Cascade Saloon Building
S. Elm St. railroad crossings, ca. 1900. Building slightly left of center is the Cascade Saloon.
A panoramic view looking north from the railroad tracks into downtown Greensboro, showing in foreground the Cascade Saloon and Southern Railway station, among other buildings
Looking north on South Elm Street toward Hamburger Square in Greensboro. Second building from the left is the Cascade Saloon building.
Exterior Photograph of the Cascade Saloon building, 2014
Backstory and Context
Samuel J. McCauley was a established saloon owner in downtown Greensboro who established a saloon operating out of a wooden building near the railroad tracks at 408/410 S. Elm Street by 1891. He named his establishment the Cascade Saloon.
On June 10 of that year, a large fire occurred downtown, possibly started in a boxcar filled with 30+ barrels of kerosene. The car exploded 20 ft. from McCauley’s saloon, "Which is of wood and... was with great difficulty saved" (Greensboro Patriot, 6/11/1891). In 1895 McCauley began construction of the current brick exterior of the Cascade Saloon, which hugs the original wooden structure. The brick exterior was completed in 1896.
In 1901 McCauley relocated his saloon to the Hotel Clegg (366 S. Elm Street). The Cascade Saloon building, however continued to house a rotating number of businesses, including:
- 1903-1904 - Hague-McCorkle Dry Goods Company (408)
- 1909-1910 - Wiley Weaver (408); W.F. Clegg Commission Brokerage (410)
- 1915-1916 - Cascade Billiard Parlor (408); Central Cafe (410)
- 1920 - Central Cafe (408/410)
- 1925 - Atlanta Weinie Stand/Cascade Pool Parlor (410)
- 1935 - Gate City Produce (410)
- 1945 - Chris Kypris Restaurant (408); George Hill (grocer) (410)
- 1950 - Central Cafe (408)
- 1955 - Roberts Antique Shop (408); Gate City Produce (410)
- 1960 - Baker Furniture Co. (408)
- 1970 - Overton Furniture Co. (408); Security Moving & Storage (410)
- 1975 - Bowman Chapel Bargain Center (408); A-1 Salvage Sales (410)
Of particular interest is Wiley Weaver, who, with his wife Ida, operated a cafe in the Cascade Saloon building around 1909. The Weavers were an African American couple operating a restaurant in a white downtown business district during the time of North Carolina's strict segregation laws.
The Cascade Saloon building was included in the Downtown Greensboro National Register Historic District in 1982, and was recognized as a Guilford County Landmark Property by the Greensboro City Council in 2007. In 2017, the building was sold for restoration. In 2018, it reopened as the North Carolina headquarters for the Christman Company, a general contractor company headquartered in South Bend, Indiana.
Well Crafted NC. Cascade Saloon, Then and Now, Accessed April 22nd 2020. http://library.uncg.edu/dp/wellcraftednc/history/then_and_now/cascade_saloon.aspx.
Completion of Cascade Saloon Redevelopment Celebrated, Christman Company. June 14th 2018. Accessed April 22nd 2020. https://www.christmanco.com/Company/News/completion-of-cascade-saloon-redevelopment-celebrated.
Greensboro History Museum, Photo Collection - General (http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/ref/collection/ttt/id/40410)
Greensboro History Museum - Greensboro Pictorials Collection (http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/ref/collection/ttt/id/39496)
David Gwynn Collection (http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/ref/collection/Community/id/6922)
Christman Company Cascade Saloon Collection (http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/ref/collection/Community/id/21369)