BOOZE TOUR

BOOZE TOUR


A "tour" of historic/former alcohol production and/or distribution and/or associated sites in Orange County.

History of the ABC in Orange County:

"In 1935, the North Carolina Legislature authorized the Governor to appoint a commission to study the question of control of alcoholic beverages. The commission examined two models being implemented by other states at the end of Prohibition: state licensing systems and state monopoly systems. After careful study, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act was submitted to the General Assembly of 1937, and a monopoly system was enacted into law in North Carolina. The Control Act provided for the establishment of a State Board of Control consisting of a chairman and two associate members appointed by the Governor. The Control Act also provided for a plan under which no county or city in the state could allow the sale of alcoholic beverages unless first approved by the local voters." (From abc.nc.gov/About)

"The Orange County ABC Board was established under Chapter 18 of the North Carolina General Statutes, and implemented by a County-wide election held February 3, 1959. A composite Board, consisting of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, the Orange County Board of Education, and the Board of Health met. Three individuals were appointed to serve on the Orange County ABC Board with terms of three, two, and one year. On April 17, 1979, the North Carolina General Assembly, in Session Laws 385, passed an act to expand the Orange County ABC Board from three to five members. It was also determined that the members would be appointed by the Board of Orange County Commissioners." (From www.orangeabc.com/history.html)

 

J. A. CHEEK bottle

J. A. CHEEK DISTILLERY

Date founded: 
1887
Type: 
Distillery

The property the business was located on was once the business home of Beverly & Fitzgerald, Tanners, owned and operated by Haywood Beverly and Robert G. Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald sold his interest in the property to Beverly, and Beverly rented it (in August 1887) and later sold it (in April 1888) to James A. Cheek, who operated a distillery on the property.

 

 

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122 US 70 E. / ABC STORE NO. 1

122
,
Hillsborough
NC
Built in
1962
/ Demolished in
circa 2018
Construction type: 
,

The OG Orange County ABC Store #1 in Hillsborough.

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Last updated

  • Fri, 11/20/2020 - 8:28am by SteveR

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122
,
Hillsborough
NC
Built in
1962
/ Demolished in
circa 2018
Construction type: 
,

 

Built in 1962 on the property of Fred S. Cates (a.k.a. Mr. Hands in Every Cookie Jar). It was Store #1 but was not the first store built.

The store moved up the road/highway (to 201 Cornelius Street/US HWY 70) circa 1975. This building was then used only as Orange County ABC Board headquarters and warehouse until 2013-2014.

Sold by the ABC in 2014 to Triangle Environmental Services, it was demolished in 2019 after a fire gutted the structure.

View south, circa 2013 (image via Costar)

View south west, October 2016 (via Google Streetview)

View south west, August 2019 (image via ABC11/WTVD)

 

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1800 E. FRANKLIN ST. #40 / ABC STORE NO. 2

1800
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1959
/ Modified in
2016
Construction type: 
,
Type: 
Use: 

Orange County's ABC Store #2, built in 1959 in the Eastgate Shopping Center. A lot of UNC student and professor money went through this store.

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Last updated

  • Thu, 11/19/2020 - 10:08am by SteveR

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1800
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1959
/ Modified in
2016
Construction type: 
,
Type: 
Use: 

 

View south, 1964 (via UNC Yackety Yack)

From the Daily Tar Heel, 1959

View north, circa 1964

View south, circa 1964

View north, 1961 (ABC store is circled in red) (via CHHS Hill Life)

 

The ABC Store No. 2 was built (on "Lot E") in the Eastgate Shopping Center in 1959. It opened for business June 5, 1959.

"The original ABC Store had a sales counter that ran the width of the store, limiting customer access to the products. Clerks provided customers with a list of available spirits, customers made their selections, and the clerks would bring the orders to the counter. The concept of self-service had not yet reached the ABC Store." (source unknown.)
 
An additional ABC store in downtown Chapel Hill was proposed but apparently never opened.
 
A few opinions, 1964 (via Daily Tar Heel)
 
It was a local landmark, 1966
 

It was a Boston Market for years. The building, after an extensive remodel in 2016, is now the restaurant Zoës Kitchen.

View east, 2003 (via Chapel Hill Historical Society)

View south, 2003 (via Chapel Hill Historical Society)

View south east, June 2019 (via Google Streetview)

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6231 NC 49 / ABC STORE NO. 3

6231
,
Cedar Grove
NC
Built in
circa 1960
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

The OG Orange County ABC Store #3

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Last updated

  • Fri, 11/20/2020 - 8:35am by SteveR

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6231
,
Cedar Grove
NC
Built in
circa 1960
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

This was one of the original ABC stores in Orange County, ABC Store #3. The county leased the property (from L. M. Byrd) in late 1959 and built the structure soon afterwards.
 
