email@example.com • R.A Fountain, General Store
252.749.7974 • 252.864.3239
Louise and her partner, Patrick Artinian, were Eyes on Main Street’s resident photographers during August 2023. They stopped by to visit Freeman Vines as part of a pitch to Mediapart, the online journal published in Paris, to explore Wilson and Pitt counties; they wound up with a lot of photos and stories about MusicMaker East, Freeman Vines, and Lightnin’ Wells, among other area subjects. They took lots of photos and Louise played some trumpet to Freeman’s guitar accompaniment and were great folks to hang out with. Too bad they had to go back to Paris but they said they’d be back one day!
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Smith-Yelverton & R.A. Fountain were built by J.B. Procter of Rocky Mount with bricks made on site in 1916-17. Smith-Yelverton was originally used for storage for R.A. Fountain, whose general merchandise store shared a thick brick wall with Smith-Yelverton. Except for the eight 6′ x 4′ windows facing west on the 2nd floor of Smith-Yelverton, they are virtually mirrors of each other, totaling together nearly 7,000 square feet. I purchased SY in 1996; Elizabeth, our son, Silas, and I moved to Fountain in 2001. I was the first non-Fountain to own RA when I purchased it in 2003. Then, with the Fountain family permission (and a small fee paid to a Boston craftsperson who used the “RAFountain.com” URL) Elizabeth and I opened R.A. Fountain, General Store & Internet Cafe in 2004. In November 2023, we began our 21st season of live concerts. Silas graduated from AppState in 2021, a communications major with a sports journalism concentration. He was sports editor at The Mountaineer, in Waynesville, until March 2022, and a crewman repairing trails for national parks for a few months before accepting his current job, sports editor at the Courier-Times in Roxboro. Elizabeth–who retired in October 2023–and I are still living in the old R.A. Fountain house (1909), a couple of blocks from these buildings.
The R.A. Fountain / Smith-Yelverton buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, as part of Town of Fountain’s Historic District, which was established in 2015. In 2022, we completed restoration work on the building that included a new roof and historically appropriate windows.
–January 7, 2024