303 Elba Street.

The first in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located at 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 developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen […]

Where we worked, 1922 — J and K.

City directories offer fine-grained looks at a city’s residents at short intervals. The 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., directory reveals the types of work available to African-Americans during the booming tobacco era. This post is the ninth in an alphabetical series listing all “colored” directory entries for whom an occupation was listed. The address is the […]

Reverend Silver comes to Wilson.

Hattie Henderson Ricks remembered: … Mama’d make us go to Holiness Church and stay down there and run a revival two weeks.  And we’d go down there every night and lay back down there on the bench and go to sleep.  … Mama’d go every night.  And they’d be shouting, holy and sanctified, jumping and shouting. […]

Studio shots, no. 84: Jesse and Sarah Henderson Jacobs.

On 27 November 1895, Jesse Jacobs married Sarah Henderson in Wayne County, North Carolina. [The photo probably commemorated their wedding.] In the 1900 census of Dudley, Brogden township, Wayne County: farmer Jessey Jacobs, 42; wife Sarah D., 28; and children Aner S., 17, Redis J., 15, Carie, 13, Docter, 8, Hatie, 6, and Anie B., […]

703 East Green Street.

The fifty-seventh 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 […]

Bell hops at the Hotel Cherry.

In 1991, front desk clerk turned newspaper man Roy G. Taylor (1918-1995) self-published a memoir of his years working in Wilson. Though tinged with the casual racism of the time, My City, My Home offers fascinating glimpses of Wilson in the World War II era. Here are excerpts: “Anyway, [hotel owner J.T. Barnes] had a suite on the […]

Better furniture.

This tag, shown front and back and dated November 1933, was found among personal papers of Hattie Henderson Ricks, who lived in Wilson from 1911 until 1958. Most likely, her adoptive mother (and great-aunt) Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver purchased a mattress, box spring, stove and other items for their home at 303 Elba Street. ($87.50 is […]

Snaps, no. 8: Cax aside all fear.

Evangelist Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver with her Bible, circa 1931. The boy is her great-nephew, Lucian J. Henderson. This photo appears to have been taken at the same time as this one. I have written here of a Bible (not the one shown above) that once belonged to Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver. When I first […]