Jeff Harvey

Continuing with our look at Athens, circa 1969, through the notes of Ella Holroyd as printed in the Mercer County Historical Society’s 1987 “History of Mercer County”, we return to Vermillion Street.

At the corner of Cooper and Vermillion streets is the Sweet Shop, a now-closed Athens tradition. It was the location of John Matt Cook’s store in the 1920s. During its peak under the ownership of Spurgeon and Ann Ferrell, it was a main hangout for Concord students as well as the Ferrell’s home.

Barty Wyatt’s rooming house for students was built by Mr. Robinette.

The next home was built by Giles and Mary Etta Fink. Giles Fink came from Raleigh County to Concord. Mary Etta was the treasurer for all the civic organizations of which she was a member and Ella’s friend from childhood who assisted her in her Bible study.

The Frank Cutright home was built by Concord biology professor Frank Cutright and his wife. He planted and tended the hedges and bridal wreath shrubs at the Methodist Church and later became a leader of the Melrose Presbyterian Church . Their sons studied music with Ella, with Frank, Jr., moving to New York and Sam moving first to Colorado then Hawaii where he was a music teacher. The home was later bought by Mr. and Mrs. R.R. Hopkins.

The Cushman home was occupied by the Alex Meadows family, then the E.V. Weaver family, before the Cushmans came to live there. Milton Cushman, a history professor, wore a fur cap when he was out on the town.

Miss Lyda Davis built her home shortly before her death. She was an education professor who helped a lot of teachers. The home was sold to Mrs. William O. Carper from Giles County, Va.,then after her death, to William and Martha Polloch.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at

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