Our History Collection

For over 40 years we’ve collected bits of information, old photographs and stories about our Town of East Bend. Here, and in our store we’re sharing a combination of rotating and permanent displays of our history collection.

Around 1959-60, I’m standing (John Norman) with my older brother Bill, in front of, what I remember being told, was East Bend’s first fire truck. The truck was military surplus. Lots of memories in the background, Joe Durham’s Shell Station, where Speedway now stands. The big barn belonged to the Smitherman Buggy Shop and in the background is the Henry Davis/Davis Bros Store building.

The TA Smitherman Buggy Works. Today the site is occupied by the town’s Dollar General.
JG Huff Buggy Works

The Huff Buggy Factory is a book’s worth of history by itself. During its life it was the largest buggy factory in the South. The factory stood on Main Street pretty close to what is now Huff Funeral Home. Yes, they are related. As the buggy business wound down the Huff’s turned to making caskets leading to the funeral home business. But in there too was the construction work they did, over NC and Virginia, building roads, dams & bridges.

Life was hard growing up on a farm in the early 1900s. Here the Norman family takes a moment to entertain the kids… in one of our favorite photos! We call it our 6 legged horse photo. Look closely to discover some help for keeping those kids up on the horse.

Main Street in East Bend in the 1940s. The billboard is long gone, as well as the brick TL Hayes Department store on the left,
but the wooden buildings behind the power pole are still standing.
Main Street East Bend, 1942. Smitherman Buggy Factory in the background.