The Historic Heart of Hendersonville
“With the coming of the train in 1879, there soon became a need for inns, boarding houses and rooms in the Seventh Ave. District. Travelers and tourists alike could walk up 7th from the depot and easily find a place to stay for their time here. Or if they just needed a place to eat and sleep before boarding the train again, they could do that too.
Those working for the railroad, could also find rooms to stay in when their work schedule made it necessary. Some workers would soon move their families to apartments or homes in the neighborhood in order to be closer to their work.
Soon many businesses would come to the area. This too, would bring more people to the neighborhood. Many store owners as well as those who worked in the stores, would choose apartments or homes to live in. This would get them closer to their workplace. In the early days before the automobile, many people walked to work. And then in WWII with tires and gas being rationed, people found they needed to walk once again to their jobs.
Also, farmers would come to town to sell their produce, eggs and livestock and would find that the boarding houses and later the cafes would give them a place to find food to eat while they were in town for the day.
For several decades following the coming of the train, 7th Ave. E. would see many businesses appear. Some of the stores, to name a few would be grocery, hardware, plumbing, meat markets, barbershops, dry goods, bakeries, drug stores, candy stores, shoe repair, furniture stores, service stations, laundries, cafes, and others.
Blacksmith shops would come and also places to buy coal and kerosene.
From Main St. to Mud Creek, 7th Ave. was home to doctors, dentists, lawyers, pastors, fire chiefs, and police chiefs. At least 5 churches served the area.
For almost 100 years, 7th. Ave. would be an important part of town. It was the main route, highway 64, in and out of Hendersonville. But with the ending of the train and the building of Four Seasons Blvd, 7th Ave. would start its decline and soon see the stores start to disappear.”
– Historic Notes by JoAnn Fain
Two blocks northeast of Main Street Boundaries – Along 7th Avenue East, both sides, and around the depot
Seventh Avenue East developed as a commercial district during the late 19th and early 20th centuries around Hendersonville’s first depot, established in 1879. The majority of the buildings are simple one and two-story brick commercial and warehouse structures in the typical pattern of buildings connecting to each other. There are thirty-two contributing structures.
House construction dates are based upon 1912, 1922, 1926 and 1954 Sanborn maps used in the field; city directories from 1915, 1926, and 1937-1952; owner-provided information; and deeds. The 1915 and 1926 directories are not broken down by street addresses, so without checking deeds on each property it was not possible to link an owner with a specific house. Therefore, many of the houses are named for the owners of record in the directories in the late 1930s since there is a gap in the available directories from 1926 to 1937. The 1937 directory is the first time in which street addresses appear. These sources are noted with each entry.
Contributing properties must be at least fifty years of age and retain their original form. The application of artificial siding, changing of window sash, the addition of modern doors, the screening of a porch, and additions placed away from the main facade of the building are features which are allowed under this classification. Non-contributing buildings are those which are less than fifty years old, or older buildings which no longer retain their original form. This would include the placement of additions which alter the main facade, or enclosure of porches which severely alters the configuration of the entry to a building. If windows are altered through the retrofitting of a smaller window frame within the original opening, this will also make a building non-contributing.