mast general store - Asheville

Asheville Store
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15 BILTMORE AVE. ASHEVILLE, NC 28801 Plus-code-iconHCVX+J8 ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

STORE HOURS

mon10AM - 8PM

tue10AM - 8PM

wed10AM - 8PM

thu10AM - 8PM

fri10AM - 9PM

sat10AM - 9PM

sun11AM - 6PM

Out of Many, Asheville

In its beginning, Asheville was located at the crossroads of trade routes and deer paths…and it was called Morristown. In 1797, it was renamed Asheville by North Carolina Governor Samuel Ashe. At one time, this city located in the broad Swannanoa Valley was the third largest city in the state; right behind Raleigh and Wilmington. In the late 1800s and early 20th century, Asheville became known as a health resort. Folks flocked to the mountains to enjoy the fresh air and the fine accommodations of the Grove Park Inn and the Battery Park Hotel and to engage in outdoor activities like horseback riding, hiking, and picnicking.

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Story behind the store logo

It took a while to find just the right building in Asheville. When we identified 15 Biltmore Avenue as our new home, so many people shared their fond memories of Fain's Department Store. It was a thrift store featuring clothing for men, women, and children, along with linens, housewares, and gifts. Today, as you walk in the front door, you'll see a memory prompt for many.

 

Read more ...

It took a while to find just the right building in Asheville. When we identified 15 Biltmore Avenue as our new home, so many people shared their fond memories of Fain's Department Store. It was a thrift store featuring clothing for men, women, and children, along with linens, housewares, and gifts. Today, as you walk in the front door, you'll see a memory prompt for many.

 

The city of Asheville is the hub of Western North Carolina. It is filled with one of the largest concentrations of Art Deco buildings in the United States. Overall, the city has many architectural styles that work together like a patchwork quilt.The history of the Asheville location stretches back to mid-1800s. Biltmore Avenue and Pack Square have long been centers of commerce and travel. First as an animal path, then a trade route, and in the early 1800s as a part of the Buncombe Turnpike, which linked Upstate South Carolina to Tennessee. It was completed around 1827 or 1828.

Fain's Thrift Store, circa 1950s.

George Augustus Mears, a prominent businessman in the Asheville area, built the building at 15 Biltmore Avenue in 1846. It was home to a number of businesses over the years, including the Mears Daylight Store (S.P. Mears General Merchandise) and an Army Outlet Store. S.P. Mears was George's son.In 1937, the store was renamed the Jay Mears Shoe Store, then later in the year, Bowers Bargain Biltmore Store moved into the space. It was there until 1943.On Wednesday, July 7, 1943, a fire broke out in the store. It left the building gutted. Bowers moved out to a location on Patton Avenue, and Fain's Thrift Store, which was owned by Belk-Hudson in Asheville, purchased the 

Bowers Bargain Shoes on Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Taken ca. 1930s.

shell of a building for $27,500. After renovations, Fain's made the move from its location at 5-7 Biltmore Avenue to its newly-rebuilt home. The original Fain's terrazzo inlaid tile is preserved in the front thresholds of the store. While Fain's and the community of Asheville did not figure large in the Civil Rights protests in the 1960s, there was a sit in at the lunch counter that was located downstairs in the building. Many people in Asheville have shared fond memories of having a meal at the lunch counter and then getting to ride the mechanical horse as a treat. Fain's closed in 1995.Later that year, the store was home to Southerland's Furniture and Spa Sales. It's inventory featured items for leisure life like hot tubs and home accessories. Southerland's closed in 1998. The Mast Store in Asheville opened on May 12, 1999.

Mast Store in Asheville, ca. today.

 

 

Many thanks to UNC-Asheville Special Collections for their help in researching information for this article. Top image from the E.M. Ball Collection, D.H. Ramsey LIbrary Special Collections, UNC Asheville 28804. Bowers Shoes and Fain's images are courtesy of Pack Memorial Library.

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Plan your visit to Asheville

Asheville is one of the most eclectic cities in the South. From its architecture and music venues to the Biltmore Estate and Farmers’ Market, you’ll find something for every interest.

