The Resource Oral history interview, Terri Denton ; interviewed by Amy Accles, (sound recording)

Oral history interview, Terri Denton ; interviewed by Amy Accles, (sound recording)

Oral history interview
Oral history interview
Statement of responsibility
Terri Denton ; interviewed by Amy Accles
  • This interview records the reflections and viewpoints of Ms. Terri Denton, manager of a locally-run family-owned business, Denton's Furniture, on the atmosphere and condition of Court Square, Harrisonburg, Va. before and after the completion of the Valley Mall in 1978. [Note: Denton's Furniture went out of business in 1991]. Her opinions reflect those of a long-time resident and merchant of the area. Reviews a brief history of the family business, first begun in 1878, with mention of various family members and discussion of buildings owned over the years. Reminisces about the small-town atmosphere of a busy centrally-locally downtown area twenty years ago (ex. a feeling of community between merchants; the typical shopper; Friday nights on the town, and the general sense of comraderie that existed). Discusses the effect of the Mall on the Court Square and concerns over the relocation of the two major department stores (Penney's and Leggett's) and failure of J. Neys. Compares and contrasts regional shopping areas; notes impact of highway systems on shopping developments and shoppers' habits
  • (cont.) Believes downtown has changed from a retail hub to a banking/lawyer/financial district. Sees impact of Mall in vacant buildings, less traffic flow and net income. Discusses various retail merchant's associations, including the Downtown Harrisonburg Merchant's Association and its support of community events (Christmas parade, Farmer's Market) and lessening influence. Sees general growth of Harrisonburg and increased competition (ex. chains such as Wal-mart and Rose's) as being the biggest challenge to a family-owned furniture business. Discusses shoppers habits; downtown revitalization efforts (ex. beautification, controversial ban on public events on the court lawn). Regrets the sense of loss of community in the downtown area, yet expresses a positive view of its future (ex. new small entrepreneur businesses; building of a new County Jail, proposed new parking deck; and relations with James Madison University
  • (cont.) Refers to the following stores: Leggett's, Penney's Alfred and Joseph Neys', Woolworth's, Grand Piano, Schewel Furniture; Hostetter Drugstore, Hughes' Pharmacy, People's Drugstore; Wilson Jewelers; Studio Art Shop; Gitchell's, Harrison's Antiques. Mentions sandwich shops/restaurants such as: Jess' Quick Lunch, the Famous Restaurant, Spanky's Delicatessen, Belzona Cafe, Calhoun's. Refers to the public library; historic Morrison House
Accompanying matter
  • bibliography
  • biography of composer or author
  • historical information
  • other
Cataloging source
Date time place
Recorded at the Denton's Furniture Store, 61 Court Square, Harrisonburg, Va. on Feb. 7, 1990
Form of composition
not applicable
Format of music
not applicable
Literary text for sound recordings
Series statement
James Madison University sound archives
Series volume
no. 2-4.
Oral history interview, Terri Denton ; interviewed by Amy Accles, (sound recording)
  • Complete transcription of tape available
  • Interview setting summary and index also available with tape and full transcription (leaves [42a]-54 of text)
  • Forms part of Court Square, Harrisonburg, Virginia, an oral history project. For more background information, see Court Square, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Part of an oral history project / Amy Accles (OCLC record 25527973). For details on individual interviews, all conducted by Amy Accles, see the following: Oral history interview [sound recording] / Ronn Short (OCLC record 25535117). Oral history interview [sound recording] / Bob Sullivan (OCLC record 25569256)
Accompanying material
1 transcription (13 leaves ; 28 cm.)
Configuration of playback channels
Control code
1/8 in.
3 7/8 x 2 1/2 in.
1 sound cassette (25 min.)
Groove width / pitch
not applicable
Other physical details
1 7/8 ips
Specific material designation
sound cassette
1 7/8 ips (tapes)
Tape configuration
quarter 4 track
Tape width
1/8 in.

Library Locations

    • Special Collections Research CenterBorrow it
      Carrier Library Second Floor Room 203, MSC 1704, 880 Madison Drive, Harrisonburg, VA, 22807, US
      38.438299 -78.8741916
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