772-774 Ninth, 02.20.51
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)
A masonry structure was built at 772-774 Ninth Street in the early 1920s, brick-faced with a tile roof, which housed the West Durham Garage. (For whatever reason, this Spanish Revival style was very commonly used for 1920s-1930s auto-related businesses - one remnant of this style in Durham is the former Aldridge Motors building on Morgan St. or the nearby Murdoch building at West Markham and Broad Sts.)
By the mid-1930s, the garage was out of business, and the building was occupied by two tenants - a surprisingly libertine combination for North Carolina. 772 was occupied by ABC Store #3, and 774 by the Atlantic Company, wholesale beer distributors.
It appears that in the early to mid-1940s, the former garage building was torn down and replaced by a new masonry structure (at the same time that its neighbor, 776 Ninth St. was constructed.) The new brick masonry 772-774 Ninth St. was again occupied by the ABC Store (at 772,) but the beer wholesaler had departed. 774 was occupied by the Durham Transportation Company bus service, which also occupied 776.
In 1946, LR Barnes, upon his return from serving in the Army during World War II, opened the Barnes Supply Company at 774 Ninth St. Per a 1951 writeup, the store "handle[d] a complete line of general farm merchandise, featuring feed, seed, hardware, etc." 772 Ninth St. was occupied by Pud's Shoe Shop. By the 1950s, Barnes had expanded to occupy both bays of the building.
Barnes Supply, 1970s
(Courtesy Elmo's Diner)
Barnes Supply remains in business, and is, with the closure of McDonald's drugstore, the oldest business on Ninth Street.
Barnes Supply, 04.05.09
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