Sunday, June 18, 2006

Cole Chevrolet (1947)

Cole Chevrolet (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

Above is a fun photograph for those who grew up in and around Yanceyville, North Carolina, in the 1940's - 1970's. For a larger image click on the photo.

Clyde Caviness Cole (1903-1969) came to Yanceyville, North Carolina, May 28, 1928, to open a Chevrolet dealership. The grand opening was held June 5 and 6, 1928 in the "old Tom Lea" building. Mr. Cole secured the first Chevrolet franchise ever granted to Caswell County.

In 1947 he constructed a new Chevrolet dealership building on Hooper Street in Yanceyville (now Cole Street). This new structure was 75' by 136' and totalled 12,775 square feet including the mezzanine. Construction was brick and steel, with no posts to hinder work flow. The floor was five inches of concrete, and the roof was 20-year built-up bonded. Ceilings were thirteen feet (eight feet on the mezzanine).

The new building included two large steel roll-up doors and two large plate glass windows in the show room. Heat was oil-fired steam with nine unit heaters individually thermostatically controlled. The boiler, which had 6,080 square feet of radiation, burned sixteen gallons per hour. There was a used car lot to the right and an alley to the left.

The people in the photograph above are: Clyde Cole, Irving Reagan, Wallace Burke, Billy Oakley, Steve Poteat, Billy Aldridge, Jim Aldridge, and Bessie Shaw (in front).

The grand opening of the new building was 6 September 1947.

On August 10, 1930, Clyde Caviness Cole married Elsie Lea Hooper (1910-1994). She was the daughter of William M. (Wid) Hooper (1876-1968) and Erna Wrenn (1883-1966). The 1930 US Census (Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina) shows Clyde Cole as a boarder in the household of William M. and Erna Hooper. There were four other borders. The Hoopers also had two daughters living in the house: Elsie (age 20) and Clara (14). Was this Elsie Hooper the future Elsie Cole? Yes it was.

The following photographs are not as much fun, even though the old building looks in pretty good shape. It shows the old Cole Chevrolet building April 2006.

Do you know more about this building, the old Tom Lea building, the Cole Chevrolet dealership operations, or the people shown in the 1947 photograph? If so, please share either by leaving a comment here or by sending a message to the CCHA. Photographs are always appreciated and will be placed online.

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