On the Streets of Fulton Heights

Another well-known and influential individual who is still with us on the “streets” of Fulton Heights was Mr. James Daniel Heilig.

He was a native of Rowan County, born in 1857 near Gold Hill and moved to Salisbury as a child. He attended Roanoke College at Salem, Virginia and the University of North Carolina, but had to give up his studies because of eye problems.

He didn’t have any trouble being successful though. He was a salesman for the Brown Clothing Co. for many years, and eventually became a partner with G.A. Taylor in the Taylor Mattress Factory on South Main Street in 1905. It was a huge success, with “the finest materials and a machine for everything!”

The factory produced as many as 100 mattresses per day, which were shipped by railroad car all over North and South Carolina and Virginia. “Various grades were made from the cheap to the $15 grade. The better quality was very fine and a delight to the eye.” Heilig eventually became the owner and manager of the business, giving the operations continuous personal attention over the years. One 1907 Salisbury Post article stated that, “Salisbury needs more factories like this and more men of push like Mr. Heilig, when it would soon become the leading town in the South.”

Mr. Heilig was known as a jovial gentleman who was extensively involved in his community, prominent as a Rotarian, Mason, Knights Templar, Shriner and an officer in the Lutheran synod for over 37 years. He was on the Salisbury Board of Alderman and Chairman of the Street Committee. He was best known for “personally driving a snow shovel team over the sidewalks” to keep them clear for citizens after a big snowstorm.

It isn’t often that we learn about the ladies of this era, but Mrs. J.D. Heilig’s activities were reported quite often in the news. She was active in her church and as a Daughter of the Confederacy. Her home was a center for hospitality and entertainment.

She played bridge and was a bit of an entrepreneur in her own right – famous for her strawberries, tomato plants and “cream and sweet and sour milk,” which she sold.

Mrs. Heilig lived until 1946, but James D. Heilig died in 1929 at age 71 in his home at 507 South Fulton Street after an extended illness. Salisbury had lost another colorful character, but his name is preserved for the ages on the Streets of Fulton Heights.

(Written by Doug and Leslie Black of 629 Mitchell Ave.)

Fulton Heights streets named for original investors

Fulton Heights began as a residential suburb of Salisbury in 1902 when the Southern Development Company purchased about 100 acres of property on the west side of South Fulton Street. The original investors, J.M. Maupin, H.B. Crosby, William M. Wiley, William A. Blair and W.E. Mitchell, were wealthy and sometimes colorful characters. Each of them had a street in Fulton Heights dedicated to them, and so their names remain with us on every corner of our neighborhood today. One of the most flamboyant men who led the Southern Development Company was Mr. J.M. Maupin. He was one of the three “Maupin Brothers” who owned large real estate, rental, insurance and loan businesses in Salisbury. His real estate advertisements read: “If you have property FOR SALE and enlist them, they can sell it – Salisbury Realty & Guaranty Co., J.M. Maupin, Manager.”

He enticed customers to land sales in Fulton Heights and Spencer by offering free carriage or trolley rides to the sale. He also gave away dinners, music and cash to those purchasing a lot (usually $10 in gold for the first lot sold and $5 each after that until all the lots were gone). Sometimes he sold as many as 80 lots. That was a lot of money in 1907! The motto for J.M.’s real estate company was, “Savings Lead to Wealth. Good Investment Lead to Riches. Prosperity Fosters Contentment. Own a Home and Be Happy – Ask about The Maupin Way.”

J.M. was known, among other things, for his heroic act of stopping a runaway horse and wagon on Main Street. His friends suggested that he “be elected Alderman of the West Ward for his brave act.” He was also quite the baseball enthusiast , holding meetings in his offices to recommend the Salisbury-Spencer team (called “The Fats & The Leans”) be admitted to the Carolina-Virginia League. Maupin was known for doing things “in a big way.” As Chairman of the House Committee for the Order of the Elks, he organized a party and “bought 25 ‘possums, 20 rabbits and a 50 pound shoat (pig) which he will have barbecued and served with other refreshments…to all Elks, regardless of religious or political opinions.” He was an influential and impressive figure in the community of Salisbury. J.M. Maupin and his family came here from Roanoke, Va., but like other successful entrepreneurs, he eventually sold his home in Salisbury in 1909 and moved to Washington City (D.C.). There, he established the lucrative Potomac Heights Land Company. But in 1912, he and his family returned to Salisbury to take up residence on Ellis Street, much to the delight of the business community. J.M. was, as the Salisbury Post stated, “one of the very liveliest real estate men in the state, socially one of the best fellows, and it is a pleasure to have him back in Salisbury where he rightly belongs.”

But J.M. Maupin is also one of Salisbury’s mysteries. The last item found in research of the Post that mentions him is from December 1912 when he advertised for a new development, Round Knob Park near Asheville, N.C. His two brothers remained in Salisbury and died in 1941 and 1949. Maupin Avenue is with us today, but J.M. must have gone elsewhere in his later years, for we don’t know when or where he died. Whatever happened to J.M. Maupin, the great financier of Fulton Heights?

