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Historic transformation

MURFREESBORO – If she places the identical emphasis into starting a new business as she did in the efforts it took to restore one of Murfreesboro’s historic Main Street commercial properties, Elicia Revelle will do just fine.

On Tuesday morning in front of family, friends and local business owners, Revelle joined with her husband, Jay; daughter, Claire; and youngest son, Will, to cut the ribbon that ceremonially opened Revelle Realty at 129 East Main Street.

While that brief ceremony marked the start-up of a new business on the town’s main thoroughfare, it also brought a smile to many of Murfreesboro’s historical enthusiasts. The building that Revelle’s new business now occupies was built in the late 20’s or early 30’s as the home of Nicholson’s Pharmacy.

Although renovations have been made over the years, to include the masterful work performed by Revelle along with her interior decorator and construction firm, most of the intricate design of the original owner remains. That includes a beautiful tile floor; an entire wall of mahogany stained cabinets, some with sliding glass doors still intact, used for storing prescription medication of that time period; the “bar” that was located behind the old soda fountain; and a towering, stand-alone pharmacist work station that has marble-topped pull-outs that a druggist would use to count out and dispense medicine to a customer.

“We wanted to preserve as much as we could as to the originality of this beautiful and historic building,” said Revelle.

As luck would have it, during the process of installing new water and sewer lines in the back of the building, several “treasures” were unearthed.

“We discovered small medicine bottles and wooden spoons used at the old pharmacy,” Revelle said. “We even stumbled across an admission ticket to the old Pastime Theatre here in Murfreesboro.”

All of those items have found a place of prominence in the mahogany stained cabinets.

As for her new business, Revelle said it was a blessing to have the support of her family and friends.

“Thank you all for being a part of this new challenge in my life,” Revelle told an office full of supporters on Tuesday. “My husband, Jay, has been my rock through all of this; and thanks to my children, Claire, Will and John. There have been a lot of people in this community supporting me and my decision to start my own business.”

Dan Joyner, Director of the Small Business Center at Roanoke-Chowan Community College, said Revelle came to him seeking advice and help in starting her new venture.

“She attended some seminars that helped her; we were part of the process and we’re delighted to see her here and wish Elicia the best of luck,” said Joyner.

The remodeling process began in August, to include all new electrical and plumbing as well as a new HVAC system.

The second floor of the building has also been remodeled. Revelle said that space will be rented to other businesses.

Revelle, a Virginia native, came to Murfreesboro 30 years ago as a student at Chowan. There, while working as a waitress at Walter’s Grill, she met Jay Revelle, and the two later married.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from East Carolina University. Revelle worked in the Accounting Department at Southampton Memorial Hospital in Franklin, VA until her first child was born.

“When John (now an 18-year-old student at NC State) came along I became a stay-at-home mom, followed by Claire (now 16) and Will (11). Not long after Will was born I decided to re-enter the workforce,” she said.

That job was in real estate, working for 10 years in the local area before making the decision to strike out on her own.

“After doing this for 10-plus years, I knew real estate is my calling in life, other than being a full-time wife and mother of three children,” Revelle stressed. “I enjoy working with people and helping them find their dream home, or helping them sell a home.”

For more information about Revelle Realty, call 252-396-1244 or email elicia@revellerealty.com.

Revelle will host an Open House at her new business from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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