City Directories and History: 1908 – Isadore Bloomberg and Fannie (Blumberg), jeweler at 126 E. Main., (home 245 East Main), 1917 – 1922/23 – E.L. Barnes, 1946 – Ladson A. Barnes (Oma), 1963 – L.A. Barnes, 1975 – Ladson A. Barnes
The Herald reported on April, 2 1902 – “Mr. I. Blumberg has bought a lot on Main St., adjacent the premises of P.C. Poag and is arranging to have a two story dwelling with seven rooms. The frontage is 65′ and 211′ deep and cost $615.”
May 31, 1902 – “I. Blumberg will move with his family to the Poag house Monday, where they will remain until their handsome new home is completed, work on which is rapidly progressing. Also, the Herald contained an ad for I. Blumberg, leading jeweler and optician.”
Aug. 9, 1902 – “Mr. I. Blumberg and family are now occupying their new home on East Main Street. It is an elegant structure with twelve rooms. The walls are adorned with oil painting, the work of Mr. Blumberg’s brother of New York.”
The RH Record reported July 29, 1909 – “Mr. E.L. Barnes, recently elected Treasurer of Rock Hill, assumed the office yesterday, relieving J.M. Cherry, who had held the job temporarily.”
The Record on June 27, 1910 reported that – “I. Bloomberg sold to a group of railroad men, a handsome cut glass bowl and twenty four glasses for presentation to Supt.. Hugerford.”
The RH Herald Oct. 10, 1918 stated – “The Rock Hill Telephone Co had issued a request for residences to use telephones as little as possible because a large part of the workforce on the exchange is sick. E. L. Barnes, Manager.” (Due to the 1918 Flu Epidemic)
This is part of the East Town neighborhood, site #—- on the Historic Walking Tour of Rock Hill. “Next door, to the Barnes home, to the east was the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Isadore Blumberg. Mr. Blumberg was the owner of the Blumberg jewelry store on Main Street.
The house, which is still standing in 2002, was built in 1902. It was sold to Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Barnes (owner of the Rock Hill Telephone Company ), in 1910. The place is still in the Barnes family today.” [Robbins – White Tour History]
The house was constructed in circa 1902 as East Main Street was developing and was originally the home of Mr. and Mrs. Isadore Blumberg owners of the popular Blumberg Jewelry Company of Main Street.
The home was later owned by Ladson A. Barnes who in 1925-26 was listed as the Manager of the Harley – Davidson Motorcycle Dealership here in Rock Hill.
The Fort Mill Times on Sept. 8, 1921 contained an ad which called attention to the “great reduction in price of Harley – Davidson Motorcycles and sidecars. Contact E.L. Barnes in Rock Hill, the dealer for York, Chester and Lancaster counties.”
The 1915 – 16 McElwee Store ledger list E.L. Barnes as a customer.
ROCK HILL TELEPHONE COMPANY HISTORY – On the strength of seven subscribers Mr. Anderson ordered a twenty-five-line switchboard. Andrew J. Evans, who was in the drug business, was the first to subscribe. Others were W. L. Roddey, who put a telephone in his store and another in his home, and J. M. Cherry. The first office was over the Rock Hill Hardware Company. J. E. Pryor strung the wires and installed the exchange. The first telephone operator was Miss Mary Harrison, who worked from eight in the morning until six in the afternoon. The first phones were completely installed Anderson got orders for more, and, almost before anyone knew it, the twenty-five line switchboard was replaced by one to accommodate fifty lines. A few months later, there was a hundred-line board.
As the business grew, John G. Anderson took two partners: J. M. Cherry and A. R. Smith. On December 21, 1895, the business was incorporated as the Rock Hill Telephone Company. In 1907 Paul Workman acquired the business by purchase and sold it in 1912 to Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Barnes. Since that time, the Barnes family-father, sons, and grand sons have owned and directed the affairs of the local system. Mr. Frank Barnes, Sr., is now president of the company (1953). In 1912 there were only 433 phones in the town, but in 1952 there were 6,460 instruments, over which approximately 58,700 local calls and 1,100 long distance calls were made daily. Among the other very early private and semi-private phone lines in this area was one installed by the Roddeys. Sometime in the 1880’s Samuel L. Reid on one of his buying trips in the North had seen a telephone demonstrated in New York City and had purchased two instruments for the firm of Roddey Mercantile Company for whom he worked. “A single iron wire was erected between the two stores-the one in Rock Hill and a branch store at Roddeys Station-and a telephone installed at each end, the ground being used instead of a second wire. This proved satisfactory, and since the roads were at times
impassable it was decided to install a phone at the home of Dr. Orr, who lived along the route of the line, and another at a point now known as Leslie, and later another at the home of Mr. John Steele located at Steele’s Crossing of the railway so the neighbors living along the line could summons a doctor. “This,” says our informant, “is supposed to be the first telephone in the state; if not the first, then, certainly the first in Upper South Carolina.” The exact date of this installation can not be determined, but it was several years before the start of the construction on the “Three C’s” Railroad, for the phone line was used during the laying of the section of track between Rock Hill and Catawba Junction. (Information from: The City Without Cobwebs – Douglas S. Brown, 1953)
Click on the More Information /PDF > link found below the picture column for additional data or pictures as well as see his gravesite at Laurelwood Cemetery Tours.
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