shotgun house

924 Carolina Street.

The one hundred sixty-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. 1922; 1 story; shotgun with hip roof.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Lowe Charles (c) lab h 924 Carolina

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Chappman Viola (c) h 924 Carolina

The bend of Carolina Street between North East and North Vick Streets was once lined with endway [shotgun] houses. Detail from 1940 aerial photograph of Wilson, N.C.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cromartie Leslie (c; Nora; 6) lab h 924 Carolina

In 1942, James Leslie Cromartie registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 31 August 1920 in Saint Paul, N.C.; lived at 924 East Carolina; his contact was Nolie Cromartie, 924 East Carolina; and he worked “Imperial Tobacco (season) … Defense work at present.”

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Mitchell McKinley (c; Augusta) porter RyExp h 924 Carolina

Wilson Daily Times, 5 June 1989.

This 1989 notice reveals that the six shotgun houses at 904 through 924 Carolina Street were built on a single lot and required a zoning variance for repairs because they did not meet setback requirements. 

138 Ashe Street.

The one hundred-forty-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. 1930; 1 story; shotgun with shed-roofed porch.”

The house shown at 138 Ashe Street in the 1922 Sanborn map of Wilson is clearly not the house above. That house, which belonged to the Levi and Hannah H. Peacock family and was later numbered 218, was a multi-roomed bungalow with an auto shed in the rear. It was located much closer to Darden Allen (now Darden Lane) than the present 138.

It appears that, circa 1929, several in-fill endway houses were constructed mid-block on Ashe Street, necessitating the renumbering of houses lying northeast toward Darden Alley. At that point, the Peacocks’ 138 became 218. However, in the 1941 and 1950 city directory, house numbers on Ashe Street skip from 126 to 200. The crucial clue for the house featured above is found in the 1957 city directory, in houses 200- 224 are renumbered as 126-150. Thus, we see that 138 Ashe had been 210 Ashe.

Excerpt from Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1957). 

136 and 138 Ashe were constructed as mirror-image twins. (The side steps of 136 are just visible in the photo.) 138 was later modified with a rear addition.

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In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Simpson Robert (c; Hattie) lab 210 Ashe [As a measure of the tenant turnover in Ashe Street endway houses, note that, when Hattie Simpson died in 1929, the family lived at 127, and when Robert Simpson died in 1934, they lived at 116.]

Rosa Mae Allen died 25 June 1937 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 14 years old; was a student; lived at 210 Ashe; and was born in Wilson County to Wade Allen and Fannie Barnes.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco factory laborer Wade Allen, 37; wife Fannie, 35, tobacco factory stemmer; son John H., 16; Oddesa [illegible], 18, washer; and Mary E. Smith, 16, nurse.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Allen Wade (c; Fannie) farmer h 210 Ashe

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Allen Wade (c; Fannie) lab City Street Dept h 210 Ashe

Photo courtesy of Briggs Sherwood.

1112 Queen Street.

The one hundred-forty-third 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; shotgun with bungalow type porch posts.”

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In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1112 Queen, Luther McKethian, 27; wife Elizabeth, 23; and son Luther, 2.

In 1940, Luther Elworth McKeithan registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 30 December 1911 in Cumberland County, N.C.; lived at 1112 Queen Street, Wilson; his contact was wife Elizabeth McKeithan; and he worked for F.A. Doren, Woolworth’s Nash Street, Wilson.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C. city directory: McKeithan Luther (c; Eliz B) porter F W Woolworth Co h 1112 Queen

On 24 October 1944, Wade Moore paid for an ad in the Daily Times seeking the return of several ration books to him at home or at Rex Shoe Shop, his place of employment.

Endway houses like 1112 Queen were built as rental property, and tenants turned over frequently. Here, the owner or agent listed the house for sale with two adjoining endway houses and several other East Wilson properties:

Wilson Daily Times, 6 September 1946.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wood Howell (c) emp City h 1112 Queen

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2021.

1324 Carolina Street.

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.

Snaps, no. 84: Rev. Hattie Daniels’ home.

Dr. Judy Wellington Rashid shared these photos she took during a visit with Rev. Hattie Daniels‘ daughter Deborah R. Daniels in 1981, two years after Rev. Daniels’ death.

This remarkable framed portrait depicts Rev. Daniels as a young preacher, circa late 1920s or early 1930s. [In my years of searching for and collecting early 20th-century African-American photographic portraits, I have never seen one like this. I fervently hope that this one is safe somewhere with the Daniels family.]