Reverted back to the Byrd family in the 1980s (?). Since abandoned.
 
View south, September 2018 (via Google Streetview)

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RIGSBEE'S ROCK HOUSE

1711
,
Hillsborough
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1929
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Local Historic District: 
National Register: 
Type: 
Use: 

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Last updated

  • Sat, 10/29/2016 - 11:47am by gary

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1711
,
Hillsborough
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1929
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Local Historic District: 
National Register: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

1988

(Below in italics from the National Register nomination; not verified for accuracy by this author)

Mack Rigsbee, and his wife Julie E. Rigsbee, purchased in June, 1927 lots 72-75 in Block D of the Bankhead Forest Property (Orange County Deed Book 88, page 39). In April 1928, the Rigsbees purchased the adjacent lots 68-71 (Orange County Deed Book 90, pages 37-38). It is assumed that the house and outbuildings were completed and occupied by late 1928 or early 1929.

The Rock, House is a sprawling, one and one half story, roughly rectangular dwelling with a front terrace and three original porches on the side and rear elevations A deep hip roof crowns the rock first story. The exterior of the house is constructed of white flint rubble rock wall cladding with rope or grape-vine mortar. The steeply pitched roof has front and rear gabled dormers and large cross gables. All gables and dormers have decorative half timbering of wood and stucco. The white flint rubble rock stack of the interior chimney extends above the roof line on the east end of the house. The wooden six over six window sashes are placed singly and in groups of two and three in brick sills and frames. Originally, a rock arch led onto the front terrace. The columns remain but for safety reasons the arch was removed a number of years ago. A low white flint rubble rock wall surrounds the front terrace which is floored in a gray slate known locally as "Duke Stone." Two white flint rubble rock columns support the side gabled roof of the porch on the east side of the house. A smaller porch extends off the west side of the house and a screened porch off the rear elevation. The arched, wooden front door has two vertical panels topped by five panes of glass, stacked two over three. The door opens into an entrance hall, with a living room to the left side and a parlor to the right. Two of the five bedrooms are on the first floor, the other three upstairs. The interior of the house retains the original oak tongue and groove flooring, window and door surrounds, textured wall plaster, doors and door hardware. The house's only fireplace is in the living room, is constructed of white flint rubble rock. The original marble mantel shelf was replaced during an unknown period with a thick, varnished wooden slab mantel. The dirt floored basement contains the original furnace (inoperative) and the currently used modern heat pump. The house and surrounding outbuildings, with the exception of the garage, retain a high degree of architectural integrity, having undergone only one major refurbishing in 1986-87. This refurbishing carefully restored the original fabric of the house with only the following minor alterations. Several interior walls in the kitchen-breakfast room area of the rear were removed and the area converted into one large eat-in kitchen. Two new upstairs bathrooms were constructed out of a dressing room/bathroom and storage space in the rear gable, and a small upstairs bedroom was expanded utilizing storage space in the front gable. A closet was added to the upstairs master bedroom utilizing space in the steeply gabled roof.

Very little factual information is known about Mack Rigsbee but local stories of his notoriety abound even today. According to local lore Rigsbee was a Prohibition bootlegger who styled himself as a "gentleman farmer." He was alleged to have used the many storage areas created by his house's steeply pitched roof and dormers to hide the moonshine some say he distilled in the downstairs bathroom. The construction of the Rock House provides possible corroboration for the legend. The current owners found that the downstairs bathroom had a reinforced floor and an oversized drain in the bathtub. The upstairs bedroom and bathroom walls end far from the roof eaves, leaving oversized storage areas beneath the steeply pitched hip roof. One of the faucets in the upstairs sink was fed by its own tank concealed in the eaves of the roof. Some have speculated that Rigsbee and his guests had only to turn the appropriate faucet to fill their glasses with illegal libation. Another tale recalls a tunnel from the basement to the garage so liquor could be smuggled in and out of the house without being seen. Clarence Jones, a local historian who knew Mack Rigsbee, remembers the bootlegger as a short dapper man who wore kid gloves, drove a new Model A every year, dressed his wife in finery and was a wholesaler-distributor of illegal whiskey, known locally as East Lake Rye. (Charlotte Observer, 26 January 1987.)

The Rigsbees defaulted on their mortgage in 1931 (Orange County Deed Book 96, page 200). Since then the house has had a succession of owners. The [owners in 1988] purchased the property in June, 1986 and immediately began renovations to the house which had been neglected through the years.