(This article includes excerpts from extensive research done by Kristine Rapp regarding the Maupin Family history. Leslie and Doug Black of 629 Mitchell Ave. write Heights’ History. If you have a story idea, please email them at mapa…@bellsouth.net).

Fulton Heights Families – The Newmans

Judy and Hank Newman at 604 Maupin have a long history of family here in Fulton Heights. Judy’s grandparents, Sam and Bessie Carter, lived first in the Rusher house in an two-story brick apartment house that the Rushers maintained across the street from the gray house at 516 Mitchell ). Judy’s uncle, Sam Carter, was born there. Then the family moved into the house at 516 Mitchell and their 3 other children were born: Judy’s mother, Julia in 1920; uncle John in 1921 (they were 17 months apart); and uncle Paul in 1924. (Incidentally, Kelly and Sandy Alexander lived at 516 Mitchell as well before they bought their current home on Mitchell!)

Sam Carter was a partner in Carter and Trotter Drug Store, which was located where OK Wig is on “The Square.” Grand- mother Carter started and operated Salisbury Business School at 516 Mitchell (the school and those 2 adults and 4 children were in that tiny house!). Salisbury Business School became Salisbury Business College and operated until sometime in the 1980s.

In 1927, Sam, Bessie and their 3 children moved from 516 Mitchell and purchased the Dutch Colonial at 629 Wiley, current home of Steve and Cindy Martin.

Judy was born in 1947 and they lived with her grandparents at 629 Wiley from before she was born until 1951 when she, her mother, father and sister moved to High Point. Grandfather Carter lived in the house on Wiley until his death in 1959 (Grandmother Carter died in 1945, two years before Judy was born). Hank and Judy married in 1983 and moved to 604 Maupin in 1984.

Thank you, Judy, for the great story and fun pictures! Do YOU have a story about your family and Fulton Heights?

Fulton Heights – National Register Historic District

Our lovely neighborhood of Fulton Heights came into existence in 1902 when the Southern Development Company bought nearly 100 acres in south Salisbury and subdi- vided it for sale. Roughly bounded by Fulton Street, Heilig Avenue, Ridge Avenue and Boyden Street, it was a highly desirable residential community on the outskirts of Salis- bury with all the modern amenities – waterworks, sewer, electricity and long distance telephone service by Southern Bell!

In 1999, Fulton Heights was put on the Register of Historic Places to assist in preserving and maintaining the architectural examples of the neighborhood ranging in age from 1906 through the 1940’s. It consists of over 500 significant structures. This diverse neighborhood includes a few late Victorian Queen Anne houses and most prominently features Colonial, Dutch Colonial, Spanish Colonial, Tudor Revival, Prairie School and Craftsman style residences ranging in size from modest cottages and bun- galows to more stately homes. Gothic and Neo-Classical Revival styles are also represented in the institutional landmarks in the District. These are some of the “specs” that qualify Fulton Heights as a Historic District. For our residents, it is a friendly neighborhood that is constantly growing and changing yet retaining the charm and elegance of a time gone by.

Every structure in Fulton Heights is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) proposal which documents the various architectural styles. How much do you know about the architecture in your neighborhood, on your block, or of your own home? Take a spin around Fulton Heights and try your luck at guessing which houses are described below, as they were in the National Register. Some are easy – some may be a little tricky! Answers are on page 9 of The Avenews…

200 Block of Mitchell – two and a half story frame Queen Anne covered with pebble-dash at the first level and capped with a high hipped roof with gabled dormers, a projecting ell and conical roofed tower (c.1906)

100 Block of Heilig – one-story frame Queen Anne cottage exhibiting details of the Victorian era with a high hipped roof and intersecting side and front “crossed gables” (c.1925)

700 Block of Maupin – two-story frame bold Craftsman bungalow with a front gable main block, multiple projecting gable bays on facade, eave brackets, porch with stone columns and exterior stone chimney (c. 1927)

100 Block of Ridge – two-story side-gabled frame house flanked with end chimneys with continuous shed dormer and large gabled entry stoop exhibiting Craftsman influence in the windows and gabled porch with columns set on stone piers (c.1911-1921)

200 Block of Elm – heavily altered side-gabled frame house that was originally one story and now has a second story addition (c.1925)

600 Block of Wiley – two-story hipped brick Colonial Revival house with gabled entry stoop and portecochere supported by heavy brick columns, decorative limestone accents at windows, and 6/1 light windows (c. 1930-1935)

400 Block of Mitchell – one and a half story side-gabled brick Tudoresque cottage with multi-level front gables, including a cor- ner porch with segmental arches, twin lower-level gables feature arched windows, diamond tile accents flanking a broad, chim- ney (c. 1932-1937)

