City Directories and History: 1963 – Rock Hill Hardware Company Warehouse
The Herald on Sept. 12, 1900 reported on a major fire with broke out on Saturday, Sept. 8th. The fire broke out in the Frew Machine Works. It consumed that building and moved southward to the building occupied by Morison’s Laundry, then the wooden buildings of the Rock Hill Wagon Works and the tin shop of J. Westberlund. The fire then moved to the warehouses of the Rock Hill Hardware Co., at that point, the whole of the business section of Main Street was in danger because the warehouse is connected to the Hardware Co., on Main Street. The fire company was able to slow the spread of the fire. The bakery of McElwee and Russell, connected with their store, caught fire. The warehouse of Roddey Mercantile was saved from the sparks however across Black Street, the wagon warehouse of Roddey Mercantile was damaged but not destroyed.”
The Record reported on Jan. 7, 1907 – “The Rock Hill Hardware Co., have completed a vary convenient two story warehouse on the lot adjoining Alex Bailey’s Stable. Work on the Roddey Mercantile Warehouse on the same lot is progressing nicely.”
James M. Porter had a transfer business at this address, according to the 1915 city directory.
This is the location at which the massive Rock Hill Hardware Company operation had one of their warehouses.
The City of Rock Hill began their urban renewal project to transform the city in the late 1960s and it continued into the early 1970s. It involved the demolition of hundreds of homes and private businesses in the African American area as well as the East Black, West Black, Johnston, Hampton, and Trade Street corridors were all affected. Within a short span, nearly 40% of Rock Hill’s older downtown buildings were destroyed to provide economic opportunities, benefiting a few businessman. As part of this action, the railroad lines were moved and a new bridge crossing over Black Street was built to also alleviate traffic jams created by trains but in doing so, the old Rock Hill Depot building was also razed.
But the most transformative aspect of the move was to add municipal buildings to the landscape; the Rock Hill City Hall, the Center for Aging, the Library and the Rock Hill Police Department buildings.
Also see the Urban Renewal image for a 1950’s look at the area.
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