Wayne L. Duncan Sr, (we called him Opa) grew up in Smithfield and married Betty Little (Oma) and had my Dad, “Bussa”, or Bus to his family. My Dad was (is) a great businessman and left me money to do with as I saw fit. The Elk’s building was for sale and falling apart, so it became my fit, and I’ve been falling into it ever since. (May 2011 to present) Now there’s a brewpub in a 1906 building that has more stories than the packing plant has hams, and if you’d like, here’s a bit about it:
I like old material—it’s full of character and forgiving for the imprecise carpenter—and we’ve got it in Spades. Every board and nail hole in WHBC is a century-old or more and originated from the building itself or some doomed structure nearby. I don’t take stuff from restorable buildings, only from places that the owners wanted down and gone. Because the structures were built a century ago or more, they are American-made, cut from older, slow-growth trees, and unique to the area (yellow pine!)
- Top: flooring from the Elk’s Lodge
- Front: Beaded-board from various rooms and decades (original paint)
- Foot Board: Chewed-up white oak floor boards from Slick Nurney’s pig barn (Jonestown Rd, IOW County)
- Floor Boards: Elk’s Lodge (check out the 75 year-old gum!)
- Ceiling: Original wood ceiling with metal in back (Slick Nurnery’s House, 2nd floor)
- Settle (Beer Bench) and Green Waincoting: from Comet School, 1900 (taken down April, 2014)
- Deer Head: “Gina” was in the funeral parlor (19 Main St) where they used to park the Hearse.
- Bottle Lights: Pre-Prohibition Bottles drunk and buried by construction workers during foundation construction, 1906 (found in a cache under the Banquette Room floor)
- Brass Coffin Stands: Left in the funeral parlor near “Gina”.
- Robert Cox: Restaurant Genius and Manager, Wren’s Mill Rd, IOW County. Grandson of Capt John Sinclair, Privateer and Smithfield Resident 1770-1800.
- Pressed Metal Ceiling: replaced original wood ceiling destroyed by fire.
- Booth Benches: 1915 Oak pews from Epicopal Mission Church in Port Norfolk, P-Town.
- Booth Partitions: Truss Boards from Comet School, 1900.
- Tables: Roofing boards from Comet School, Beer Coasters Bier stolen from German Beer Halls by Albert Burckhardt in the 1970’s.
- Nautical Maps: Maps of the Thames River featuring Wharves, 1930’s.
- Indian Canoe: Discovered by Johnnie Wells in 1980, Mill Swamp. Age…OLD.
- Mirror: Barback from Jamestown Hotel, 1898-1977, Main St., , tranfered to Jones Grill 1920-1986.
- Wall Sconces: Art Deco, Tidewater.
- Doors: Spady House, Chuckatuck, 1840.
- Ceiling: Pressed Metal, Slick Nurney’s House, (Blue was Gus Nurney’s bedroom, Pink was his sisters) 1920’s.
- Wainscoting: Weathered boards from Robert Cox’s first jonnie house, 1834.
- Mirrors: Made from reclaimed decking, David Pruden, 2014.
- Crown Molding: Fascia Boards, Comet School, 1900.
- Banquette Hall Landing:
- Ceiling: Pressed metal from Elk’s Lodge (1906)
- Crown Molding: Pressed Metal from Shoe Shop @ 17 Main St (1907)
- Floor: Mosaic Tile, WHBC, 2/12/15.
- Floor: Recovered from Fort Monroe, Hampton, Age unknown.
- Posts and beam: Spady House, 1840 (salvaged August, 2012)
- Stage: Boards from original Elk’s Hall stage 1906.
- Wainscoting: Bead board, Elk’s Lodge, Handrail, Spady House.