History

Storage Wars Leads to Windfall of History

One of the pictures found in the storage unit was this picture of (left to right) an unidentified soldier with Clara Olivia Weaver Hunt and her husband, James Richard Hunt.

WeavervilleStorage Wars! Have you ever watched that show on A&E? Can you believe your museum, The Weaverville Dry Ridge Museum, was a part of that fantasy turned reality last week? It all started with a telephone call to the Weaverville Tribune from Gladys McGowan, owner of JMac’s Treasure Chest in Burlington, NC.

Gladys is a one-in-a-million lady who purchases contents of storage units when the fees have not been paid. She purchased contents in Pineville, NC, and among the items found the name “Leon Weaver” and Monticello School. She must be part detective because that led to her call and leave her phone number with the Tribune secretary. Tribune editor Clint Parker, longtime friend of the museum, decided to call board chair Jan Lawrence, catch up with museum news and give her Gladys’ number. That is how it started for the museum. A quick call to Gladys got a box of items on their way from Burlington.

Last Sunday a UPS truck delivered the priority box! Who knew there were Sunday deliveries! How exciting! The contents were amazing. First were the pictures: an 8 x 10 of an elderly lady in a semi-ornate frame, a 3 ¼ x 4 ¼ of another elderly lady and four small prints with Army soldiers and a lady in two photos plus a baby. Notations on the backs of two were the date “July 4, 1943” and one stated: “This was made when Jim was home last weekend. The baby is a nextdoor neighbor.” Three spelling tablets were Leon Weaver’s from the Monticello School that was on Monticello Road with the date 1928 and 5th grade on one.

A quick look at the primary Weaver reference book “The Tribe of Jacob” provided the information needed to begin identification. Leon must have been Clyde Leon Weaver who was the son of Richard Clyde Weaver and Laura May (Mae) Parker Weaver. Michele Wood, who posts on Facebook for the museum, listed the photos with a request for identification help from the public. Very quickly the public identified the smaller photo of one lady as Mae Parker Weaver Garrison Sechrest and identified the couple as Richard Clyde Weaver and his wife Mae Parker Weaver. The larger photo remains a mystery, as do the names of the other soldiers at publication time.

For those genealogists in the audience Richard Clyde Weaver was the son of James Leonidas “Lee” Weaver and Ann Elizabeth Cheek Weaver, the grandson of Jesse Richardson Weaver and Julia Ann Coulter Weaver, the great grandson of Jacob Weaver and Elizabeth Siler Weaver and the great-great grandson of John Weaver and Elizabeth Biffle Weaver who came to the Reems Creek Valley in the early spring of 1787 or late fall of 1786.

That information makes “the rest of the story” pertinent so here it is. Documents included: (1) 12 Apr 1827 Indenture – Zachariah Candler to Christly Weaver 400 acres Flat Creek for $600 (signed by John Weaver -his mark); (2) 27 Apr 1827 Indenture – Robert Hunter to Thomas Revis 50 acres Flat Creek for $50; (3) 17 July 1832 Deed with Plat and Seal No. 3225 William Pickens as granted by Gov. David Swain in “the 59th year of our Independence (1834”); (4) 13 Sept 1869 Bond assigned by W M Davis to J E Weaver 38 acres for $300; (5) 18 Sept 1873 Final Settlement of J L Weaver Exec of J R Weaver dec’d (J L Weaver and R V Blackstock Vouchers listing); (6) 1 Dec 1894 Indenture W G Candler to J L Weaver; (7) 31 Mar 1906 Deed W G Candler to J L Weaver; (8) 31 May 1906 Indenture J L Weaver and wife A E Weaver & R C Weaver to W H Weaver 5 acres Flat Creek for $25; (9) Clyde Weaver Home Tract – notes as surveyed by J L Weaver; (10) Answers to Complaint: Robert Chambers et al against R V Blackstock Exec (Lawyer – W. E. Weaver).

Information about the rental of the storage unit, six postcards and an automobile registration for 2013 were the last items. Investigating the auto registration showed the applicant died in 2018 in Milwaukee, WI, and was not a Weaver kin. The most amazing part of this unexpected gift to the museum is the generosity of Gladys McGowan who chose to try to find the right place for these items instead parking and would use other parking meant for shoppers and diners.

Barker assured the planning board there would be enough on-site parking, given a projected average of 70 percent capacity which means needing 43 of 60 regular parking spaces. Further, four rooms were shaved in plans, from the original total of 73.

By varying ground height a block apart, the 64-space garage would have entrances from the mid-blocks of First (for the ground level) and Second (for level two) avenues. The ground level could be below the hotel, and the second level next to it.

The garage blueprint does not yet show an internal link between the two parking levels. The planning board suggests better pedestrian access from the hotel’s rear plaza to First Avenue. That encourages strolling to downtown and patronizing businesses there. It meets downtown’s “pedestrian-focused” ambience.

Urging a Makeover

The planning board also urged developers to “explore additional material variety on the building’s southern (First Avenue) façade through windows, brick or alternative details — to break up the larger sections of blank facade.”

The final site plan must spell out lighting.

The city is on track to build a $9.2 million parking deck at Fifth Avenue West, at the Dogwood lot between Church and Washington streets. City officials for years have talked of seeing a hotel chain there. Council member Jeff Miller said with emergence of other hotel projects downtown, Dogwood should be developed for other uses.

Impact of a hotel on downtown’s bed and breakfasts sparks debate apt to linger. Mayor Barbara Volk among others foresees lower prices for the Inn compared to B&Bs, and Cedars Lodge.

Instead, Volk sees the Inn rivaling chain hotels just north of I-26 and town and locating visitors right in Hendersonville instead of with highway access to Asheville and beyond.

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