History

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Wards Corner History:

Around 1910 Alfred C. Ward, who operated a grocery store in old Market Square on the southeast corner of Market (then Washington) and Brewer Streets, opened a general store on the northeast corner of Granby Street and what was then Sewell’s Point Road (now Little Creek Road).  It was the only store in the area at the time, although it was said that a building of some kind had been in the vicinity since 1895.

Sometime after the business was started, Ward took on the Michellin tire line.  As a means of promoting the tire line, the Michelin tire representative posted signs on converging roads that read “Meet Mr. Ward at Ward’s Corner.”  Out of curiosity, people flocked to Ward’s Corner.  While some property owners int he area were displeased with the name, it stuck. At that time, and for many years later, it was all farmland, as these pictures show.

In 1926, two brothers, J. Buell and C.H. Tegg, built the first “log cabin restaurant” on the southwest corner of Sewell’s Point Road and Granby Street, specializing in what they believed to be the first “barbecue sandwich” sold in Norfolk.  It was a huge sucess, and in 1934 they added to and increased the size of their buidling.  About 1940 the brothers leased out the restaurant.  In 1950 the business closed and the site leased to Hofheimer’s Shoe Store, who erected the present building on the site.

-Carroll Walker, July 14, 1986

Wards Corner - Mason Creek map, 1812

Wards Corner – Mason Creek map, 1812

Wards Corner map, 1892

Wards Corner map, 1892

Wards Corner - 1926, Carroll Walker Collection

Wards Corner Texaco – 1926, Carroll Walker Collection

Tegg's Barbecue, Ward's Corner, 1929, Carroll Walker Collection

Tegg’s Barbecue, Ward’s Corner, 1929, Carroll Walker Collection

This picture should bring back pleasant memories to many residents of the local area during the 1929-1950 period.  It is a photograph of the first Tegg’s log cabin taken about 1930.  Renowned in this area for its delicious barbecue, its specialty.  It was located at Ward’s Corner on Granby Street and old Sewell’s Point Road (now Little Creek Road), where Hofheimer’s now stands.  Old Residents of the area state there were only one or two other stores there at the time – A Texaco gas station on the northwest corner (still there) and a drug store of some kind on the northeast corner.  THere were a few homes in the area, and there was still much farmland.  The business was begun by two brothers, J. Buel and Herbert Tegg, in May 1929.  They also operated a standard Oil gas station on the corner as shown in the picture.
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Ward’s Corner was originally just a nondescript country crossroads in a lush truck gardening area in the 19th and early 20th century.  About 1910 a Mr. A.C. Ward opened a combination gas station and grocery store on the northwest corner of the intersection.  Sometime thereafter, so the story goes, an enterprising tire dealer in Norfolk induced Mr. Ward to handle tires for him, and placed ad signs on the converging roads reading “Mr. Ward wants to see you at Ward’s Corner”.  The name stuck.
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The Tegg’s could not have picked a better location.  It quickly became a popular place for people traveling east-west and north-south.  Ward’s Corner was on the verge of developing – it would take off in a few more years.
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Tegg’s business increased rapidly as Ward’s Corner developed and the effects of the Great Depression began to wane.  In 1934 the Teggs tore down the old log cabin and erected a two-story building that had a large banquet room upstairs, enabling them to take care of large parties, meetings, etc., in a more efficient manner.  The new building was ready in 1935.  Prices for the time were most reasonable: a plain barbecue sandwich cost 15c, a combination 20c, a Smithfield Ham combination 25c, a steak dinner 60c, etc., as their menu, printed about 1935 and reproduced here shows.  During World War II it was very popular with servicemen.  For a short time the Teggs later operated a diner at the same time on the corner of Granby and 21st Street where Shoney’s now is.
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In the late Forties the Teggs decided to retire from the business and went to Florida.  Although they continued to operate the business.  About 1950 the restaurant was finally closed and the building taken down.  The property was leased to Hofheimer’s Shoe Store who opened a store on the corner in 1953. Pictures courtesty Mrs. J. Buell Tegg and are from the collection of CHW.
-Carroll Walker (undated)
Wards Corner - Tegg's Barbecue - 1930, from the collection of Carroll Walker

Wards Corner – Tegg’s Barbecue – 1930, from the collection of Carroll Walker

Tegg's Log Cabin / Academy Terrace, Circa 1932, Carroll Walker's Collection

Tegg’s Log Cabin / Academy Terrace, Circa 1932, Carroll Walker’s Collection

Tegg's Log Cabin Barbecue

Tegg’s Log Cabin Barbecue – The first cabin built by J. Buell Tegg was in 1926. Around 1934 he enlarged the first building to the size shown in this picture operating it with his brother, C.H. Tegg until 1941 when the Teggs retired from the business and leased it to another party, who continued to run the Restaurant. In 1950 the property was leased to Hofheimer’s Shoe Store who tore down the building and erected their own.