100 Block of Wiley – lively rendition of the four-square brick/Prairie style home incorporating a low-pitched hipped roof and mul- tiple projecting gables, front gabled porch supported by robust bungaloid columns, main roof eaves with exposed rafters and brackets (c. 1925)

300 Block of Maupin – one and a half story side-gabled frame bungalow, paired windows, engaged porch, slender square col- umns on brick piers and a long central shed-roof dormer with inset roof porch (c. 1925)

1200 Block of Fulton – large two-story frame Queen Anne/Colonial Revival house with irregular massing under a hipped main block with cross gables; full-facade porch exhibits a turned balustrade between Doric columns (c. 1911-1912)

Source: National Historic Register Documentation for Fulton Heights, Rowan Public Library

Cheerwine – Soda of Salisbury

Fulton Heights was a very prestigious development when it opened in 1906 – everyone wanted to live here! Many of Salisbury’s most important developers and businessmen had homes here. That included Mr. L.D. Peeler – the CHEERWINE man.

Back in the early 1900s, there was a business in Kentucky called the Maysville Syrup Company that made Mint Cola. The guys who owned this company wanted to expand, and Salisbury looked like a great choice. It was a well-established town, centrally located for future growth, and on a rail system that could haul the huge barrels of syrup.

It just so happened that a man named Mr. L.D. Peeler owned a general wholesale store right next to the train depot in Salisbury. He had been interested in the soft drink business for some time, and this was his chance to break into the market. Peeler’s store had room in the basement to set up a bottling operation. So Mint Cola awarded Mr. Peeler and his investors the franchise to make their cola.

In a short time, Peeler began producing 160 cases of Mint Cola each day out of that basement and had his own delivery trucks by 1913. Because of World War I, many soft drink producers went out of business since sugar was in short supply. Mint Cola went bankrupt in 1917, but Mr. Peeler and his investors bought all the stock for their regional franchise and changed their name to Carolina Beverage Corporation, and they kept right on making Mint Cola.

About this time, Peeler and his team realized how popular the cherry-flavored fountain drinks were and decided to try something new. Late in 1917, they bought a unique cherry flavor derived from oil of almond from a flavor salesman out of St. Louis. It was naturally sweeter than other drinks with no more sugar required. Mr. Peeler mixed this with 11 other flavoring ingredients, including the Mint Cola base, to create CHEERWINE, named for its burgundy-wine coloring and cheery bubbles.

CHEERWINE grew in popularity throughout the Piedmont, and Mr. Peeler registered his trademark in 1926. About that time he also bought a lot in the popular Fulton Heights development, and in 1927 built the beautiful Italian Renaissance home at 607 Mitchell Avenue. His family and descendants lived in the house for 63 years, until 1990. There is also information that the man who was Mr. Peeler’s chemist – the one who mixed the 12 flavors to get the red bubbly drink – also lived in the 100 block of Mitchell Avenue in Fulton Heights.

Sadly, Mr. L.D. Peeler died in 1931, but he left a strong business to his son, C.A. Peeler, who had the vision to make CHEERWINE a success. Mint Cola continued to be produced until later in the 1930s, but with the Great Depression and Coca-Cola effectively monopolizing the market, Carolina Beverage chose to produce only its most popular brand. By the 1940s, C.A. Peeler had expanded the business throughout North and South Carolina, and in 1981 after many successful decades, Mark Ritchie, great-grandson of L.D. Peeler and grandson of C.A. Peeler, took the helm and doubled the expansion of the business in only five years. CHEERWINE is still as popular as ever today in the Carolina’s, and Fulton Heights is still the place to live in Salisbury!

Source: Salisbury Post, Rowan County Record of Deeds

(Written by Doug and Leslie Black of 629 Mitchell Ave.)

About Fulton Heights

The Fulton Heights Neighborhood Historic District in Salisbury, North Carolina is an intact representation of a middle and upper-middle class residential neighborhood that developed in the early twentieth century. It is among several suburbs of North Carolina towns that emerged as an outgrowth of the City Beautiful Movement. You can read more about the history of Fulton Heights or read why streetcar suburbs worked so well. The neighborhood is laid out in grid patterned streets along which houses rendered in nationally-popular styles were regularly spaced within well-landscaped yards Fulton Heights is among several neighborhoods of the period in North Carolina that boasted amenities such as a streetcar system and large park area within its boundaries. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Source: National Register nomination form, 1998.

The purpose of the Fulton Heights Neighborhood Association is to organize the residents into a viable, constructive organization to:

  • Encourage community spirit and cooperation among neighbors;
  • Preserve the appearance of the neighborhood and promote beautification of the area;
  • Preserve the existing single family houses in the area;
  • Protect the residential character of the neighborhood;
  • Maintain the unique historical character of the neighborhood;
  • Work with organizations where joint action for the good of the neighborhood is appropriate.