708 Viola Street.

The one hundred-seventy-second 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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1913; 1 story; L-plan cottage with cutaway bay; aluminum-sided.”

Charles S. and Lessie Barbrey Alston lived at 708 Viola Street in 1921.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 August 1921.

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cotton Mark H (c) lab h 708 Viola

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cotton Mark H (c; Minnie) h 708 Viola

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cotton Mark H (c; Minnie) h 708 Viola

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: owned and valued at $2000, Mark Cotton, 87; wife Minnie, 37, servant; and stepdaughters Ruline, 19, and Eunice Brooks, 17, farm laborer.

The 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory lists Elizabeth Robinson, cook; Evelyn Robinson, cook; Lucile Robinson, maid; and William Robinson, laborer, at 708 Viola.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Robinson Eliz (c) h 708 Viola

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2022.


  1. I remember sitting on the porch with my grandmother Annie Brooks Melton @707 E Viola St right across from that house, my Granny and Ms King used to sit out Singing old Primitive Baptist Hymn around 1962. I was 7 years old. The Williams that moved Imperial where living at 708

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