As always, most pics can be seen at larger size by clicking on them

A few days ago, Timothy Beeman sent me this picture, asking what the “ghost sign” said:


The simple answer was that the sign advertised the Deluxe Cafe, operated at 545 North Trade Street between 1938 and 1946. The less simple answer led to a long thread on Facebook about other early cafes and ultimately to the building that the Deluxe operated in and its origin. Here is the less simple answer.

Once upon a time in the 19th century, the town of Winston had two white Methodist congregations within a block of each other on North Liberty Street. The First Methodist Protestant Church stood on the southwest corner of Seventh and Liberty Streets; the First Methodist Episcopal Church, soon renamed Centenary, stood a block south at the southwest corner of Sixth and Liberty Streets. The MP church grew very slowly. The ME church grew geometrically.


The ME church originated with a handful of folks in an area about four miles northwest of Salem around 1834. When the town of Winston was established, the church members acquired the lot at the southwest corner of Liberty and Sixth Streets, and in 1856 built Winston’s first church of any denomination.


The 1856 Methodist Episcopal Church (above) and its interior (below)


Thirty years later, they had outgrown that building, so in 1886, they demolished it and built a new one. Since it was constructed in the centennial year of the founding of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America, its name was changed to Centenary ME Church.


Centenary ME Church, 1886

By the turn of the 20th century, Centenary had outgrown itself. The West End was the fastest growing part of the Twin City, so in about 1907 West End residents who were members of Centenary decided to start their own church. In 1913, they built a new church at the southwest corner of Fourth and Brookstown. A year later, Centenary completely remodeled their 1886 building, doubling the size of the Sunday school/education building at the rear.


West End Methodist Church, 1913. We are looking across Summit and Fourth Streets to the intersection with Brookstown. After the creation of Centenary United, other churches used this building. In 1947, it burned beyond redemption. In 1950, Wachovia Bank built the Twin City’s first drive through bank on the site. That branch was recently closed by Wells Fargo.


1914 renovation of Centenary ME Church on Liberty Street

Even that was not enough. By 1923, they were forced to build a separate building behind the church, facing on Trade Street, to house the various administrative and educational services of the church. But within a few years, both Centenary and West End were bursting at the seams. A series of meetings between the two congregations produced a decision to reunite the two. Thus Centenary United Methodist Church was born.

Serious planning began in 1927. The architectural firm of Mayers, Murray & Philip, successors to the legendary Goodhue, Bertam Grosvenor of New York, were selected to design the building. There were delays caused by the onset of the Great Depression. But on Sunday, September 20, 1931 opening ceremonies were held in the grand new Gothic building.


Centenary United Methodist Church, 1931

Centenary continued to use the old 1923 education building for a few years. In 1936, the first non-church business opened in that building. The same year, the 1886/1914 Centenary building was demolished and the space became a parking lot operated by John L. Hooper. From the early 1930s into the 1940s, Haverty Furniture, an Atlanta based chain, had been operating in the 1924 Penney’s building at 521 North Liberty. In 1946 they acquired the parking lot and erected a modernist building, which opened in 1947. Today that building is occupied by the UPS Store.


Haverty’s Furniture at 521 North Liberty


Haverty’s 1947, on the site of the original ME Episcopla Church

Below, a list of cafes that occupied the 545 North Trade address of the old Centenary Education building from 1936 -1984:

1936 – Paul Myers*, confecionery
1937 – Purity Cafe, Theo Tsitsera
1938 -46 – Deluxe Cafe, Stanley Morris
1946 – 84 – Corbin’s Cafe, French E. Corbin

*Paul Myers later operated several restaurants under the names Paul’s Place, the Three Little Pigs and Paul Myers Barbecue. The Three Little Pigs was right next door to Pulliam’s in Ogburn Station, where Bell Brothers used to be.


Area map, 1957, highlighting the Centenary education building, 1923