Facebook

Mint condition, historic Snowdrift ad discovered in Reece Building

Published on Sunday, May 12, 2013

Enlarge photo

Jessica Monroe will open the Greer Trading Post at the Reece Building, where the Snowdrift sign was uncovered. She points to a place cleaned by water that shows the vibrant blue color when cleaned.

Jim Fair

Jessica Monroe will open the Greer Trading Post at the Reece Building, where the Snowdrift sign was uncovered. She points to a place cleaned by water that shows the vibrant blue color when cleaned.



Enlarge photo

The Snowdrift sign was painted as early as 1908.

Jim Fair

The Snowdrift sign was painted as early as 1908.



Enlarge photo

Nate Monroe, renovating the Reece Building at 217 Trade Street, discovered the signage when he was working in the attic and noticed a yellow color that led him to the unique landmark.

Nate Monroe, renovating the Reece Building at 217 Trade Street, discovered the signage when he was working in the attic and noticed a yellow color that led him to the unique landmark. "Nobody living today ever saw this,” he said.



Enlarge photo

The signage is believed to have been painted as early as 1908.

Jim Fair

The signage is believed to have been painted as early as 1908. "Nobody is alive today that can tell us anything about



Nate Monroe, exploring in the dark with only a light on his work helmet, knew immediately he had a pure find of early 20th Century Greer architecture and business culture at the Reese Building at 217 Trade Street.

Monroe, owner of N Monroe Homes LLC, is renovating the building for owner Greg Hall who is leasing it to Monroe’s wife, Jessica, for her Greer Trading Post store, opening in the summer.

“It was pitch black with all the soot through the years, from the wood burning stove, covering the walls,” Nate Monroe said. “I looked over and saw a yellow color. The blue color looked black with all the soot.”

Monroe began chipping plasterboard away from the original brick outside wall until enough was exposed to show a mint condition color-painted advertisement for Snowdrift shortening. R.C. Maxwell Co. of Trenton, N.J., produced the sign. The Duke University Library has a digital collection of Maxwell’s artwork.

A Studebaker advertisement, common for that era, shares a quarter of the wall but has yet to be uncovered completely because of a staircase and debris in front of it.

The Snowdrift sign was traced back as far as 1908 when it was painted on what was then the outside wall of the building. “Nobody living today ever saw this,” Nate Monroe said.

“I didn’t know how to benchmark Greer Trading Post. Now I do,” Jessica Monroe said. “We will leave it exposed and rework the way we set up the store. I can’t sleep, my mind keeps racing. Now we have a brand for the store.”

Jessica is on a mission to locate artifacts that remind of Snowdrift. “I found an original gold can of Snowdrift on eBay and bought it,” she said.

When the Monroes first made the discovery they began telling shop owners and friends along Trade Street.  Attorney Andrew Havran escorted visitors into the building. “It’s the biggest thing to happen in Greer,” Havran said. Stomping Grounds proprietor Lisa Garland shared the news with her customers and also steered them across the street.

Jessica Monroe said the dust and dirt covered mural will be meticulously cleaned. “Look how bright this blue is when we cleaned this little spot with water,” Monroe said.

The Board of Architectural Review, which meets Tuesday morning at City Hall, was unaware of the mural when Monroe requested approval for design improvements on April 19.

“The artistry is amazing,” Nate Monroe said. “This is the only one of this size I have found. I found a lot of black and white painted ads on line but no full color.”

There are other finds the Monroes will incorporate into the renovation. The overhead skylight has mesh wiring within the glass and it will be preserved. The concrete floor will be stained, all wood will be stripped and stained and other features will be restored to its historical likeness. “We will preserve the historical significance of this building,” Nate Monroe said.

Nate Monroe routinely restores homes and buildings as part of his business. He had a recent find while working on a Greenville home. “I was restoring a brick home in downtown Greenville and working around a triangle chimney. We removed the fireplace mantle and behind it we found a love letter, enlistment papers (1938-40), and pictures of the interior and front of the house with the family.”

Share



Related Photo Galleries


Leave a Comment



Trending: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Obituaries, Chon Restaurant, Allen Bennett Hospital

GREER CALENDAR

View All Events