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Brevard has a long history of department stores in historic downtown. Belk’s and Trantham’s were just two of these stores that sold clothing, shoes, bags, and more in a comfortable, inviting environment.

Before Trantham’s was known by that name, the store was T.E. England’s General Store. England’s son-in-law, B.W. Trantham, went into business with him in 1915 and transformed it into a department store specializing in men’s clothing and shoes. The store moved to its location on East Main in 1939. Previously, the building housed the Cantrell Motor Company, which went out of business around 1933. Trantham’s sons, Tony and Jack, continued to operate the store. It closed in 1976 when Jack retired.


Belk’s formally opened next door to Trantham’s on March 14, 1940. Belk’s is a chain department store centered in the southern United States. In Brevard, it had two floors, and sold both men’s and women’s clothing. Ruth’s Beauty Shop also operated in the store. In 1993, Belk’s moved out of historic downtown.

As of 2018, the Belk's building has been renovated by D.D. Bullwinkel's Outdoors. Theophilus, a specialty women's clothing store, occupies the former Trantham’s.

Key Facts

Belk's Builder: Dr. W.D. Simpson and J.E. Smith

Belk's Owner: Belk

Belk's Year Built: 1940

Trantham's Owner: Lloyd Cantrell

Trantham's Builder:  unknown

Trantham's Year Built: 1939

Architectural Style: Art Deco facade

Address: 60 - 66 East Main Street, Brevard, NC 28712

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