D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Ada and Lou Pollock Collection

"Portraits of Lou and Ada Pollock [1887-1956]" [pol001-002] Ada and Lou Pollock Collection,
D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville 28804

Title Ada and Lou Pollock Collection
Creator Ada and Lou Pollock
Alt. Creator Betty Pollock Golden [Daughter of Ada and Lou Pollock]
Identifier http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/mss/pollock/default_pollock.htm
Subject Keyword Ada Pollock ; Lou Pollock ; Buncombe County, NC ; Jewish cemetery ; Asheville, NC ; architecture ; business ; Jewish synagogues ; Christmas ; Catholic church ;
Subject LCSH Ada Pollock
Lou Pollock
Asheville (N.C.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
Architecture -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Historic buildings -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Jews -- North Carolina -- Asheville -- History
Appalachian Region, Southern -- Social life and customs
Description This collection contains personal papers, business items, newspaper clippings, publications, and photographs from Ada and Lou Pollock. It also includes the Jewish cemetery records in a bound scrapbook. The materials in the collection relate to their Asheville years.
Publisher D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Contributor Pollock family
Date 2003-11-23
Type Collection ; Text ; Image
Format 2 manuscript boxes
Source M2003.10.1-2
Language English
Relation Leo Finklestein Oral History in the Voices of Asheville Oral History Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Beth HaTephila Congregation (Asheville, NC), D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Sol Schulman Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Choosing to Remember - From the Shoah to the Mountains, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; "Jewish Roots in the Carolinas: A Pattern of American Philo-Semitism,", Charlotte, N.C.: The Charlotte Israelite, 1955, in the D. Hiden Ramsey Collection printed material - various publications (M80.5.2.6) ; Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, UNC Chapel Hill ; American Jewish Historical Society ; "A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life," Documenting the American South, UNC Chapel Hill ; The Family Store Project: A History of Jewish Businesses, 1880-1990, a 12-panel exhibit displayed in a variety of locations in downtown Asheville in the fall of 2006 by History @ Hand.
Coverage Temporal 1900-1970
Coverage Spatial Asheville, NC
Rights Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Donor Donor number: 199
Acquisition 2003-11-15
Citation Ada and Lou Pollock Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville 28804
Processed by Special Collections staff, 2003
Last update 2012-02-01, HP
Biography Lou Pollock, an Asheville, N.C. resident, was well-known as a merchant in the community and President of Pollock, Inc. He went into business in the city in 1910, and by his own account, did so with only $60.00 as capital. His shoe store on Patton Avenue in Asheville, was opened in 1920 and he was joined by his brother, Ben, as his partner. That same year he also started a store in Greenville, S.C. He followed that with a store in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1927. He was also the primary stock holder in Cinderella Slipper Salons, a venture he entered into in 1928. Pollock retired from his businesses in 1939.

He is perhaps best remembered for the annual Christmas party for needy children which he prepared each year. During the party, Pollock gave away hundreds of pairs of shoes to children who had no means to purchase the shoes. In the words of his Masonic Brother and friend Thomas J. Harkins: "He was held in regard and esteem in the Asheville community. An expression of this, in 1949, the name of Mount Sinai Jewish Cemetery was changed to 'Lou Pollock Memorial Park'." The cemetery was of special interest to Pollock, who served as president of the West Asheville Hebrew Cemetery Association, succeeding L.M. Cadison and H.L. Finklestein.

His daughter Alberta remembers him in this way:
"...He was a tower of strength to family and friends.
And oh! what a wrench when it crumbles -- and ends!
He was the Soul of Forgiveness could not bear a grudge --
'Never Put human against human,' he'd say, 'Who are we to judge?'
His success in the business world was fought for and won,
With dignity and respect from each and everyone..."
Ada Pollock, wife of Lou Pollock, was a homemaker and a strong supporter of her husband's civic activities. She, like her husband, was very involved in activities related to the social welfare of the community. She gave birth to four daughters, Mildred Pollock Michalove, Alberta Pollock Server, Florence Pollock Rothstein, and Betty Pollock Golden.
Context Many early Jewish families came as peddler merchants and stayed. Many of early tourists stayed on in the community. Many Jewish families also came when tuberculosis sanitaria in Asheville accepted them into their care. The Jewish presence in western North Carolina was early and pervasive and the contributions, many. Lou and Ada Pollock's story is just one of many that may be told and in its intricate threads it includes the lives of many others in Asheville's rich business history. This is the historical essence of the materials found in this collection.

Asheville of the early 20's was a thriving and energetic city. The entrepreneurial spirit was everywhere and dollars flowed freely to construct what is still today one of the most energetic and distinguished towns in North Carolina. The architectural development of downtown is particularly noteworthy and owes much to the merchants and businessmen who worked together to make the city a prosperous and inviting place to live and work. Lou Pollock eagerly joined in the thriving merchant scene and soon had one of the most prosperous business in the downtown area. Unlike some of his prosperous business associates, however, Pollock made it his life's work to give back to the community at large. The years stretching from the late 20's to the early 50's were filled with change for Asheville. While there is evidence of remarkable cooperation among the many ethnic groups that called Asheville home, during this time, there is also evidence of discord. One cooperative effort stands out. This is the particularly close relationship between the Catholic community and the Jewish community and nowhere is this more evident than in the mixture of students at St. Genevieve's School and in Pollock's Christmas party that brought Catholics and Jews and the areas needy together in a celebration of caring.

The Christmas party mentioned so frequently in many of the items in this collection was one of Lou Pollock's most important activities. The other was the West Asheville Hebrew Cemetery Association, later to be named 'Lou Pollock Memorial Park,' in recognition of his work on the Memorial Park.
  • Photographs
  • Correspondence
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Journals, scrapbooks
Items List
Box Folder Description Thumbnail
M2003.10.1.1 1 Photographs (14 items)
M2003.10.1.2 2 Correspondence
M2003.10.1.3 3 Articles, Pamphlets, Programs, Books
M2003.10.1.4 4 Newspaper clippings
M2003.10.1.5 5 Memorabilia, misc. (Personal Rememberance)
M2003.10.1.6 6 Journals, Scrapbooks (2 items)  
M2003.10.1.7 7 Lou Pollock Memorial Garden (Cemetery) Book (images from DVD)  

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