1018, 1020, 1022 and 1024 Mercer Street.

These abandoned endway houses (as shotgun houses have been traditionally known in Wilson) were built in the 1930s, toward the end of the era of wooden construction for rentals. Their exteriors are in remarkably good shape, each with original siding, tongue-and-groove porches, and tin roofs, though the porch posts appear to be replacements. 

Eula McAllister, Arth Williams, Luvenia Dew and Roger B. Hooks were heads of household at 1018, 1020, 1022 and 1024 Mercer Street in 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2021.


  1. Gosh, these could be just adorable restored! They do look in pretty good condition.

    I don’t often comment, but I enjoy reading your columns so much.

    1. Thank you! These houses exemplify the real estate adage — “Location, location, location.” I’d hazard that gutting, rehabbing, and bringing them up to code would not make any economic sense. Much of the block they’re in is abandoned.

  2. Much thanks Lisa. Helps contextualize the passions that propelled the migration from South to the North.

  3. Looking forward to Monday night’s Zoom Mtg forum on the Shotgun Houses of Ashe Street .. my Googie (Ms Lula Bynum Ruffin m. Clarence Ruffin and was stepmom to his daughters Thelma Gray, Inez and Dorothy Ruffin) might have lived in one of these .. I was there myself regularly ..!

  4. Ernest Lee Barnes is the great grandson of Jane Mobley.His grandparents were Rhoda Mobley and Benjamin Barnes and his father were Will and Maggie Barnes.He were married to Elma Close of Martin co he was killed by accident in the street while drunk. fighting his wife.

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