The Circle SawBlock Number: 5
By Nora Worthen
This building, with 18-inch thick walls of bricks that were formed on site, was reportedly built in the latter part of the 1860s, long before the streets were paved. The building was once used as a barbershop, evidenced by the stains of several barber chairs remaining on the floor. At other times it served as a bank, an ice cream store, furniture manufacturing, and in more recent years a nail shop was located here.
The current owner, Mr. Charles Pyles, resides, along with his wife, in the upstairs apartment, and creates custom cabinets with an artistic flare in the shop downstairs. “There’s more of an art form to it for us than it is just cranking out pieces of wood,” he says. The front upstairs windows share space with two circular saw-styled quilt blocks, chosen to complement the building for their aesthetic beauty and to draw attention to the woodworking shop below.
Both Mr. Pyles’ grandmothers were quilters, with one using a quilt frame that “you’d crank down from the ceiling and all the ladies would get around it” for socializing and quilting “on Friday or Saturday evenings after the dishes were done.” Seven of their handmade quilts remain in his possession.