An Evening of Local History at Pack Library — Missing History: The Family Store

Isaac and Sarah Malke Michalove immigrated from Lithuania, Russia and came to Asheville in 1890. Isaac, a pioneer Jewish merchant, operated the Michalove Wholesale Grocery company.

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Isaac and Sarah Malke Michalove

Isaac and Sarah’s daughter Hattie, born Sept. 20, 1890, married Barney Pearlman and they immigrated in 1901, coming to Asheville in 1908. Barney operated several groceries, and then opened a small store on Patton Avenue in late 1927, the Railroad Salvage Co. The store moved to larger headquarters in what had been the Bank of Asheville and then moved into the Haywood Building in 1932, it having previously been a garage. It was initially called Pearlman’s Railroad Salvage Co., Inc. and updated to Pearlman’s Super Furniture Store in 1960, and then Pearlman’s of Asheville.

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Barney Pearlman circa 1920.


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Pearlman’s Furniture Store at 56 Haywood Street as it appeared in the 1960’s.

The Pearlmans also built the Pearlman building on Page Avenue. They were the first in the area to carry discounted furniture.

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The Pearlman company expanded to other towns after WWII. The store on Tunnel Road was opened November 30, 1973.

The Pearlman family collection MS239 was donated to the North Carolina Room, Pack Memorial Library by Lowell R. and Marvin “Skip” Pearlman in 2013.

The story of Jewish merchants in Asheville is Asheville’s history. Would you like to learn more about it?

An Evening of Local History at Pack Library

Missing History: The Family Store

Thursday August 27, 2015, 6 pm-7 pm

Missing History: The Family Store. A panel about the bygone days of the many Jewish-owned businesses that used to be in downtown Asheville. From 1880-1990 there were more than 454 different Jewish-owned retail businesses downtown. This panel discussion will follow a 20 minute visual presentation on how instrumental these merchants were in creating what we know today as downtown Asheville. Why did these merchants come to Asheville, why were they even merchants? The panel will include some of the merchants themselves, most of whom are descendants of the original store owners.

Presenter: Jan Schochet, co-creator of the public history exhibit you can see now across downtown, “The Family Store: A History of the Jewish Businesses of Downtown Asheville, 1880-1990.

Panelists: Skip Pearlman of Pearlman Furniture; David Schulman, business owner and author; Ellen Carr of Tops for Shoes; and Dennis Winner, retired Superior Court Judge and son of Harry winner of Winner’s Department Store.

Post by Zoe Rhine, Librarian.



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