Nu-Tread Tire company, 1953
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)
In 1951, the Nu-Tread tire company was described as "rendering a wide range of services to the motoring public," which included a "nationally advertised line of tires, tubes, batteries, and auto accessories" as well as "the General Electric line of electrical appliances such as refrigerators, ranges, radios, etc., including televisions." They were noted to have a 'recapping plant' that was "one of the most modern in this section, and manned by a crew of experienced workers."
The Nu-Tread tire company was started around 1930 in one bay of a commercial structure in the 300 block of McMannen St. (now S. Mangum.)
S. Coley Ray came to Durham in 1933 after working on his father's farm for several years. He worked for a "local tobacco company" until 1937, when he started a service station at the corner of Pine (now Roxboro) and West Pettigrew. This service station was located on the large open corner next to the Venable Warehouse.
In 1943, he purchased the Nu-Tread Tire Company from the previous owner and in 1947 moved the company to a newly constructed building on Foster St.
Nu-Tread Tire Company, 06.16.61
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)
The Ray family ran Nu-Tread Tire until quite recently - I'm not sure exactly when it shut down - 2006?
The building was purchased by Measurement, Inc. and, in March of 2008, they essentially 'swapped' structures with Accent Hardwood Flooring (so that they could control the entire block between Morris, Roney, Corporation, and Hunt - including one of the last remnants of the one-time beautiful houses on Morris.) The former Nu-Tread building became the new headquarters for Accent.
Looking northwest, 06.07.08