the World of Trucking
Experience the early days of trucking as
they come alive through the exhibit at the C. Grier Beam Truck Museum.
This must see attraction was founded in 1982 by the Carolina Freight Carriers
Corporation as part of its 50th Anniversary celebration.
in the original gas station where Carolina Freight had its humble beginnings,
you can explore over 7500 square feet of vintage trucking memorabilia
covering over seven decades. Catch the spirit that sparked the growth
of one of America's largest and most respected companies in the world!
Big Wheels Rolling
C. Grier Beam's long and successful venture
into the trucking industry began in 1932. Fresh out of college yet unemployed,
Beam's vision began with a 1931 Chevrolet truck bought on good faith and
a series of notes. From hauling coal for the Lincoln County Schools, to
transporting fresh fruit from Florida, this young entrepreneur expanded
his company from the fledgling Beam Trucking Company to a company grossing
over $137,000 in 1937. Thus Carolina Freight Carriers Corporation was
Keep on Trucking
Though the country was mired in the midst
of the nation's deepest depression, the little Cherryville company continued
its climb to the top. They even managed to purchase a second truck with
the help of Cross Cotton Mills of Marion. This enabled them to haul yarn
up north for the mill; bring back other products to the south and eventually
expand to a three truck fleet. Visitors will be interested in learning
that drivers were paid $12 to $15 per trip, sometimes taking more than
a week and paying their own expenses. Yet there was never a shortage of
drivers due to the high unemployment brought on by the Great Depression.
During its long and colorful history, Carolina
Freight succeeded because of C. Grier Beam's commitment to his Carolina
Family philosophy. His dedication to his employees is reflected by
many stories such as that of John L. "Buck" Fraley. He was one
of the firm's first employees. He rose through the ranks to the position
of Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. An integral part of the
team, he led the company during its most successful years. That success
included becoming one of the ten largest motor carriers of general commodities
during the last two decades of its operation.
C. Grier Beam Truck Museum has been designated
one of the area's top attractions with visitors from throughout the United
States and numerous foreign countries. It is dedicated to a true visionary
and the local people who turned his vision into a reality
End of an Era
In 1994, new management made the decision
to move all trucking operations from Cherryville. In 1995, Carolina Freight
Corporation was acquired by Arkansas Best Corporation. Sadly enough, it
was the end of an era for many members of the Carolina Family and
the town of Cherryville. The C. Grier Beam Truck Museum is committed to
preserving this rich history of both Carolina Freight and the trucking
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
(Other times by appointment)
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
New Year's Day
C. Grier Beam Truck Museum
111 North Mountain Street
P.O Box 238
Cherryville, North Carolina 28021
Phoenix Corporate Services, Inc.