Remembering Fritz & Other Beloved Citizens of Transylvania County

A view of Brevard's West Main Street in 1925. Lining either side of the street are  two-story brick buildings and cars that resemble Model Ts.
West Main Street in Brevard, N.C., in 1925, also known as Fritz’s old stomping grounds.

More materials from the Transylvania County Library have recently been added to our site, including several issues of Brevard-area newspapers from the early 20th century, a set of telephone directories, and a couple of yearbooks. It is thanks to this batch of newspapers that the life of one of Brevard’s beloved community members was brought to light.

A short article entitled, "Fritz is dead."
From The Transylvania Times, March 10, 1932.

Fritz was “the famous Nobby Shoppe cat,” “well known among the business houses of Brevard” and “petted by everyone.” He was, according to his obituary, “the object of much admiration on account of his enormous size and his beauty.” Sadly, Fritz succumbed to illness, but his obituary shares front page real estate of The Transylvania Times with a feature on the Lindbergh baby and updates on the county tax penalty—in other words, he was a big deal. (Then again, this front page also features a story about Ralph Woodfin, a farmer who found two “freak eggs,” or an egg within an egg—known today to happen because of a counter-peristalsis contraction).

Fritz’s home, the Nobby Shoppe, was a popular women’s store on West Main Street and a frequent advertiser in The Transylvania Times. In the 1930s, the shop seemed to specialize in ladies’ hats, which sold for $1-$2.95. They also sold “frocks” and “triple crepe dresses” in an expansive selection of sizes.

A white cat lounging in a yard next to a white shed, a tall bush, and another wooden structure.
A cat lounging at the H. R. Bradley House in Transylvania County (likely not Fritz himself).

You can read more about the noteworthy community members of Transylvania County in the three newspapers just added to our site: The Transylvania Times (issues from 1887, 1932, 1953, and 1967), the French Broad Hustler (issues from 1893, 1894, and 1896), and the Brevard News (issues from 1905 and 1923).

You can explore the two editions of Brevard High School’s Brevardier (1972 and 1973) included in this batch here or browse our entire collection of North Carolina Yearbooks.

The full list of telephone directories included in this batch can be found here. These include the names and numbers of local businesses and individuals across the county from 1952-1984.

To see more materials from the Transylvania County Library, you can visit their partner page and their website.

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