The picture of the Franklin Drug Store is from a c.1948 Gastonia Gazette article and was furnished by Mr. Bell's son-in-law Gary Dellinger. The link to the draft plan for the Loray Village area was used with permission.)
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