Houses

More renovation in East Wilson.

I mentioned here and here the recent renovation of houses on East Green Street, a phenomenon that actually extends throughout East Wilson. Some are on the market for sale; others are upgraded rental properties. Here are two more:

  • 900 Viola Street

More about this house later.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, November 2021.

1200 East Hines Street.

The one hundred thirty-ninth 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. 1930; 1 story; bungalow with engaged gable-roofed [sic; it is shed-roofed] porch and heavy square porch posts on brick piers; asbestos veneer.”

The address of this house was 1200 Wainwright Avenue prior to the extension of Hines Street in the early 1970s.

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In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Haskins Damp (c; Sudie B) driver 1200 Wainwright av; Haskins Estelle (c) dom 1200 Wainwright; Haskins Hester (c) h 1200 Wainwright

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Haskins Hester (c) h 1200 Wainwright

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1200 Wainwright, valued at $1700, Coca-Cola Plant laborer Damp Haskins, 24; wife Sudie B., 21; children Damp Jr., 2, and Hellen, 6 months; mother Hester, 72; brother Joseph, 18; sister Martha Pitt, 52, servant; and nephew Jim R. Haskins, 10.

In 1940, Johnnie Hagans registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 26 June 1917 in Wilson; was unemployed; lived at 1200 Wainwright Street; and his contact was mother Mamie Hagans

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hagan Jas (c) lab 1200 S Wainwright av;  Hagan Mamie (c) farmer 1200 S Wainwright av; Hagan Sarah (c) tob wkr 1200 Wainwright av

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Price Louis (c; Nellie) farmer h 1200 S Wainwright av

Wilson Daily Times, 9 July 1948.

Louis Price died 23 August 1948 at his home at 1200 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 June 1903 in Harnett County, N.C., to Walter Price and Amy McNeil; and was buried in Smith Grove, Dunn, N.C.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 June 1962. 

[Personal sidenote: During my childhood, 1200 Wainwright was the home of William and Mable Tyson Foreman. My sister and I spent many happy hours playing with their three grandchildren, our “play cousins,” on their visits from Washington, D.C.]

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, November 2021. 

309 North Pender Street.

The one hundred thirty-eighth 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.

In the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this address is described as a vacant lot. It is currently a garden area for the inhabitants of 311 North Pender.

Per Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno in Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey (1980), source of the photo above: “This cottage dates between 1880 and 1900. Built in an L-plan, the front cross gable boasts double arched windows. The shed roof porch is supported by turned columns.”

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309 North Pender as drawn in the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map. The narrow street running alongside the house (just visible in the photo above) was once known as “Short Viola” Street. It is now an alley.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Smith Mattie (c) lndrs h 309 Pender

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bell Chas (c; Nina) lab h 309 Pender

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 309 Pender, rented for $16/month, Charlie Bell, 48, truck driver; wife Nina, 21; sons Dillon, 4, and Benson, 1; and lodger Rosa Lee White, 22.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 309 Pender, rented for $12/month, Alice Artis, 56; daughter Pauline Henderson, 39; and children Bessie L., 23, Alice, 20, Joyce, 18, Mildred, 16, Doris, 10, and Robert, 4.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cooper Wm (c; Nellie, 2) lab h 309 Pender

Nellie McLeod Cooper died 2 February 1947 in Wilson, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 46 years old; was born in Robeson County, N.C.; lived at 309 North Pender; was married to Willie Cooper; and worked as common laborer at a tobacco factory.

Pettigrew Street.

Divided by East Nash Street, Pettigrew Street is two blocks long. By the 1920s, the two halves were starkly segregated, with African-Americans at the north end and whites at the south. (The exception on the south end was the Oak City Pressing Club, a laundry service.)

Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, 1930.

Today, North Pettigrew Street is abandoned, dotted with the husks of commercial buildings.

Only one house, at 210, stands. Originally a two-room duplex, the house is vacant despite a recent renovation (in which one of the front doors was removed.)

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In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Smith Chas (c; Geneva) lab h 210 N Pettigrew

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Daniel Wm (c) firemn h 210 N Pettigrew

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Faison Millard (c; Lina) lab h 210 N Pettigrew

In 1942, Millard Harry Faison registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, Faison was born 11 September 1897 in Duplin County, N.C.; lived at 210 Pettigrew Street; his contact was H.J. Faison, Faison, N.C.; and he worked under a contractor’s contract at Marine Barracks, New River, Onslow County, N.C.

Unity Peace Mission, a non-denominational church headed by W.E. Willoughby, was active in Wilson in the 1940s. Wilson Daily Times, 12 January 1943.

Wilson Daily Times, 28 October 1944.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 January 1947.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, November 2021.

905 Robeson Street.

The one hundred thirty-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 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. 1922; 1 story; locally rare double-pile, hip-roofed duplex with center roof gable.”

Per Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno in Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey (1980), which includes the photo above: “Representative of many houses built in Wilson at the turn of the century, this house has a large central shingled cross gable on each elevation. The house has been altered to convert it into a duplex.”

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In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Oliver Jesse (c; Mary) driver Wilson Marble & G Co h 905 Robeson

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: McLean Eliza (c) dom h 905 Robeson

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John Artis, 28, public service laborer, and son Willie, 15; also, John Jones, 39, public service laborer, and wife Viola, 31, housekeeper in private home.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones John H (c; Viola) tob wkr h 905 Robeson

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pepper Wm (c; Mary) soft drinks 902 Wiggins h 905 Robeson; also Allen James (c; Cora) lab h 905 Robeson

Former glory?

Today’s Wilson Times touted the renovation of the James Scarborough plantation house near Saratoga, and its new use as an event venue, as a return to its “former glory.” Though the reporter’s editor was unfazed by her nostalgic waxing, some readers on Facebook immediately homed in on the problem.

I added to the Facebook thread a link to Black Wide-Awake‘s post on this 200 year-old house. The Times article speaks of parties and weddings and family reunions, and the desire of the new owners to share “this home and its history with the community,” but there is no mention, even in passing, of the largest set of actors in that history. Nan, Aggy Sr., Silvey, Lemon, Washington, Sumter, Young Aggy, Haywood, Luke, Gilford, Orange, and Willis, among others, were enslaved by James and Martha Scarborough, and their labor created and sustained the family’s wealth. Enslaved men and women built this house, labored in its fields, cooked in its kitchen, cared for its children. Glory came only with freedom.

After some hours, The Times modified its article and offered this statement — an acknowledgment that stops well short of an apology and seems still to miss the point.

My thanks to all who spoke truth and demanded accountability today.

Photo courtesy of Wilson Times.

721 East Green Street.

The one hundred thirty-fifth 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 1/2 stories; H.B. Taylor house; intact Queen Anne cottage with double-pile, hip-roofed form and front-facing wing; Taylor was a minister with the Calvary Presbyterian Church.”

Per Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno in Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey (1980), source of the photo above: “Built c. 1913 for Halley B. Taylor, the pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church, this house is an example of the influence of the Colonial Revival style on traditional forms. The L-plan form, commonly used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is updated here by the additional [sic] of a dormer with a Palladian window, and a pedimented entry to the wrap-around porch. A cut out foliate motif and delicate turned columns further enhance the porch.”

721 Green Street was originally numbered 650. The house has been demolished.

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In 1918, Hally Blanton Taylor registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 11 July 1879; lived at 650 East Green Street; was a minister; and his contact was Marie L. Taylor.

In the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Taylor Halley B Rev, pastor Calvary Presbyterian Church h 650 E Green

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 700 [sic] East Green, Henry [sic] Taylor, 40, preacher; wife Louise, 28; and children Bettie, 8, Louise, 6, Robert, 5, and Halley, 4.

I wrote of the 1923 sale of Rev. Halley B. Taylor’s house to the trustees of First Baptist here.

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Calvert [sic] Henrietta (c) trained nurse h 721 E Green

In the 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Colvert Henrietta (c) nurse h 721 E Green

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 721 East Green, rented for $40/month, Henrietta Colvert, 32, trained nurse for insurance company.

Maintaining respectability was important. Wilson Daily Times, 23 September 1935.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 721 East Green, rented at $12/month, Bettie Watts, 59, widow, and her foster daughters Amelia, 38, household servant, and Isabelle Gibson, 13.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Johnson Floyd (c; Flossie; 4) tob wkr h 721 E Green

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis Jas C (c; Minnie) porter RyExpAgcy h 721 E Green

Outbuildings.

Once upon a time, back yards in East Wilson were dotted with outbuildings — auto garages, sheds, chicken coops, outdoor toilets, and other small structures. The whitewashed brick shed above, now standing in a side yard on East Green Street, may once have been used as a root cellar.(Note the diagonal wedge of brick on the shed’s gable end, indicating a re-purposing of the original structure that required partial reconstruction.]

At the rear of Noah J. Tate’s house at 307 North Pender — two adjoining sheds, an auto garage, and an open-sided car port. Detail of 1922 Wilson, N.C., Sanborn fire insurance map.

Sheds and garages behind the houses of Hardy Tate (611), Della Hines Barnes (613), William Hines (615), and Walter Hines (617). Detail of 1922 Wilson, N.C., Sanborn map.

Sheds in backyards in the 400 block of North Vick Street. Detail of 1922 Wilson, N.C., Sanborn map.

The sheds and chicken coops behind these houses on East Green Street are believed to have belonged to Samuel and Annie Vick at 622. Detail of 1922 Wilson, N.C., Sanborn fire insurance map.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2021.

1006 Washington Street.

The one hundred thirty-fourth 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. 1930; 1 story; Bungalow with gable-end form and subsidiary gable-end porch.”

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In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Lamm Edward (Etta) (L&L Oldsmobile Co) h 1006 Washington. Edwin (not Edward) and Etta Bass Lamm were white. Why they were living in a solidly African-American residential block in 1928 is a mystery.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Murphy Josephine (c) cook h 1006 Washington

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1006 Washington, owned and valued at $3000, Josephine Murphy, 56, widow, washing, born in Bennettsville [, S.C.] and two roomers Herbert Hines, 35, hotel bell boy, and Aletha, 27, cook.

Josephine Murphy died 15 December 1951 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 70 years old; was born in Marlboro, S.C., to Edmond Stubbs and Donella Jackson; lived at 1006 East Washington Street; was a widow; and had lived in Wilson since 1930. She was buried in Macedonia Cemetery, Bennettsville. Josephine Williams was informant.

Wilson Daily Times, 9 September 1983.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2021.