Alex Albright

Editor • Writer • Researcher • Teacher • Public Speaker 

Editor • Writer • Researcher • Teacher • Public Speaker 

Rates depend on the project. • R.A Fountain, General Store
252.749.7974 • 252.864.3239

Portrait by Louise Oligny at Casita Brewery, Aug. 26, 2023

Louise and her partner, Patrick Artinian, were Eyes on Main Street’s resident photographers during August 2023. They stopped by to visit Freeman Vines and Louise played some trumpet with his guitar accompaniment. She and Patrick are terrific photographers–and great folks to hang out with. Too bad they had to go back to Paris! 

Jan Wunsch, from the Czech Republic, was an Eyes on Main Street resident photographer in 2018 when he took this picture on old US 264.

Rear view of Smith-Yelverton building.

Both buildings have four 2nd story windows facing north and four on their front sides facing south.


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 and RA in 2003. Elizabeth, our son, Silas, and I moved to Fountain in 2001. Elizabeth and I opened R.A. Fountain, General Store & Internet Cafe in 2004. 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.

Sylvan Heights Bird Park, Scotland Neck, January 2023. Photo by Silas Albright

Backdoor Smith-Yelverton Portrait, August 2020, by Tim Duffy