My uncles moved North; my father and his sister cast their lots in Wilson. Both had two daughters, born in age-matched pairs. Monica Ellis Barnes was born exactly nine months before I was and was my very first bestie. Here we are, with her little sister, in front of their house on Faison Street. Happy milestone birthday, cousin! May it be filled with laughter and all the love your heart can hold!
R.C. Henderson and his girls, 1401 Carolina Street, 1971.
I think of my father every day, but this one hits different this year. Still, I’m grateful for his love and legacy.
Happy Father’s Day, Black Wide-Awake. (And Juneteenth, too.)
The one hundred thirty-first 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 this grainy Polaroid, me in front of my friends’ house at 1324 Carolina, circa 1973.
As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1917; 1 story; shotgun with shed-roofed porch and gable returns; Masonite veneer.” 1324 is one of a row of endway houses on the south side of Carolina between Wainwright and Powell Streets. Shifts in the numbering of houses in this block make it difficult to trace its first few decades of inhabitants.
Per the 15 October 1971 Wilson Daily Times, Wilson’s city council ordered the demolition of 1324 as “unsafe and dangerous to life and property.” Its owner, Luther Jones, agreed to repair the house, and city council revoked the order in 1974. The house still stands.