He is the gentleman who built the current building that houses our hardware store in 2022. Mr. Eller placed his business, as you may have guessed, in our current building on the corner of 10th Street and D Street in North Wilkesboro.
To our best known facts, the building dates back to 1905. Mr. EE Eller was a premier poultry & produce dealer in North Wilkesboro. EE Eller Produce Co. was one of the largest turkey, and chicken wholesalers. EE Eller was a major processing center for local farmers to bring turkeys/chickens into North Wilkesboro. Ironically, it was probably one of the first poultry processing plants in our town.
Farmers would literally herd their turkeys from down the mountains in Ashe, Watauga, and Alleghany Counties in order to collect the cash proceeds from their labor filled task.
Eller’s staff would process/sell their flock. Could you imagine the sight that it must have been??? All of the sudden the flock of turkeys appeared on the roads in Wilkes!!!! Men guiding them with corn along the way, flocks of turkeys gobbling, wobbling with wings flying everywhere!!!! I would imagine that the sight of this was pretty common in the early 1900’s in rural Wilkes County. I bet the turkeys never suspected any “fowl play” on their journey. The old newspaper article did say that one of the largest turkey drives that ever was processed by Mr. Eller was 1,500 turkeys in one drive!!!
Once a flock of turkeys arrived at EE Eller Produce, they were processed/ dressed for shipped via train. Our local train station was just down the street from our current store location. The train destinations were mostly in Northern states after leaving the North Wilkesboro station. According to local oral history, it is estimated that Mr. Eller processed at his height of business, 1 million chickens and turkeys!!!! Guess that was all “gravy” for him after that!!!!
I have written about the history of our store before but, new facts have come to light! Let’s “de-feather” this poultry truth!
To those loyal readers of my blog, this will be new information for you. All the “plucky” truth, as we know it… A few months back, we were lucky to have a few family members of Mr. Eller to drop in for a quick visit. Up high on the wall held 4 pictures of what we had thought were the past 4 owners of the building, but it was ultimately revealed that the charcoal drawing on the far left was not Mr. EE Eller.
Further reading and research has revealed that Mr. Eller moved from the corner of 10th and D Street building to Forester Avenue in 1941 to a larger location. Wilkes Hardware moved into the 10th Street location sometime later on, I haven’t been able to determine a definite date yet but we know it was sometime in the 1940’s.
It was fascinating to “pluck out” the facts about the origins of this historic building we currently reside in each day. As time allows, I’ll continue to research more about the history of Wilkes Hardware and even Mr. Eller. For now, I think we have “gobbled up” a few new fascinating facts about our historic past.
My morning usually starts with breakfast and a large mug of steaming, hot coffee. After breakfast, I usually try to check notifications on our social media and put out new stories on our most active social media accounts. My morning routine was in full swing today when I came across a post about the first day of November. It was a cute one, Bette Milder in her best Sanderson sister costume on the left side of the screen and on the right, Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. The gist is that Christmas has officially begun today on November 1st.
In reality, yes, it probably has officially begun. Retailers have had all things Christmas up and in stores for a few weeks now… trees, lights, and decorations. Hallmark Christmas movies have been featured on the television for the last few weeks and I would bet some folks are ready to get onto a healthy dose of holiday spirit with Christmas lights, and trees .
So what happened to the season of Thanksgiving? It is now a holiday surrounded by a kickoff of the Christmas shopping season. I’m not debating the right or wrong way to celebrate the month of November in this blog post, but my thoughts are just reflection upon the season of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving… a time of gratitude, grace, thanks, blessings, and giving back to our community. After all, the smallest blessing can be received even from the tiniest of things in life.
Thanksgiving is now just 23 days away. What will I do differently over the next few weeks in preparation for this important holiday of Thanksgiving besides shopping for a turkey & dressing???
I’m actively working on my November “bucket list” and I don’t think putting up my Christmas tree is high on the list right now.
Here’s my current brainstorming plan…
1. Create a Thanksgiving playlist of music. ( FYI: I have a working playlist now and will continue to update it as the month progresses.)
2. Make & bake a pumpkin spice treat, pumpkin muffins??? Thanks mom for sharing the recipe.
3. Make Hot Apple Cider – Muddled with spices
4. Fire pit and marshmallows
5. Friendsgiving fun.. it’s been a couple of years since we have done this, but going to try to do this again.
6. Try a new soup or stew recipe for a cool, “fallish” evening meal
7. Enjoy the simplicity of every day life in the season of Fall.
8. Gratitude posts… share posts that are inspiring and complete at least two a week on my personal IG page or Facebook page.
9. Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, with popcorn of course!
10. Create a list of must watch Thanksgiving movies 🍿 or shows. This one will be a work in progress for 2022… so I’ll let you know what ends up on my list when it is finished.
November might actually turn out to be a nice month y’all, with more reflection about blessings, thanks, gratitude, family, friendship and slowing down to enjoy the last days of Fall.
The colors of Fall is distinctively different from any other season of the year. The Fall season is truly a mosaic of colors of the rainbow… green, gold, red, orange, & brown set against the bright blue sky.
Our natural world which we have grown accustomed to during the summer, suddenly changes into a magical world of autumnal colors, happening almost overnight it seems. I’m sharing my favorite, everyday hardware life Fall photos with y’all today to celebrate the season of Fall using the caption of Fall is…
The variety of keys could boggle the mind if y’all really stopped to think about it (house keys of all shapes & sizes, master lock , mailbox, car, boat, RV, & ATV keys)the list goes on and on!
At Wilkes County Hardware we are known for making keys that work. We stand behind our keys. If ever a key doesn’t work, we will gladly replace it with one that will!
I would guess that not many places are left in our town locally where you can go inside and get a key made accurately in a matter of a few minutes. And I’m not talking about putting money/key into a machine… taking a chance on the luck of getting it absolutely perfect… we are talking about getting your key duplicated by an individual using a key cutting machine. Keys are what we do well. Below are a few examples of what we do everyday for our customers.
A house key is probably the easiest to duplicate. Using the original key is the best way to ensure the most accurate duplication.
Getting car keys duplicated can be a more of a dubious task. Many of today’s car keys are more costly to copy due to their anti-theft/electronic features. Car keys come in many varieties…chip keys, sidewinder keys, & fob keys if lost, can be a costly replacement.
At Wilkes County Hardware, we can replicate most automotive chip keys. The vehicle should be present for a replacement chip key, or really any car key duplicate. It makes it so much easier!
Wilkes County Hardware has been receiving several calls related to lock shop services… ie, Can you come out to my house to rekey my locks? OR I have locked my keys inside my car, can you come get them out… 😳OR can you make me a new key from the switch???? No, we simply duplicate keys at Wilkes County Hardware.
For many years Wilkes Hardware & Wilkes Lock Service were synonymous, and owned by one person. That is no longer the case. These two businesses have been separated from each other for over 17 plus years.
We are common neighbors on 10th Street with two very different businesses. We gladly refer all lock shop questions to our neighbors next door.
As a simple reminder, Wilkes County Hardware offers basic key cutting services, chip keys, & rekeying locks in our store. We are very blessed with an amazing staff who do a fabulous job of keys!
Thank you for supporting our local hardware store business for the last SEVEN years!!! We appreciate your support always!!!
The tale I am about to unravel goes back way in history to the beginnings of our store… well, actually before it was a hardware store. Our original building was constructed in 1905.
In the early 1900’s, our building was known to all the residents of Wilkes as EE Eller Produce. Mr. Eller was a major poultry buyer/ dealer where local folks would bring in chickens, and turkeys for processing.
The processed chickens & turkeys were loaded up on the railroad cars just down the street. The North Wilkesboro Train Station was a bustling center of commerce in our town.
It was a major operation that farmers routinely made their journey into North Wilkesboro from the surrounding mountain areas and nearby communities.
I have been told that over 1 million chickens and turkeys were processed in year!!!! Now that you have just a bit of historical background information about our building, our story can officially begin. Here we go…
A few years back during the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival we had a gentleman who was visiting with us in the hardware store and he began to tell us about his experiences inside our old, historic store…. this gentleman had spent some time with our neighbor next door and he stayed in his “man cave”.
Our neighbor had let this man stay in his “man cave” for a few months until he could figure out where he wanted to go and what direction life would take him next. This gentleman said that he would often be awakened around 2 am.
He reported to us that he regularly heard at night… chains dragging across the floor and sounds of chickens. He never could see or find anything unusual once he went to investigate. This man then continued with his story, by stating “now I know all of this is true because I am a reincarnated Buddhist, Catholic priest, I can sense that things happened here”. After that statement, we just simply didn’t have any words.
Our conversation moved to other topics and we of course were super busy in the mix of Apple Festival Day and we all laughed about the story the man told us that day and continued on with our business. Maybe he was being a real “comedi- hen”… 😂
Sometimes when the shopkeepers bell rings attached to our front door, without an apparent reason, we always joke, “it must be the chicken ghost” going back to the gentleman’s story on that Apple Festival Saturday. Lots of times we think it is the wind catching the door, elevation change of the door position, etc. We can usually explain it away….
