Rice Furniture opened on June 1, 1968 making it the longest running current retail business in downtown Brevard. Edwin Rice began in the business as a delivery man for Pearlman's Furniture in Asheville in the late 1940s. After serving in the Army and working in other businesses he went back to work at Pearlman's Canton store in 1961. In 1962 he took over as manager of their Brevard store.
|Pearlman's Furniture store opened on the corner of|
E. Main and Gaston streets on August 25, 1950.
Pearlman’s had opened their Brevard store in 1950. In 1956 they renovated the former Wheeler Hosiery building on the corner of W. Main St. and Caldwell. They also used the building behind them on Caldwell St. as a warehouse.
When Rice purchased Pearlman’s he continued to use all three floors for displaying and selling living room and bedroom furniture. The Caldwell St. buildings behind the main building carried dining and kitchen furniture, as well as appliances. In addition they carried children’s furniture, televisions and stereos, carpeting and vinyl flooring, and home accessories.
|Prizes displayed in Houston Furniture's window for their Formal Opening |
included a range, a kitchen cabinet, a chifforobe, and more.
Houston Furniture Company was one of the earliest furniture businesses in Brevard. A.M. Houston opened his first furniture store in 1906. His first Brevard store was located on S. Broad St. and opened in 1926, fifteen years later they relocated to E. Main Street. Although fire nearly destroyed the business in 1953 they recovered and continued to grow. After Mr. Houston's death his nephew, Herman Turner who had long been a partner in the business took over. Larry Turner followed in his father's footsteps, operating the store until it closed in 1990.
DeWitt Abercrombie ran a furniture store downtown beginning in 1938. In 1949 he build a large four-story building on N. Broad St. just below the present day Transylvania Times. Apartments were on the top floor and the basement was used for storage, leaving the other two floors for the retail business. In 1969 Ed Mims and Charlie Lyday purchased the store. Mims bought Lyday out in 1971 and operated the store until 1978.
|The mezzanine level of Houston Furniture was added in the early 1960s.|
Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at email@example.com or 828-884-1820.