Tegg's Menu, outside

Tegg’s Menu, outside

Tegg's Menu, inside

Tegg’s Menu, inside

Construction of Midtown Shopping Center at Wards Corner, February 17, 1947

Construction of Midtown Shopping Center at Wards Corner, February 17, 1947

Archivists at the Virginian-Pilot came across this photo folded up in their photo files. It is comprised of three photos that have been taped and glued together. They did their best to digitally correct the fold and glue lines. It's of course Wards Corner looking south towards downtown Norfolk. The only date on the back is 1950.

Archivists at the Virginian-Pilot came across this photo folded up in their photo files. It is comprised of three photos that have been taped and glued together. They did their best to digitally correct the fold and glue lines. It’s of course Wards Corner looking south towards downtown Norfolk. The only date on the back is 1950.

Wards Corner - Midtown Shopping Center, circa 1953

Wards Corner – Midtown Shopping Center, circa 1953

Wards Corner - Midtown Shopping Center, circa 1953

Wards Corner – Midtown Shopping Center, circa 1953

Wards Corner, circa 1953

Wards Corner, circa 1953

Wards Corner circa 1955 - from the Norfolk Public Library

Wards Corner circa 1955 – from the Norfolk Public Library

Undated Wards Corner post card, Carroll Walker Collection

Undated Wards Corner post card, “The Times Square Of The South”, Carroll Walker Collection

Wards Corner Aerial 1956

Wards Corner Aerial 1956

Mercury Roller Rink, Corner of Taussig Blvd and Granby St, undated

Mercury Roller Rink, Corner of Taussig Blvd and Granby St, undated

Wards Corner circa 1975 - from the Norfolk Public Library

Wards Corner circa 1975 – from the Norfolk Public Library

Northeast corner of Wards Corner, April 3, 1982, Carroll Walker Collection

Northeast corner of Wards Corner showing Peoples Drug, Regino’s, and Smith & Welton, April 3, 1982, Carroll Walker Collection

Wards Corner, April 3, 1982, Carroll Walker's Collection

Wards Corner showing Barnett Hardware and Rice’s, April 3, 1982, Carroll Walker’s Collection

Hofheimer's, April 3, 1982, Carroll Walker Collection

Hofheimer’s, April 3, 1982, Carroll Walker Collection

orfolk Compass, July 8, 1985 - "Despite setbacks and increased competition, Wards Corner survives"

Norfolk Compass, July 8, 1985 – “Despite setbacks and increased competition, Wards Corner survives”

21 Responses to History

  1. John Knight says:

    Great job with the constant enhancement of this website and digitally publishing these photos. They remind me again, why do we now call our area “Wards Corner” instead of “Ward’s Corner”. If anyone knows, please email John at john@bookexchangenorfolk.com

  2. Timothy Fox says:

    This is GREAT! Thanks for adding this — we’ll add a direct link from our web page!

    We held a Chat w/ Suburban Plank Holders at our last general meeting (Suburban Acres) — and the information / history of our neighborhood, Ward’s Corner, and Norfolk that was shared was wonderful! It’s something we plan to do recurrently, as well as running a column in our newsletter. The first will be in our December issue, which will include excerpts from the chat in Nov. If you’re interested in seeing that, be sure to visit Suburban23505.com, and you can subscribe at the top right so that you will be informed when the newsletter is posted.

  3. Cecilia says:

    Wonderful history and pictures preserved via the Sargeant’s Room’s Robert Hitchings. Robert’s dedication; diligence; research and seer luck completes each task as if it is for his own personal library. Kudos, on another job well done!!

    • walter says:

      good articles,but,nothing about the coal,wood and feed business my grandfather owned in the late 40s.,named chesapeake fuel co. business was located the train tracks between granby and sewells pt. road

  4. Amado Narvaez says:

    I used to stop by Hofheimers when I was in junior high school to get free tickets to the Saturday “kiddie show” at the Suburban Theater. One week I got a ticket thinking they would show the kiddie show feature, and they actually showed “Ben Hur,” which was enjoying its first run at the theater. It would be great if someone could post a scan of one of those old kiddie show tickets.

  5. Jack Goldstein says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article and looking at the photos. My family and I lived in this area, and did a lot of shopping at Ward’s Corner. My parents told me about when Tegg’s Log Cabin and the trolley tracks were there, and there was still a lot of farmland between downtown Norfolk and Ocean View. They lived in Norfolk from 1946-48 and then from 1956-65. I came along in 1960, at DePaul Hospital. I can still remember going with my family to Ward’s Corner when I was little. My father had a real estate office on Granby St. in the 60′s.

    • Robert Hilliard says:

      Does anyone know when the trolley tracks went away? Was it an electric trolley? It would be nice to have them back now and be able to go up and down Granby from downtown to Oceanview!

  6. John Tegg Redman says:

    My name is John Tegg Redman Grandson of J. Buell Tegg. My Mother gave me the Tegg Name, because she loved her Father so much! I am proud to be a Tegg! Thank You So Much For This Website! My Grandfather and Grandmother were, ” So Wonderful People!” I miss them so much! I used to catch Fireflys at their house in Norfolk when we visited. God Bless You.