10.09.2016 (G. Kueber)

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Faddis Tavern site, 1849Faddis tavern, 1768Faddis's tavern site, 2008

FADDIS' TAVERN

,
Hillsborough
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1768
/ Demolished in
1911-1923
Construction type: 
Local Historic District: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 09/01/2016 - 3:49pm by SteveR

Comments

,
Hillsborough
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1768
/ Demolished in
1911-1923
Construction type: 
Local Historic District: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

 

Faddis Tavern site, 1849

Former Faddis Tavern, 1849 (Benson J. Lossing)

Faddis tavern, 1768

Faddis's tavern, 1768 Sauthier map excerpt

From Mary Engstrom's July 24, 1975 News of Orange County article "Faddis’ Tavern of Happy Memory":

The inn appears to have been built in 1767 or 1768 by the Halifax merchant, Ralph McNair, the shrewdly enterprising representative of the Halifax-based firm of Young, Miller & Co., and the business partner and close friend of Francis Nash...McNair and Nash together already owned Lots 27 and 28 on the north side of E. King Street, and in November, 1767, Nash deeded to McNair his own halves of those two lots plus the east half of Lot 26, thus giving to McNair the sole ownership of two valuable acres, ever after to be known in town records as “the Tavern Lots"...McNair apparently secured the services of a most accommodating inn-keeper, Phillip Jackson, the close friend of Nash, Thomas Hart, and McNair himself...On April 3, 1772, [McNair] sold the Tavern Lots with all their buildings for 600 pounds to the Quaker William Courtney...During Courtney’s long ownership a whole succession of General Assemblies patronized his “house,” and various records of committee meetings in the “Billiard Room” have been preserved. Cornwallis, also, occupied the Tavern during his brief stay in Hillsborough in February 1781 (when legend says his name was scratched on one of the mantels). Lossing labeled his sketch, “Cornwallis’ Headquarters,” and wrote in his text: “We (The Reverend Alexander Wilson and Lossing) next visited the headquarters of Cornwallis, a large frame building situated in the rear of Morris’ Hillsborough House, on King Street. Generals Gates and Greene also occupied it when they were in Hillsborough, and there a large number of the Provincial Congress were generally lodged"...In the late 1790’s Courtney died intestate, and U.S. Marshal John Spence West on August 22, 1799, sold the Tavern and the Tavern Lots for 50 to John Hogg of the Scots mercantile firm of Hogg & Adam. But Hogg found the Tavern far more dilapidated and run-down than he had supposed, and he promptly re-sold the property to John Faddis, “Tavern-Keeper,” for ,900...

After John Faddis died in 1829, his son, Thomas Jefferson Faddis "attempted only briefly to operate the Tavern. A succession of proprietors in the next 30 years included Thomas D. Crain (or Crane) who apparently first adopted the new name “Hillsborough House,” James Jackson, Jr., Robert F. Morris, who advertised a “Variety Store with a little bit of everything” in the storeroom next door to his exceedingly well-stocked bar, William McCauley, and Richard Tapp. On June 2, 1858, Tapp advertised the Tavern in the Hillsborough Recorder as having “…thirteen rooms and ten fireplaces, a good cellar, a good kitchen, with two fireplaces, a smokehouse, and stables with thirty six stalls, a good spring and spring house within thirty steps of the kitchen, and a front house on the street for business and nearly two acres of land, the best stand in town…”"

It is not known when the structure was demolished, but it appears to have been demolished between 1911 and 1924.

 

Faddis's tavern site, 2008

Faddis's tavern site, 2008 (site is behind 115 E. King Street)

 

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120 W. ROSEMARY ST. / THE SHACK

120
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
circa 1930
/ Demolished in
1979
Construction type: 
,
Local Historic District: 
Type: 

The site of the one time oldest bar in Chapel Hill, The Shack (1945-1979)

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 11/26/2020 - 11:29am by SteveR

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120
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
circa 1930
/ Demolished in
1979
Construction type: 
,
Local Historic District: 
Type: 

 

View north west, circa 1978 (photo credit unknown)

View north west, 1979 (via the Daily Tar Heel)

Interior and "Wheaties," October 1977 (photo via the Daily Tar Heel)

Interior, 1979 (photo by L. C. Barbour, via the Daily Tar Heel)

1967 ad (via the Daily Tar Heel)

 

Built in the 1930s as a garage for jitneys (i.e. large touring cars used as public transportation) that took UNC students to and from the train station in Durham. Then was the Carolina Cycle Company in the mid-1940s.

1946 ad (via the Daily Tar Heel)

 

In late 1947, Thomas Braxton "Brack" Creel rented the property and remodeled it into The Shack, a beer and snack bar. In early 1955, Creel retired and his son-in-law Walter T. Harville took over the lease and business. In the 1960s Harville sold the business to Bill Sparrow. Then Berkley Tulloch co-owned/operated the establishment until 1971 when John L. "Wheaties" Richardson took it over.

The Shack was a segregated establishment, and there were calls for a boycott of the place in 1963.

It closed at 5:00 a.m. (after an all-night party) on April 3, 1979, and was demolished a few months later. It is now a parking lot.

The site today, view north, August 2019 (via Google Streetview)

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