Below, Rev. Daniels’ house at 908 Wainwright Avenue. Just visible behind it, at left, is the building that housed her Golden Rule kindergarten. It has been demolished. Rev. Daniels’ house is now empty and boarded up, and the boxwood hedge, ornamental tree, and small front garden have been ripped out.

The view from Rev. Daniels’ porch toward a line of endways (“shotgun”) houses on the south end of Vick Street. The houses were originally on South East Street. In the early 1970s, when Wiggins Street was eliminated for the extension of Hines Street across newly built Renfro Bridge, East was cut off from Hines by a barricade, and the continuation of Vick across Hines was slightly rerouted. Only three of the endways remain — on the Hines end of the block. All have been renovated within the last twenty or so years.

Many thanks to Dr. Judy W. Rashid.

1018, 1020, 1022 and 1024 Mercer Street.

These abandoned endway houses (as shotgun houses have been traditionally known in Wilson) were built in the 1930s, toward the end of the era of wooden construction for rentals. Their exteriors are in remarkably good shape, each with original siding, tongue-and-groove porches, and tin roofs, though the porch posts appear to be replacements. 

Eula McAllister, Arth Williams, Luvenia Dew and Roger B. Hooks were heads of household at 1018, 1020, 1022 and 1024 Mercer Street in 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2021.

Upcoming event: a study on shotgun houses.

Preservation of Wilson presents a webinar with University of North Carolina-Greensboro graduate student Monica T. Davis on her work on East Wilson’s shotgun houses. Meet Monica here, and join Monday’s Zoom call for more!

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The promo photo depicts a row of endway houses (the local term for shotguns) on Carolina Street, just east of its intersection with Wainwright Street. Until I was nearly ten years old, I lived a block down Carolina. I remember these houses best in the early 1970s, well before this photo was taken, when there was no curbing or gutters, and the houses stood on brick pillars in clean-swept dirt yards.

The 1940 aerial of this area shows the houses in a row of fourteen nearly identical dwellings. (As described in the East Wilson Historic District nomination report, most were built circa 1917 and have shed-roofed porches, but one has a hip-roofed porch; another has a second-story addition; and another is a later-built bungalow.)

Nine of the endway houses are still standing.

600 North Carroll Street.

The one-hundred-twenty-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. 1922; 1 story; shotgun with hip-roofed porch and gable returns.” 

This house lies outside the boundaries of the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance maps of Wilson. The 1950 city directory reveals the original house number was 512:

The 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory listed laborer Charles Finley and wife Martha Finley at 512 North Carroll, but the 1930 reveals that the couple’s surname was actually Winley. 

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 512 Carroll, Charlie Winley, 28; wife Martha, 25; and children Chas. L., 9, Annie M., 7, and Mary F., 5.

In the 1941 city directory the house was vacant.

Floyd Woods died 21 February 1945 at his home at 600 North Carroll. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 December; was 52 years old; was born in Lenoir County to Charlie Woods and Aurey Sutton; was married to Louise Woods; and worked as a laborer.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wood Louise (c; wid Floyd) tob wkr h 512 N Carroll

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2020.

511 South Pender Street.

The one-hundred-twenty-third 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.

The nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District lists this description of 505 South Pender [originally Stantonsburg Street]: “ca. 1922; 1 story; shotgun with shed-roofed porch and gable returns.”

In the 1928 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barnes Lena (c) dom h 511 Stantonsburg

In the 1930 Wilson, N.C., city directory, the house was vacant.

In 1940, Prince Mincey registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 18 March 1908 in Wilson; lived at 511 Stantonsburg Street; his contact was wife Alice Hinnh [Hannah] Mincey; and he worked for C.J. Moore, Wilson.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 511 Stantonsburg Street, rented for $8/month, fertilizer plant laborer Prince Mincy, 30, and wife Alice, 29.

The 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Mincey Prince (c; Alice) tob wkr h 511 Stantonsburg

In the 1947 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Mincey Prince (c; Alice) carp h 511 Stantonsburg

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2020.

505 South Pender Street, revisited.

A year ago, Black Wide-Awake featured the abandoned endway house at the corner of South Pender and Hines Streets.

September 2020 finds the hundred-year-old house under complete renovation.

The interior has been gutted to the studs, but the house will essentially retain its original floor plan — an entry door opening directly into a front room, then a middle room, then at rear a kitchen and bath. (The bathroom was originally a back porch and would have been enclosed in the 1950s or ’60s.)

The house was once heated by an oil stove that vented through a chimney.

The house sits on new concrete block pillars, but a skirt of some sort will likely be added to enclose the crawlspace.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2020.