The Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Company commissioned Forbes and Brother to construct the building at a cost of $15,000 in 1903. An electrical panel from the original building is displayed at the property.
The Black Patch Tobacco War of the early 1900s led to tobacco farmers using violent tactics against monopolistic tobacco companies. On December 7, 1907, armed and masked “night riders” took over the city in the early morning hours. About 30 men broke into the Cumberland Telephone office, took operators prisoner, and cut communications to prevent calls for help. Three tobacco warehouses and several residences were burned to the ground before dawn.
Cumberland Telephone and successor companies occupied the building until 1953. Afterwards, several other businesses occupied the space including beauty schools, a real estate company, a credit union, and a basement pool hall.
Beginning with a remodel in the 1980s, the building has been continually maintained. Recent upgrades include new HVAC, modern windows, a water filtration system, a tankless water heater, submeters for gas and electric, a vinyl roof covering over the original tin, heated gutters and a new sewer line.
Recently, the facade and brick siding have been extensively repointed and the original slate roof has been repaired with new matching slate replacing damaged shingles.