But it is hard to explain the random chicken feather that just floats down from the ceiling… you wouldn’t think that would still happen after all these years???
Now, I”ll share this piece of information with you as well… we have had a few paranormal/ghost hunters to come into our store to ask if they could set up after hours. They thought our store would be a great location to pick up paranormal activity. We have always declined the request of these folks.
The last aspect of our story goes back to the blog post that I did a few weeks ago entitled “Messy Monday”, it was one of those very busy days and our cash register/credit card machine were not working-via no internet plus we had lots of other factors playing into that day that made it a very long and hard day.
After supper, Richard went back to the store that night to try to make sense of the day, clean up somewhat, etc. He did not get back home until after 10:30 pm that night— here is what he told me the following day.
“I was standing near the front cash register looking down at something and all of the sudden I heard a huge SLAM sound on the front doors, ironically, the shopkeeper bell never moved.” He then continued by saying that he looked up because he just knew someone was outside possibly walking a dog on the street or someone had run into the front door from the outside… it was dark of course but nothing had alarmed or signaled on the cameras at the front door. He could see no one or nothing alarming.
Could it be the “chicken ghost”???? I suspect it could be “fowl play”. OR even a “poultry geist”😂.
Sometimes in conversation as I remember talking to my Granny at the end of the day, I would ask her what they both had for dinner. As she began to talk about her meal, I soon realized that she was referring to her mid-day meal, not her evening meal. My vocabulary was not the same as hers. I quickly learned that her view of supper/dinner was different from mine. Does it matter? Well, I guess it is all about perspective.
A major NC magazine in our state just recently published an article about Sunday Suppers. It was well done. I’m not going to rehash the intent of that article. But, it did bring back up all those supper/dinner conversations that I had with my granny came to my mind when I read the article.
So upon reflection, I began to ponder my usage of “dinner”. I use the term “dinner” all the time to gather my family to the table, but the reality is that we really are seated for “supper” instead.
Why supper??? The word supper is less formal. Dinner can be a full fledged event with fancy dinner napkins, china, etc. But, when we gather at home, it is not a formal affair. Our family is blessed to have passed down to us, the antique farm table that was in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. The table is definitely not formal by any means, and it is the only table around which we gather to eat. At this farm table we engage in the conversations about the day, hold discussions about local events/news, and let the puns roll. (Our form of making our son roll his eyes 👀 at us.). Supper at our house is a time to simply gather, eat together & unwind from the day.
This was modeled well in my family as a young child growing up. All four of us always ate together at the table in the kitchen. As they say, “old habits die hard”. Meals gathered as our family unit or shared with friends are a strong part of my memories of home.
Now in present day, the weekends are probably the most relaxing suppers we get to have as a family unit. Saturday evening supper is probably one of my favorite times. This tends to be the meal when we can relax, kick back at the end of the day. Saturday supper tends to be one of our Traeger nights- smoking a good piece of meat, or grilling up fish, or whatever is on sale at the grocery store! Do you guys do that too???
Saturday supper doesn’t have to be all fancy, high dollar meals that breaks your budget 💵. Sometimes supper is quite simple at our house–homemade chili beans, or biscuits in a Lodge skillet & country ham, maybe even soup and Traeger grilled cheese sandwich, or lastly, a crockpot meal that we all love.
So I guess when I call my family to say, “dinner is ready”, I really mean supper because that equates to family time. 😊
Living through a Southern Summer means consistently mowing the lawn is a necessity. I spent many summers on a riding mower going round and round until the yard was completely finished. Dad was usually busy completing the trimming around trees working the humming weed eater. Dad’s lawn always looked spectacular with the blades of grass all trimmed up, gleaming brightly in the warm summer sunshine.
The “art” mowing, or the phrase I’ll use today, “Mowology”, is not only your ability to keep up with mowing of the growing green grass AND the overall maintenance of the lawn. Let that sink in for a minute… that is a HUGE definition! Mowing & lawn maintenance requires a hunk of time on the homeowner part, just like that hunk of grass in your yard that has you currently stumped. You’re probably thinking to yourself… what on earth should I do next??? Weed control or pest control or should I just “kiss it up to heaven” and just let it go???
And we all know that keeping your lawn looking fabulous doesn’t come easily. It is hard work!!! Even as I write this, my dad still does ALL of his lawn maintenance. He just simply enjoys doing it. Dad would be in my book, “A Mowologist, at heart”. Why??? He is motivated to keep his lawn/yard looking great year round, he has the “heart” for an amazing lawn. Ultimately, don’t we all want that???
