J N Ledford, Fenton

Updated 12/12/2022

A rare plate made from Fenton's Heart and Vine pattern, the lettering reads "Souvenir of J N Ledford Company, Cooleemee N.C." In fact, it's sometimes referred to as the "Cooleemee" plate

Plates, 9 inch

Marigold, 2,100, 2,200 (both 2019),
   1,900 (2020), 2,800 (2022)

From The Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass Lettered Pieces,
by John Resnik, 1989.

"This company is an oddity in that rather than being an entrepreneurship, it was the company store for Irwin Mills, located near Winston-Salem in northwestern North Carolina. Established in 1901, it carried a general line of merchandise for a more or less captive clientele. As is the case with many urban areas, the downtown portion of Cooleeme died a natural death in December of 1962, taking the J.N. Ledford Company with it. In early 1963 the entire Main Stree area was razed to build a parking lot.

An interesting sign of the times was found in the Cooleemee Journal dated January 1, 1931. In an article about Cooleemee concerning the Irwin Mills and the Ledford Co., it was stated that "native Angle-Saxons" were employed by these companies.

Another interesting aspect is that I can find no mention of a J.N. Ledford anywhere in the history of the store. This lead me to believe he may be from the same origin as Betty Crocker and Aunt Jemima."