319 South Pender Street.

The ninetieth 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.

October 2018.

The address of this location was originally 315 Stantonsburg Street, then 319 Stantonsburg Street, and finally 319 South Pender Street.

Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C., 1922.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1922; 1 story; Harrell’s Grocery; exemplary grocery in district, with parapet front and recessed entry.” In the “Physical Description” section of the for:, “The local grocery is exemplified by “Harrell’s,” a frame structure with a simple parapet front and recessed entry, where a variety of fresh greens are on display.”

Since 1988, the appearance of this “exemplary” building has been much, and unfortunately, altered. The parapet front has been covered with a square facade of siding and, most drastically, the entrance to the store has shifted from the street to the side facing the parking lot. The original entryway is just visible below the store sign.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Dew Geneva (c) beer 315 Stantonsburg h 203 Stantonsburg. (In the 1947 city directory, the address has shifted 319 Stantonsburg.)

In the 1963 city directory, S&D Fish Market (Robt L Crook) 319 Stantonsburg

The store’s ownership continues to turn over regularly. As recently as 2016, Romanian Hero was called Jordan’s.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson.

4 comments

  1. Lil’ Bobbie was the meat cutter and cashier there. On April 5, 1968. the teenagers of the community ( young men .) rallied and participated in overt civil disobedience. Harrell’s which had an assortment of groceries and fresh meat, poultry and seafood was ” Liberated .” This group of young men hosted a ” community cookout ” every weekend through the 4th of July. These affairs were rent parties and helped support the ” Household ” at that time that lived under the pecan tree on the corner of Robeson & East Street…. those were the days, I remember it well

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