Whether you are an active participant in your lawn care or not, it is good to know some basic details about what should be done and when, so your hard earned money is being utilized to the ultimate extent!
Now is an excellent time to walk your lawn to survey it to see how you wish to proceed for a beautiful lawn next spring… yes, y’all are reading that correctly.
August and September are actually THE most important months for lawn care! For all of y’all who are excellent “mowologists” out there, be proactive and think ahead towards next spring. What should you be focusing on FIRST?? Continue to read below in order to find the BEST option available for your lawn this Fall.
Option one: “The Ultimate Mowologist”…. I’ve got this lawn under control & I’m looking ahead to Fall Y’all:
1. Apply Fertilizer. A little fertilization towards end of the brutal summer heat will give your lawn a boost going into Fall. Your lawn is tired and possibly even a little stressed. As a result, your lawn could use more nitrogen. Lawns that lack nitrogen may also be missing other two vital nutrients, such as phosphorus and potassium. Yes… y’all guessed it, these are the essential elements found in fertilizer.
2. If you are just simply unsure to fertilize or not??? Stop by and pick up a soil test. Your lawn will go dormant with or without fertilizer as temperatures begin to cool down. By adding a boost of fertilizer, you can have a much more lush, vibrant yard come springtime.
3. Aerate – It is time to aerate lawns that are subject to heavy traffic or grown on clay soils. Yes, that is definitely us!!! Clay soil in the NC Foothills are a definite standard. Soil plugs should be broken up and scatter these plugs back into the lawn for best results.
4. Do you wish to Overseed OR do you need to Seed small bare patches that have emerged in your lawn? Overseeding can reduce weeds in your lawn by simply pushing them out with the thick layer of green, lush grass. Why should you overseed or seed bare patches now??? There are a few distinct reasons that make fall the best time to plant grass seed. The Fall months of September & Early October are ideally the best seeding times when the soil is still warm. With the combination of warm soil, warm daytime temperatures, and cool evenings encourages seed germination and establishment of newly sown cool-season grass. In general terms, you should plant cool-season grass seed at least 45 days before the “estimated date” of your first fall frost. Meaning, before soil and air temperatures drop to less favorable levels. Fall will typically brings more rain, which lessens the chance that these newly planted grass seeds may dry out, and reducing the need for extra watering on your part.
Option Two: “The Tired Mowologist “…Summer has gotten the best of me y’all, but I’ve got this handled…
1. Weed control – As the summer wanes, weeds may have emerged in your lawn! Post-emergent herbicides are one way of removing weeds that have already sprouted if you can visibly see them in your lawn. Weed and Feed options are also available… stop by to see which one works best for you.
2. Insect control– did you notice Japanese beetles in your yard this season??? Mole issues ??? Believe it or not, these are all connected!!! Japanese beetles lay eggs in your lawn that turn into lawn grubs in late summer . The grubs eat and dig up your lawn roots in late summer, hibernate all winter long and then come back with a vengeance in spring…ready to destroy your lawn again. Moles eat grubs. Now is the time to get moving on grub control for your yard before the cooler weather sets in and the grubs move deeper into the ground, making it ineffective for any type of grub control to be impactful. Other signs of insects??? Stop by to see what would work best for your lawn and gardening needs this Fall.
Y’all might be wondering why did I give you two different choices ?? Here’s the answer. You should never fertilize, aerate, and seed the lawn at the same time as you are in the weed control cycle. It’s kinda like you are defeating your original purpose… Pick one area of focus and go with it! Option 2 with lawn weed control should be completed by Mid September. After three weeks of completion, you can come back to aerate & overseed/seed bare patches in your lawn if you deem it necessary this Fall.
Looking Ahead into Fall Y’all… “The Proactive Mowologists”
1. Water lawn as needed.
2. Maintain your Mulch– a thick layer of mulch helps to prevent weeds.
3. Pull & spray weeds as needed
5. Fall is a great time to plant trees or shrubs.
6. Get ready to rake leaves!!! 🍂🍁🍁🍁
7. Check out your fall lawn & garden tools… are they in need of maintenance,cleaning, repair???? We can help with new handles, and sharpening.
8. Keep lawnmower blades sharpened. Dull blades mean uneven cutting in your lawn.
Fall is an amazing time of the year for the novice mowologist or even the pro who has been doing it well for years. The weather begins to cool down and the summer sweats subsides. What Mowologists isn’t looking forward to parking the mower in the garage for a few months of leisure as winter weather sets in and you get to trade it out for a snow shovel??? Right??? 😂
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