Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

It could have been a tragic event

In the late 1800s, when Pulaski was located on the south side of the railroad tracks, and when the section was known as Martin’s Tank, Leander S. Calfee put up an elegant three-story brick building at the southwest corner of Valley and Commerce Streets.
With its clay gutter, deep-set oval-topped windows, and fancy cornices, the Calfee Building was the business showplace of the area, and it was looked upon by the public as more of a skyscraper than an ordinary office building. It was the finest of the fine in the community when railroading, mining and farming spurred the growth of the entire area. That became Pulaski Town, then Pulaski City, then back to Pulaski Town before they got through naming it.
The largest of the many occupants of the building was the Pulaski Loan and Trust Company. Because of this, the building was for many years known as the Loan and Trust Building. Of course, there were other occupants. There was a five- and 10-cent store, the Post Office, a clothing store, several doctors’ and lawyers’ offices, and others. After the county courthouse in Newbern burned and the county seat moved to Pulaski, many of the lawyers who had offices in Newbern moved hastily to the booming town of Pulaski. One of the part owners of the building was George L. Carter, perhaps the wealthiest man in this part of the state, having made millions with his different enterprises, which included railroad building and mining.
After the biggest of the boom was over in the late 1890s and early 1900s, a new downtown was opening on the north side of the railroad tracks, and business people were falling over each other buying lots in the new area from the Pulaski Land and Improvement Company, a Philadelphia firm that came in and purchased land from the Robert Martin family. Business was just moving along too well for this company to wait to lay out the entire town into streets, alleys and lots. They quickly surveyed a few blocks in what later became downtown Pulaski, and called the map “Corrected Plan A,” put it on record in the new stone Pulaski County Courthouse, and started selling lots.. This company later had the entire town laid out into blocks and lots, and people didn’t wait long to pick out their lots.
On the third floor of the Loan and Trust Building was a small theater, perhaps the first in Pulaski County, and Dr. James L. Kent later wrote of how actors and actresses came in on the trains and put on real live vaudeville type stage shows for whatever number of citizens could be packed in the little theater. One night one of the actors got the curtain too close to a gas light that was used for stage lighting, and there was a quick fire that swept over the curtain. Kent said he and others who were lining the walls of the room pulled the curtain down, put out the fire, and started the excited patron down the stairs in an orderly manner. He said that if it had not been for some quick thinking on the part of several of the men, that the building could have been destroyed that night. Perhaps in the future, theater-goers enjoyed stage shows in the Opera House on First Street N.W., or the Starlight Theater down Main Street a couple of blocks.
Lloyd Mathews is a a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in the Town of Pulaski.

Comments

comments

It could have been a tragic event

In the late 1800s, when Pulaski was located on the south side of the railroad tracks, and when the section was known as Martin’s Tank, Leander S. Calfee put up an elegant three-story brick building at the southwest corner of Valley and Commerce Streets.
With its clay gutter, deep-set oval-topped windows, and fancy cornices, the Calfee Building was the business showplace of the area, and it was looked upon by the public as more of a skyscraper than an ordinary office building. It was the finest of the fine in the community when railroading, mining and farming spurred the growth of the entire area. That became Pulaski Town, then Pulaski City, then back to Pulaski Town before they got through naming it.
The largest of the many occupants of the building was the Pulaski Loan and Trust Company. Because of this, the building was for many years known as the Loan and Trust Building. Of course, there were other occupants. There was a five- and 10-cent store, the Post Office, a clothing store, several doctors’ and lawyers’ offices, and others. After the county courthouse in Newbern burned and the county seat moved to Pulaski, many of the lawyers who had offices in Newbern moved hastily to the booming town of Pulaski. One of the part owners of the building was George L. Carter, perhaps the wealthiest man in this part of the state, having made millions with his different enterprises, which included railroad building and mining.
After the biggest of the boom was over in the late 1890s and early 1900s, a new downtown was opening on the north side of the railroad tracks, and business people were falling over each other buying lots in the new area from the Pulaski Land and Improvement Company, a Philadelphia firm that came in and purchased land from the Robert Martin family. Business was just moving along too well for this company to wait to lay out the entire town into streets, alleys and lots. They quickly surveyed a few blocks in what later became downtown Pulaski, and called the map “Corrected Plan A,” put it on record in the new stone Pulaski County Courthouse, and started selling lots.. This company later had the entire town laid out into blocks and lots, and people didn’t wait long to pick out their lots.
On the third floor of the Loan and Trust Building was a small theater, perhaps the first in Pulaski County, and Dr. James L. Kent later wrote of how actors and actresses came in on the trains and put on real live vaudeville type stage shows for whatever number of citizens could be packed in the little theater. One night one of the actors got the curtain too close to a gas light that was used for stage lighting, and there was a quick fire that swept over the curtain. Kent said he and others who were lining the walls of the room pulled the curtain down, put out the fire, and started the excited patron down the stairs in an orderly manner. He said that if it had not been for some quick thinking on the part of several of the men, that the building could have been destroyed that night. Perhaps in the future, theater-goers enjoyed stage shows in the Opera House on First Street N.W., or the Starlight Theater down Main Street a couple of blocks.
Lloyd Mathews is a a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in the Town of Pulaski.

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login