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LOCAL FLAVOR

  • May 2, 2024 4 minute READ
    Mast Store in Asheville Celebrates 25 Years on Biltmore Avenue

    Mast Store in Asheville Celebrates 25 Years on Biltmore Avenue

    It’s hard to believe that a quarter century has passed since the Mast General Store opened its fifth location on historic Biltmore Avenue in a resurging Downtown Asheville. Sunday, May 12, 2024, marks the date when the doors first officially opened to welcome locals and visitors alike. To celebrate, Mast Store is giving everyone who visits that day a free bag of its world-famous, freshly popped popcorn. ...read more

    tags-icon Local Flavor | Mast in the News

    location-icon Asheville

  • September 26, 2023 6 minute READ
    Tastes of the Season: Fall Farmers' Markets

    Tastes of the Season: Fall Farmers' Markets

    Fall is here! The bridge between summer and fall is full of delicious possibilities: the last heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn linger, pears and sweet potatoes start to arrive, and more apples than you can name can all be found at your local farmers’ market. ...read more

    tags-icon Local Flavor | Gardening | At Home

    location-icon Asheville | Annex - Valle Crucis | Boone | Columbia | Greenville | Hendersonville | Knoxville | Roanoke | Original - Valle Crucis | Waynesville | Winston-Salem

  • July 6, 2023 20 minute READ
    Celebrating the Year of the Trail in North Carolina

    Celebrating the Year of the Trail in North Carolina

    In 2021, House Bill 554 was introduced and easily passed in the North Carolina House of Representatives. It designates 2023 as North Carolina’s Year of the Trail with the aim of encouraging North Carolinians (and visitors) to use and enjoy the trail networks that are available locally and regionally and to celebrate the groups who create and maintain the trail systems. Of course, we wouldn’t want you to be in violation of the law, so we’ve put together a listing of some of our favorite trails in North Carolina for your reference.   ...read more

    tags-icon Adventure | Inspiration | Local Flavor

    location-icon Asheville | Annex - Valle Crucis | Boone | Hendersonville | Original - Valle Crucis | Waynesville | Winston-Salem

blogs

FROM OUR BLOG

  • May 2, 2024 4 minute READ
    Mast Store in Asheville Celebrates 25 Years on Biltmore Avenue

    Mast Store in Asheville Celebrates 25 Years on Biltmore Avenue

    It’s hard to believe that a quarter century has passed since the Mast General Store opened its fifth location on historic Biltmore Avenue in a resurging Downtown Asheville. Sunday, May 12, 2024, marks the date when the doors first officially opened to welcome locals and visitors alike. To celebrate, Mast Store is giving everyone who visits that day a free bag of its world-famous, freshly popped popcorn. ...read more

    tags Local Flavor | Mast in the News

    locations Asheville

  • September 26, 2023 6 minute READ
    Tastes of the Season: Fall Farmers' Markets

    Tastes of the Season: Fall Farmers' Markets

    Fall is here! The bridge between summer and fall is full of delicious possibilities: the last heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn linger, pears and sweet potatoes start to arrive, and more apples than you can name can all be found at your local farmers’ market. ...read more

    tags Local Flavor | Gardening | At Home

    locations Asheville | Annex - Valle Crucis | Boone | Columbia | Greenville | Hendersonville | Knoxville | Roanoke | Original - Valle Crucis | Waynesville | Winston-Salem

  • July 6, 2023 20 minute READ
    Celebrating the Year of the Trail in North Carolina

    Celebrating the Year of the Trail in North Carolina

    In 2021, House Bill 554 was introduced and easily passed in the North Carolina House of Representatives. It designates 2023 as North Carolina’s Year of the Trail with the aim of encouraging North Carolinians (and visitors) to use and enjoy the trail networks that are available locally and regionally and to celebrate the groups who create and maintain the trail systems. Of course, we wouldn’t want you to be in violation of the law, so we’ve put together a listing of some of our favorite trails in North Carolina for your reference.   ...read more

    tags Adventure | Inspiration | Local Flavor

    locations Asheville | Annex - Valle Crucis | Boone | Hendersonville | Original - Valle Crucis | Waynesville | Winston-Salem

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AREA EVENTS

Jul 19, 2024

Event:
Downtown After 5
TIME:
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Place:
North Lexington Avenue
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