343-345 N. Main

Cole Bank Building

351main1880s.
Plain, painted brick, two-story structure. Five bays at second floor. End windows are wider, all are one-over-one double hung. Flat arches with projecting keystone above all windows. Substantial alterations include completely modernized storefronts with plate glass and stone veneer. Structure was built to house the first bank in Hendersonville, first known by its founder's name, George H. P. Cole, and later as State Bank of Commerce.

According to James T. Fain, Jr., author of A Partial History of Henderson County (Arno Press, New York 1980, see pp. 34L-345), a story in the Hendersonville News (May 24, 1923) dates Hendersonville's first bank in the year 1888, coinciding with the arrival of Dr. George H.P. Coles, reputed to be the first man to open a proper banking establishement. A Savings and Loan Association wa opening just prior to this time, according to Mr. Fain. The Cole Bank became the State Bank of Commerce of January 25, 1889.

Mr. Fain quotes at length from a Hendersonville Times aricle of 1895, describing this bank building to be "one of the most substantial end attractive improvements in Hendersonville... [I]ts cost was $5,000 and its arrangement and equipment are conceded to be the best in the South. The materials used and the furniture are all products of Henderson County and the work of native skill. We would not describe fully the interior fittings of the bank were we to fail to mention the fine vault and burglar proof safe with time lock... while the safety boxes for rent within the vault renders the loss of papers and other valuables by fire impossible."

The structure served as Hendersonville's post office from 1905-1914, and more recently as Rose Pharmacy.

 

HISTORIC MARKER PLACED 2009

 

 Cole Bank Building

ca. 1880

Built at a cost of $5,000, this building housed the first bank in Hendersonville, the George H.P. Cole Bank.  It served as the post office from 1905-14, then Rose Pharmacy for many years. First telephone exchange was upstairs.

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 Photo from 1987.

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