The 100-Mesker club has a new member— North Carolina.
Historically, North Carolinians purchased a not insignificant amount of Mesker products, ranking 14th nationwide with a combined estimate of approximately 1,100 facades. Fronts supplied by Mesker Brothers Iron Works netted a total of $96,977.93 in receipts between 1885 and 1908 for approximately 608 facades. Mesker’s best year for North Carolina jobs was 1890, with $9,040.66 in net receipts. The projected number of Mesker Bros. installations rank #17 on the company’s charts with the expenditures at #13. The results were on par with the marketing effort: 96,018 catalogs distributed in the state from 1888 to 1909, which ranked 17th in the nation and with 17,000 in 1908 as the top mark. While most states typically show a significant preference towards one of the Mesker companies, North Carolina was less biased. George L. Mesker & Co. claims to have sold 492 facades in the state, which ranks highly at #12. According to the company’s 1905 testimonials catalog, D.L. Gaskill of Salisbury was alone responsible for selling 52 fronts as Mesker’s sales agent.
Below is the breakdown of the 121 facades identified so far in North Carolina (download the Excel inventory for a complete listing):
55 by Mesker Brothers Iron Works (MB)
65 by George L. Mesker & Co. (GLM)
1 with components by MB and GLM (both)
42 complete “house fronts” (37 MB, 5 GLM)
27 demolished (20 MB, 7 GLM)
13 are one-story in height (5 MB, 8 GLM), 91 are two-story (41 MB, 49 GLM, 1 both), 17 are three-story (9 MB, 8 GLM)
49 towns (20 with MB, 17 with GLM, 12 with both)—Salisbury has the most surviving facades with 14; Fayetteville has 8 and Hamlet has 7.
And below are some favorite examples of surviving Meskers from the Tar Heel State (chosen from available photos), appearing alphabetically by town: