Indian Heritage Month Trivia - Did you know both Mr. Curt and Mrs. Catherine were once teachers?
On Tuesday, UNC Pembroke held the grand opening of the new American Indian Heritage Center, which is named in honor of Mr. Curt and Mrs. Catherine Locklear. They are both dear to our Lumbee family and community. We wanted to spotlight their important role in the history of our community during American Indian Heritage Month.
Mr. Curt was one of the first American Indian business owners in the town of Pembroke. Did you know that Pembroke Hardware was actually at 3 different locations? Most people know of the second location, which was at the corner of W. 3rd and Vance Street. The first location in the early 60’s was actually around the corner on Main Street facing the railroad track near the shoe store and the old post office. The first building is now gone. Mr. Curt and his brother Monroe Lowery operated the business. Mr. Monroe did the book work and ran an electrical business in the back of the store and Mr. Curt operated the Hardware in the front. The two brothers would eventually divide the two businesses in 1970. Mr. Monroe expanded the electrical business to large electrical jobs in other states. Overtime the hardware had 3 salesmen, but Mrs. Catherine also was instrumental in helping customers with catalog orders, layaways, housewares and finding items in the store.
In 2006, after more than 40 years, at the corner of town, Mr. Curt moved the store to the current location on highway 711. It is one of the largest True Value stores in the country, but it is still known to many of us as “Curt’s” or the “Hardware.”
Another interesting fact. Both Mr. Curt and Mrs. Catherine were teachers for short time. Mrs. Catherine taught 3rd grade at Pembroke Elementary for 5 years and taught for one year at Magnolia. Her first class at Magnolia in the late 1940's had 50 children. Mr. Curt was a tax preparer, but eventually taught Chemistry at the Pembroke High School. Their legacy lives on.
Celebrating American Indian History