Saddlebag houses like this one in the Evansdale area were common in the landscape of rural Wilson County as recently as the 1980s. I don’t know who lived in this particular house, but it is typical of those inhabited by tenant farmers, many of whom were African-American.
The basic saddlebag form consists of two rooms side-by-side, each with a front door. This house, however, has four rooms.
The headboard ceiling and walls are likely original, but the door communicating between the two rooms was probably cut through much later.
A view of the back two rooms. The door between these rooms is also likely a later addition.
Formerly 515 South Spring Street, this house is not within the bounds of East Wilson Historic District. However, South Spring Street, now Douglas — below the warehouse district — has been an African-American residential area since the turn of the twentieth century.
The house likely originally comprised only two rooms — known as the “saddlebag” type. An ell at the rear would have been added later to encompass a kitchen and bathroom. Current tax records show that the house measures 792 square feet.
In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hargett Lemuel (c; Beadie) lab h515 Spring
In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Whitley Connell (c; Louise) USA h515 Spring