Wake Forest 27587 Magazine

FALL 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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Page 8 of 76

8 Autumn 2017 | Wake Forest 27587 Magazine Rewind A look back at notable people and events in history Not so lonesome roads T he year was 1947. Then, old Route 1 in Forestville — today's South Main Street in Wake Forest — was a generally sleepy place. The old-timer then, as now, was the circa 1860 Forestville Baptist Church. Not quite so old was the Lowery Grocery & Service Station, the place to stop for a fill-up of Gulf gasoline and a bottle of Grapette Soda, as the sign read "Thirsty or Not." "We lived right across the street," said Durward Matheny, who remembered the shopkeepers as Charlie and his wife, Hoy, Lowery, during the 1940s. Matheny, a grade-school boy those seven decades ago, said his mother, Cola, was a regular at Lowery's at what he remembers as a "long, narrow little store." "She'd have six cans of this and eight cans of that," he said of his mother's walk back to the Matheny household. "She'd go grab a bunch of lemons and go make lemonade." Back then, Wake Forest, with a population of about 3,000 people, was truly a small town. The "big" news was on the campus of Wake Forest College, where that year a York, Pa., bandsman named Bob Harry, whose credentials with Jimmy Dorsey and Sammy Kaye gave him a start with his own Bob Harry Orchestra, played WFC on its East Coast jaunt along college campuses. By decade's end, a WFC pre-med student was charged and later convicted in the slaying of a college companion over gambling debts, according to particularly high-profile press coverage. Another headline carried this news: "Loose Mad Dog Bites 18 Persons," with people within two miles of Wake Forest's downtown ordered to keep their pets on their premises. Today, the South Main Street byway, particularly further toward today's re-aligned Route 1, is a busy roadway. Lowery's, which also sold cap pistols and fireworks, is now the locale of a Shell gasoline station and assorted stores, including the Main Street Grille. A tad further up the road was a Sinclair gas station that today survives as a florist. The floral shop, known as Distinctive Designs, is run by Jeff Triezenberg, who recalls some of the clues to its past. "When we were re-siding the south façade," he said, "we did uncover the original siding. We left it on underneath. It had been whitewashed, but you could see elements of a Coca Cola sign bleeding through." "I've never seen a photo from this period," he said, "so I had no idea what it originally looked like. It's very cool to see the (now gone) front portico." Nowadays, with Forestville annexed to Wake Forest in 1988, the population stands at 40,112 — and that's just those within the town's municipal taxing authority. Today, Matheny-- a forensic document expert; longtime board member of the Wake Forest College Birthplace Society; and author, with Jennifer Smart, of "Legendary Locals of Wake Forest" — fondly recalls a time when "everybody knew everybody." Take the day before his wedding — Dec. 26, 1958, when his mother-in-law, Ruby East, called "Miss Lowery" lamenting that she just didn't have time to go grocery shopping with all that was happening. Nevertheless, the groceries arrived. "I think it reflects on what a small town we were," he said. STATE ARCHIVES OF NORTH CAROLINA Then and Now — Old Route 1, now Wake Forest's South Main Street, meandered along a route popular with travelers and featured a stop for Gulf gasoline at Lowery's Grocery and Service Station in 1947 — 70 years ago. In a current photo on the opposite page, the Gulf station has been replaced with a Shell station, but neighboring Forestville Baptist Church is still there.

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