Historic Downtown Elkin, North Carolina

by admin on October 27, 2010

Change is ever-present, and in the last forty-odd years, that change is very much evident in downtowns all across the USA. Elkin is no exception. Once upon a time, a visit to downtown Elkin could take you to big chain stores such as Belk, Rose’s, JC Penny, A&P and others. Once upon a time, there were three drugstores on Main Street, in addition to a hardware store and a pool hall. Once upon a time, you could watch once-upon-a-time features in the movie theatre. Today, the chain stores are all gone, most having joined the exodus to strip malls. The pool hall has vanished, the hardware store is history, and there is only one drugstore. The movie theatre, moribund for years, may be brought back to life, but only through a Herculean effort. Amazingly though, downtown Elkin has not only survived those changes but has embraced them. Downtown, having shed the corporations, is now home to independent business people, who are, by their very nature, fiercely independent and refreshingly eclectic. As I hope you can tell by my brief tour, Elkin offers many and varied pleasures for day trippers and residents alike. Without doubt, your first stop should be the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Center on Market Street is where you will find me.  We are open Monday-Friday, and I can offer you many brochures of not only Elkin, but the surrounding area as well, all in hopes, of course, that you will stay a while. On weekends and in the evenings, you can visit the Jonesville Welcome Center, where the courteous and helpful staff will offer you the same personal service. Next to the Chamber/Visitors Center is the Habitat Home Shoppe which I visit frequently because there is always something new—and old– there. Down the hill a bit on Main Street, a good place to start (or stop!) is for some scrumptious gourmet goodies at Blue Ridge Chocolates. Or how about a great family portrait at Shutterbug Photography? You will find a wonderful little shop called Diana’s Book Store, where not only you can find books but many fascinating toys, gifts and of course great, great coffee and smoothies. I enjoy visiting Diana’s and I never leave empty-handed. Oh, almost forgot–she sells a line of Life is Good products, too. Brushy Mountain Winery is another great stop and their wines are delicious. If you are in the mood for antiques, you have two terrific choices, Dave’s Antiques and Old Times. Art from locals can be found at the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild, Sew Welcome, the John Furches Gallery, or if you like to create your own, visit Howln’ Wolf Creations, Circle of Friends Yarn Shop and the Sample Shop. I am not much on jewelry but I do own some and have had a piece custom-made for each time I went to Song’s Jewelry. Song’s sells charms to help you remember your great visit. Another jewelry store you will find along Main Street is Van Hoy Jewelers and next to that the fabulous Thomas Kinkade Art Gallery. Some other great shops are Ace’s Pawn Shop, Ivy Ridge Traditions (where you can find Vera Bradley bags), Hospital Thrift Shop, Plums (clothing store), Time Testers and Carol’s Wedding. If you desire a custom outfit, or even a wedding dress…above Brushy Mountain Winery is the designer Couture Design Group, and I have to say I own an original and get stopped every time I wear it. Wow, I am hungry after walking along Main Street. I often eat at local hotspot Harry’s Place, located on Standard Street. I must say my favorite is their fried pork chops with cream potatoes, greens and cabbage. Yum! Or I could visit Royall’s Soda Shop on Main Street. The building that houses Royall’s is where the first hospital in Elkin was located and later became a drug store. There’s great history to be found here. Royall’s has absolutely fabulous hot dogs and that wonderful old fashion treat, hand dipped ice cream. Yes, there is more there but that is what I usually eat. Can you blame me? Another excellent choice is Dave’s, where I could get everything from a hamburger to Mexican fare. Now, when I am on Main Street in the evening and want a fine meal, I go to Twenty One & Main. I have eaten numerous memorable dinners there, and in the Wine Bar upstairs, I have enjoyed many good times with close friends. As I hope you can see by my brief tour, while downtown Elkin has changed through the years, the entrepreneurial spirit has kept it alive and even thriving. So y’all come and see us sometime, and enjoy the adventure with us. It will be worth the trip, I promise. toric Downtowns are always a great place to visit and not only explore the quaint shops but to learn about the history.

Historic Downtown Elkin is one of those places.  Elkin was incorporated in 1889 and after the rails came in 1890 the town was ready to start building and growing.