1941 Nicholson Building

February 2009 - 1941 Nicholson Building in Blairsville, Georgia gets a new look

The Nicholson Building in Downtown Blairsville is a local landmark with an interesting history. The Nicholson family built the building at 33 Young Harris Street during the early 1940's. Dad was a barber and used one side of the building for his shop. The other side was a beauty parlor. There was one telephone which was passed through a hole in the wall from barbershop to beauty shop. Men stayed in the barbershop, women kept to the beauty shop.

Lots of men in Union County took their weekly shower in the Nicholson barbershop after getting a haircut. Indoor plumbing wasn't a standard convenience in Union County (and most other areas of North Georgia ) until the late 1950's or early 60's. A visit to the Nicholson Building was a lot better than dipping into a cold creek.

Mom and Dad Nicholson made a good living providing Blairsville area residents with down-home personal services. Many a story was told under the roof of the Nicholson Building. As the old saying goes, "If only the walls could talk."

Since Mrs. Nicholson passed away in 2002, the building has been occupied by a couple of family members, most recently Teresa Nicholson Moore of United Community Bank. The heirs recently decided to sell the old home place and Paige Thornton has been working on remodeling and restoring the building since November 2008.

Blairsville, Georgia has received Paige with open arms. Many friends and business associates have pitched in to help restore and refurbish the 70 year old building. Paige says, "Everyone has been so generous. My favorite welcome-to-town gift was given to me by Father Foodland - Wayne Abercrombie."

The gift is a hundred year old butcher block table that was once in Cooks General Store on the square. Mr. Abercrombie purchased the butcher block when that building was torn down to build Season's Inn. Wayne 's son Ricky Abercrombie learned the trade of butchering on this very table. It was used at Foodland in the meat department until new safety regulations required metal tables. The old table was in storage for 30 years until it returned to downtown Blairsville and took up permanent residence in Paige's front office.

Along with the Downtown Development Authority of Blairsville, Paige is helping to preserve a part of Blairsville's downtown district. This property is the 1st recipient of the DDA's Façade Grant. New red doors, blue siding, and new windows are already installed. More improvements including a porch and better parking are in the planning stages.

Downstairs consists of two commercial units. One is currently occupied by Paige Thornton Realty. The other unit is unoccupied at the present time but a new tenant is coming onboard soon. The upstairs residential unit is occupied on a part time basis. Union County 's business leaders are excited that a part of Blairsville, Georgia history will be preserved for future generations.

Paige would like to invite everyone with memories of the Nicholson Building to stop by and share them. All stories will be put into a memory book. Please stop by and share your stories!