The building has been a lot of things during the century it’s been around. People ask us all the time what, exactly, those things were, and we’ve pieced together as much of the history as possible based on documents and personal accounts the members of the community have shared with us.
The building, as you can tell partly by its architectural styling, was built as a hardware store. The long balcony walk was used for merchandise, and the large open wall facing it would have been used for hanging belts and other hardware supplies. The floors still have impressions running along the large wall where the wheels of a latter would roll back and forth as needed to get things from the higher places. The large, open room upstairs used to be a stock room for the hardware store; now it’s the home of Owen Graffix, Inc., a creative group that specializes in brand identity and logo design for businesses.
Lots of personal accounts have told us that the building also once functioned as a tractor repair shop, the evidence for which we found when cleaning out the basement. Apparently, during this time the land that the library is on now was used to sell tractors.
After that, the building became a furniture store. One of the founders of The Korner Deli’s parents recalled traveling to it—all the way from Statesville—to get their first bedroom set. Her mother and mother-in-law both remembered visiting the dentist office, which at one point was directly above what is now “the shop” (where the sandwich creation takes place). When the building was purchased, there was still a hole in the ceiling from where the dentist’s x-ray/other machines were mounted. We’ve since remodeled that entire space—floors, walls, and ceiling—and it is now the home of both Brooke Moxley Photography and Elizabeth Sweet Photography.
Back to the main building itself: after it was a furniture store, it was a sewing shop ran by Mrs. B. Powers, until it became The Dented Grocery, which is what most of the current population around here seems to remember it as. It was a few other things here and there, including a bakery/craft shop, until the Gaithers purchased it and completely remodeled it into Drake’s, which was a bakery/coffee shop that opened its doors in 2010. After 2 years of service to the community, Drake’s closed its doors due to other opportunities that came up for the owners.
We made sure to preserve as much of the rich history of the building as we could during the remodel; the floors are the original pine wood, just sanded down and refinished, and the ceilings are the original tin. We only patched and repaired and painted as necessary. Same goes for the walls, which are mostly beadboard—which was a common material used during the building’s estimated architectural period.
These words don’t really do the building justice, though; so stop in and see it for yourself!
After Drake’s closed its doors, the owner of The Korner Kitchen thought of opening a second location. After some consideration, and with the investment and partnership of some local entrepreneurs, The Korner Deli was born as a new specialty sandwich shop to cater to the local community, and also to offer an avenue for local artists and musicians to showcase their talents.