Constructed in 1926, our home, the Stuart Motor Building, is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, and was the first automobile showroom in the town. Ned R.Stuart, Sr. constructed the building to house his Ford and Essick car dealerships. The building was also home to Mr. Stuart’s family, who had an apartment upstairs in the front of the building.
Mr. Stuart served as Kernersville’s first Fire Chief, and, when the town purchased its first fire truck in 1928, Ned kept the truck in our building until the town could build its first fire station.
The building is a model of solid construction, featuring thick (14-16 inches) brick walls, large steel girders, skylights, a large sliding door on the Church Lane side, and typical tilt-out windows.
During World War II, as automotive manufacturers converted their industrial facilities to produce war materials, there was great anticipation that after the war ended, citizens would be able to purchase vehicles again. Mr. Stuart, like most car dealers of the time, took $25.00 deposits from local citizens, and promised to place their orders with Ford as soon as cars became available. He held about 140 such deposits in late 1946 when Ford decided to award the local dealership to another businessman. Ned returned all the deposits. Those canceled checks, bearing the names of a veritable “Who’s-Who” for the town of Kernersville in the 1940-1960 era, can be found in a Stuart memorabilia display in our office.