Company History

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Oliver Wendell Holmes

The story of Holmes Electric, Inc. began over 100 years ago when Cumberland County native, Oliver Wendell Holmes, returned to Fayetteville to install the electric trolley lines along Hay Street. Seeing the potential in Fayetteville, Mr. Holmes decided to open an electrical contracting business. Holmes Electric was born in Fayetteville NC in 1908.

Mr. Holmes purchased the trolley after installing it and operated and expanded it. He also opened the retail store of Holmes Electric on Hay St. in the early 1900′s. This store sold electrical supplies and appliances. Through the early years it became a small department store selling hardware, sporting goods and house wares in addition to the appliances. During World War II appliances were in short supply. Therefore Mr. Holmes even sold fresh squeezed juice at the front of the retail store. What was once the ‘hardware and house wares’ area of the store eventually evolved into the gift and accessories division of Holmes Electric. Katherine Holmes Wheeler, daughter of O. W. Holmes, successfully led the gift department into the fine gifts and accessories store it is today.

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Luke Wheeler

Luke Wheeler

Mr. Holmes son-in-law, J. D. ‘Luke’ Wheeler, joined the business in 1950 and became the driving force of Holmes Electric until his retirement in 2002. Mr. Wheeler carried on and expanded the appliance division of Holmes Electric into one of the finest major appliance stores in the region. He was able to offer consumers the affordable quality and service that over the year’s customers of Holmes Electric came to expect and receive. In April of 2003 the appliance division was phased out. The Gift store remains and is now known as Holmes Fine Gifts.

Holmes Fine Gifts continues in the tradition of O. W. Holmes in offering quality merchandise and personal service. Gifts and collectables for all occasions and accessories for home and garden can be found beautifully displayed in 2500 square feet of retail area. Among the lines that Holmes Fine Gifts offers their customers are Fontanini Nativity by Roman, Byers’ Choice Carolers, Cuthbertson Original Christmas Tree China, Root Candles, Two’s Company, Willow Tree Angels by Demdaco, and so much more. Holmes Fine Gifts also offers Bridal Registry, Wish List Registry, Free Gift Wrap, in house embroidery and monogram service, and the capability to ship your purchases anywhere around the world.  

Stephen Wheeler

Stephen Wheeler

Stephen Wheeler

Mr. Luke Wheeler started the security systems division of the company, now known as Holmes  Security Systems, in 1967. His son, Stephen Holmes Wheeler, the grandson of the late Oliver Wendell Holmes, continues to operate this hometown family owned business today. Since its start in 1967, the security systems division of the business has grown to become the area’s leader in security sales and central station monitoring. Holmes Security Systems is the only U.L. Approved installation company in Southeastern NC owning and operating a U.L. Approved Central Monitoring Station.

Using the latest advances in custom designed security systems, commercial fire alarm systems, and camera systems, Holmes Security Systems provides their clients with up-to-date technology and service. Holmes Security Systems provides service to customers throughout NC with a main office in Fayetteville, NC and a coastal office in Wilmington, NC. The continued success for Holmes  Security Systems is due to the quality of service offered to their clients. Hometown people serving hometown customers with high standards and a personal touch, sets Holmes Security Systems apart from the other local and national impersonal chain companies.

Just as every customer and their needs are unique, Holmes Security Systems and Holmes Fine Gifts strive to treat every customer and their situation uniquely. Today, their customers are still treated as Oliver Wendell Holmes did when he founded the company over 100 years ago, with a commitment to high standards, high quality, and hometown personal service.