L.A. Brock House
Time Goes By....
One of our town's finest turn-of-the-century homes. It's a place that's full of local
North Main Street
at Central Avenue
Honea Path, South Carolina
~ ~ ~
Built in 1903 by Lewis Augustus Brock -- a pioneer merchant and banker - this house, with
its spacious wraparound front porch, has been a unique window to life in this community
throughout the 20th century.
rocking chairs on the porch, the Brock family and their neighbors gathered each evening to
await the familiar train whistle at 6 o'clock and to check out the new arrivals in town at
the southern passenger depot just across Main Street.
To the North - through the oak trees in the yard, past the
slow-moving horse drawn carriages on Main Street - was the construction site for the
town's new library. It was extraordinary in those days for a small town to rate such a
fine local library. But after another Honea Path pioneer, Jennie Erwin, raised the funds,
including a $5,000 donation from the famed philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the library
opened on February 5, 1908.
In 1912, the oil lamps gave way to electric lights in the
Brock home. Shortly after Honea Path's first power plant went into operation (it was
across the railroad track in the old ice plant building on Carolina Avenue), this became
one of the first homes in town wired for electricity. Many of those original light
fixtures are still working after nearly 100 years.
Music was a major part of life in this house. The original
music room was where our reception desk is today. "They'd dance around in the front
hall when somebody played the piano over in the music room," recalled the late Albert
Brock, who spent his childhood here. Then some of the couples would get together and
they'd be on the side porch. They played old songs. There was square dancing and waltzing
in the hall."
Local horse and buggy rigs soon had to share Honea Path's
Main Street with Henry Ford's popular Model T automobile. Albert Brock observed from his
front porch, that Main Street was not ready for the Model T. "The road was banked
wrong for cars and people would come up Main Street too fast." he recalled.
"They couldn't make the curve and would run off the road into the ladies flower
garden near the train depot. Later a Pure Oil station was put in there. Two or three cars
went right through the dang filling station."
In the evenings, the Brocks gathered around the family's
super heterodyne radio to listen to live broadcast from Pittsburgh over KDKA, the nation's
first commercial radio station. In later years, L.A. Brock used the radio as his link to
the world. The voice of his favorite newsman, Lowell Thomas, boomed through these rooms
daily during the 1930's and 40's.
We invite you to share in the nostalgia that's inspired by
this historic Southern home. Admire the timeless design, fine craftsmanship, and attention
to detail that went into its construction nearly a century ago.
Pour a cup of coffee, kick back, relax, and sit for a spell
on the front porch and watch the world go by. It's a fine Honea Path tradition and one we
shouldn't be so quick to forget.
Current home of
Honea Path Animal Hospital
E-Mail: Dr. Tommy Martin
Tours by Appointment only