    • Bobbie Beddow says:

      My father was a very young Marine and told us stories of the Navy and the Marines back in the day at Wards Corner and the Log Cabin. My mom was born and raised in Norfolk (Granby Park) and NEVER wanted to leave that area. Seeing the pics from the 80′s was great and the Wards Corner that I remembered and loved. Unfortunately, now it looks terrible. Would have loved to have bought my Granny’s house at 126 Granby Park before the Academy bought the back lot and an apt building was sold for a 2nd lot. Everyone back then LOVED the Log Cabin.

  7. I worked for Haddaways Florist from 1981 to 1989 … I have fond memories of Wards Corner even before this!!

  8. Katieh says:

    I LOVE THE OLD PICTURES!!!! If anybody has more of them, please post them. Great job on the history too!! Wards Corner was IT BACK IN THE DAY!!!

  9. Jim Fann says:

    I was very curious about the “The Times Square Of The South” postcard photo, but saw that a lot of moire patterning was obscuring the image. I’ve cleaned it up in Photoshop, which I have uploaded to my website and which you can view here:

    http://understandingamericanpie.com/uploads/WardCorner-TimesSquareSouth.jpg

    I would have emailed the webmaster this image, but I could not find any contact info on this site. Please feel free to download and use this adjusted image on this site.

  10. Joe Postove says:

    My Father was Irving Postove “The Key Man” at Wards Corner from 1955 until 1987. He ran Wards Corner Key And Lock Company. No one could miss it because it was on a small island in the middle of the street in the Midtown side of Wards Corner near Little Creek Road.

    My Dad loved Wards Corner. He would usually get to work 45 minutes early to have a second breakfast at Peoples Drug Store. There he would schmozze with the regulars, have a coffee or two, some grits, and relax before the long day at the shop. I doubt there was a day of work where he didn’t go to People’s first, then just before nine head on over to work.

    There he would make keys, open locks, fix locks, open cars, dispatch the truck to help people locked out of their house or cars, and all manner of help for folks who needed it. In the summer, when I was older I went with him to work many times (not voluntary at first) and can say we had, perhaps, the best view of the whole shopping center. We saw traffic coming and going.

    There were so many places, now gone, that I would visit while supposedly working for my dad. I remember Suburban News across the street which was run by Ruth for many years. There I would look through all of the comics and make sure i got all of monthly regulars. I would try and sneak a peek at the Playboys, but not too successfully. Ruth could be tough, but as I got to know her, she was a dear dear woman.

    I would often slip into the Suburban Theater, if not for the picture, then just to cool off. I saw most of my movies as a kid at that movie house. There are too many places to name now, but I hope I brought back some memories, and maybe some old friends will see this post. Now that I know about this spot, I hope to come back.

    Wards Corner was a glorious place!

    Joe Postove

    Israel

  11. Bobbie Beddow says:

    I remember the Key shop! My Grandma & Grandpa always used them. My Grandma was Howard Lambert who was the GM of Volkswagen on 26th & Granby.

  12. Bobbie Beddow says:

    Make that grandpa! Grandma was Anne Lindsay Lambert, youngest of the 12 Lindsay kids.

  13. Ann Struble says:

    We are new to the Wards Corner area and one of the things that strikes us most is that the Bondale apts look like they could have been military buildings at some point in time. Does anyone know the history of the Bondale Apts and surrounding houses? We are curious. My husband is active duty and we like to learn a little history about the places we live as it helps to feel some connection to our home away from home. IF they werent military housing, did they have anything to do with the time when the Worlds Fair was hosted here??

  14. Dawn Wood says:

    My mom Anne Buckley lived in the first house down the first street on Wards Corner. Her sister Linda lived across the street. My mom worked at a bar called “The Spot”. Thats where she met my dad while he had liberty from the Navy. Then they moved to Meadowbrook Garden Appartments. I guess they are not there any more. That was in 1959. We lost momma this year after being a faithful Navy wife and traveling the world. I got to see DePaul Hospital where I was born. It made me cry. So thankful I came home to Virginia although I left when I was less than 6 months old. God bless Virginia

  15. James B. Thompson says:

    My brother and I used to vist my grandmother on Marcy St. on weekends around 1955 and 1956. I still have many memories of Ward’s Corner of that era.Going to Cunningham’s Drug Store or Peoples Drug for ice cream, then to the Suburban Theater. I recall how nice the manager Stan Williams always was. We would visit Rose’s Dept. Store and Center Shops and Ben Franklin’s across the street. There also was a nice hobby shop behind Hoffeimer’s shoes.This was Ward’s Corner in it’s heyday, a really nice time to be young. A world when people were quite different.

  16. I worked at that Hobby Shop. Owned by Al Shoemaker who also owned the Old Virginia Ham Shop which I believe is still there across from the old Giant Open Air. Later on his brother Bobby who ran the shop bought the business and we later moved over next to Al. I worked for them when I was 14 and finally stopped helping Bobby out during Christmas in 1976. that was 13 years.

  17. david womick says:

    If you are a local longtimer, you went to Giant Open Air to get a Pizza. There was no delivery and everybody got their pizza there. My first job was a bag boy there in 1971. It was the Walmart of our times.

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