401 1/2 North Pender Street.

The sixty-third in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

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As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1908; 1 story; two-room house with chamfered-post, hip-roofed porch; fine example of the type in the district.”

The 1908 Sanborn map of Wilson shows 401 1/2 as 300 Pender. By 1922, per the Sanborn map, the house had been renumbered 401. 401 Pender Street is a now 1930-era shotgun shoehorned between Vance Street and 401 1/2 Pender.

Vance Street marked a hard boundary on Pender Street. The 300 block of Pender and points south-west were home to African-American families. The 400 block and points north-east were white. This excerpt from the householder’s directory section of the 1930 edition of Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory reveals the line of demarcation plainly:

The parameters of this sharply segregated neighborhood persisted into the 1960s.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2018.

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