Wake Forest 27587 Magazine

Summer 2017

The quarterly 27587 MAGAZINE is a must-read, in-you-hands publication that strives to give a deeper identity to rapidly growing Wake Forest, N.C. It highlights in-depth stories, targeting higher-income households.

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14 Summer 2017 | Wake Forest 27587 Magazine How About That! Quick, sometimes quirky reads 'Ghost signs' in our midst Y ou have to squint to make it out, the faded advertising paintwork concealed for nearly a century, but there it is: "DRINK … Chero-Cola … THERE'S NONE SO GOOD." It has been quite some time since the soda maker touted to a presumably adoring public that its product "sharpens the wit (and) energizes your body and brain." Yet it did precisely that to Ron Cox, who has had a hand in a few downtown renovations in Franklin County's county seat, Louisburg, and is now remaking one into a taproom called Tar Banks Brewing. "They call these 'ghost signs,'" Cox said of the find. It is the best of three revealed in the makeover (even though it was once painted over) and one Cox intends to share with his soon-to-be customers. "We're definitely keeping it," he said. "I worked too hard to get it exposed." As for the origins of Chero-Cola, it was introduced in the early 1900s, soon drawing the wrath of Coca-Cola, which claimed the brand's use of "cola" was a trademark infringement. In the early 1920s, the soda giant got a judge to agree, leading to the demise of Chero-Cola and the birth of Nehi (pronounced "knee-high), which would become part of the Royal Crown brand. These hand-painted, street-corner messages in the days before radio and television also have a following today, evidenced in literature with such books as "The Writing on The Wall: Rediscovering New York City's 'Ghost Signs'" and "The Painted Ad: A Postcard Book of Vintage Brick Wall Signs." The discoveries apparently are becoming more frequent. In downtown Wake Forest, the conversion of a longtime barber shop into "Unwined on White," billed as an upscale wine lounge and yoga studio, uncovered a painted ad for Coke, one that, unlike Cox's, will be concealed anew because of the presence of lead paint, said Amy Burkhardt, who with her husband, Brian, have undertaken the conversion. "We were hopeful to expose brick when we took down the wall and were surprised to find the sign," she said. There's evidence of its retail history as well, namely the writing of "Hollowell's Grocery," she said. The grocery dated to the early 1930s, once situated between Glover's Electric Shop and Ben's of Wake Forest on S. White Street, according to the "Old Gold and Black" student newspaper of Wake Forest College. Come 1948, Hollowell's moved to a new location on Wake Forest's Roosevelt Avenue, an event covered by the newspaper. "On the opening day, more than 1,000 people passed through the store," the newspaper reported. "They were served punch and ice cream in the flower-bedecked store, and those who came later were Hollowell's guests at a Brunswick stew supper." Back in Louisburg, the "ghost signs" at Tar Banks Brewing also include ones Cox believes to read "Snowdrift, The Perfect Shortening," though little remains of those. The preservation-minded Cox, meanwhile, has created an arch inside the brewery using reclaimed brick. "It's brick from the 1905 building," he said, "to make it look original. So I say, 'Mission Accomplished' on that." PHILIP M. READ The advertising message of generations ago is revealed inside Tar Banks Brewing in downtown Louisburg, though the original "Chero-Cola" sign was once painted over itself. Below is an intact vintage sign for the same product. An advertisement for Hollowell's Grocery in Wake Forest in a 1946 issue of "Old Gold and Black," student newspaper of Wake Forest College in era before its move to Winston-Salem.

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