shotgun house

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 East 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, redux.

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.

113, 115 and 117 North East Street.

The one hundred-twentieth 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, the houses at #113, #115, #117 are: “ca. 1908; 1 story; shotgun with board-and-batten veneer.” The board-and-batten has been replaced with clapboard.

The 1913 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson shows that there were originally six endway houses (with two different floor plans) on this stretch of North East Street. Street numbering changed about 1922, so the houses above were originally #114, #116 and #118.

In the 1928 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ward Ussell (c; Nettie) lab h 113 N East; 115 N East Vacant; Cooper Jack C (c; Nora) lab  h 117 N East

In the 1930 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bethea Mamie (c) smstrs h 113 N East; Hargrove Andrew (c; Ada) lab h 115 N East; Artis Amelia (c) factory hand  h 117 N East

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 113 North East, paying $6/month rent, Mamie Bathea, 40, laundress; Pattie Manual, 60, mother, laundress; George Kannan, 30, brother, taxi chauffuer; Pearl Manual, 20, nurse for private family; daughters Ruth S., 14, Sally S., 12, and Adel Manual, 10; cousins Louisa, 10, and Ralph Kannan, 8; and daughter Mamie Manual, 4.

In the 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bethea Mamie (c) smstrs h113 N East; Bowman Rufus (c; Daisy) tob wkr h115 N East; Hines Boyd (c; Betty) tob wkr h117 N East

In the 1947 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bethea Annie (c) h 113 N East; Grimes Fagin (c; Addie) lab h 115 N East; Williams Rematha Mrs (c) h 117 N East

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, August 2019.

Shotgun houses restored.

Back during the summer, I enjoyed a long chat with Monica T. Davis about her master’s thesis, which examines the significance of shotgun houses (traditionally known locally as “endway houses) in the East Wilson community. What a pleasure to read this 6 December 2019 Wilson Times article about her efforts to restore these houses to usefulness.

Shotgun houses set for restoration.

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By Brie Handgraaf, bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com

“Tiny houses have gained popularity in recent years, but two Wilson natives are working to restore several shotgun houses, which made the efficient use of a small floorplan cool more than a century ago.

“’When the East Wilson Historic District was nominated in 1988, there were 301 shotgun houses in Wilson and now there are only 88 left,’ said Monica T. Davis. ‘They were built when the tobacco industry was flourishing because shotgun houses could be built compactly with so many on a lot, which was good for the working-class people of the time.’

“Davis, a 2005 graduate of Fike High School, is a graduate student in interior architecture and historic preservation at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She recently teamed up with Antonio M. Jenkins, owner of Tee O’s Luxury Renovations, to purchase five properties and two undeveloped lots on Ash Street and Narrow Way.

“The duo started working on plans to bring back the shotgun floorplans and restore some of the homes’ original features. However, when they talked to city officials about separating two of the parcels, they learned two of the houses on Narrow Way had outstanding permits for demolition.

“Davis and Jenkins got to work, presenting staff with a scope of work and getting a grace period to make progress and save the homes from demolition. Since then, work has begun on the first of the houses at 132 Ash St., which was built in 1910 and has one bedroom.

“’The lawn was very unkept [sic] and you couldn’t event see the shotgun house because of the overgrowth, so we cut that down,’ Davis said. ‘We had some lead-based issues on the front of the house, so that was taken care of. The addition on the back of the home has been started and we have gutted the inside to restore features like the original tongue-and-groove flooring and a beadboard ceiling. All that was covered up by previous owners, so we’re working on revitalizing that.’

“Jenkins, who graduated from Beddingfield in 2006, said he expects each house to take a few months to complete. Davis was awarded the Atlantic World Research Network Graduate Student Research Grant that will help with the effort and 10 students in a preservation class from UNC-G will pitch in this May.

“’They are going to restore some original windows,’ Davis said. ‘They’ll clean some brick pillars and put in some old salvaged wood doors. We’ll also have a demonstration for them on how to install plaster.’

“The owner of Rinascita Designs said she’s worked with a restoration specialist who is confident the restoration work will qualify for tax credits.

“’The renovations will cost between $25,000 and $30,000,’ Jenkins said. ‘The first one appraised at $51,000 and after the repairs, I would say it’ll be valued around $150,000.’

“The plan is to rent the houses for the first five years to comply with the tax credits, but ultimately Davis said she wants to sell them.”

“’We created a nonprofit organization called Rebirthing Our Cultural Kington [sic] Foundation with the goal to teach African Americans in this district and throughout Wilson about homeownership,’ she said. ‘Many of these have been rental properties for over 40 years, but we want to encourage people to be financially literate and work toward owning a home.’

“Davis also hopes her work helps educate people on the history of east Wilson and spurs others to invest in the area.

“’If the people who are living in that neighborhood see we’re from here and have hope, maybe it’ll help change their mindset and improve the historic district,’” she said.”

[Update: More on the renovation of East Wilson shotgun houses from WTVD, ABC 11, a Raleigh television station.]

505 South Pender Street.

The one-hundred-eighteenth 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 does not list 505 South Pender. However, this description of 501, which does not actually exist, seems to describe the house above instead: “ca. 1922; 1 story; shotgun with shed-roofed porch, gable returns.”

In the 1928 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Leak Clara (c) dom h 505 Stantonsburg

In the 1930 Wilson, N.C., city directory: McNeil Mary (c) dom h 505 Stantonsburg

The 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barnes Pearl (c; 2) lndrs h 505 Stantonsburg

In the 1947 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barnes Pearl N (c; wid Zach) lndry wrkr Caro Lndry & Clnrs h 505 Stantonsburg

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The stretch of Pender Street above Suggs Street today, per Google Map. 505 is the silver-roofed shotgun at the corner Pender and Hines.

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Here, the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C. Below Nash Street, Pender Street was then called Stantonsburg Street. When Hines Street was extended east in the 1960s, it largely followed the former path of Wiggins Street. It appears that 501 and 503 were cleared out to make way for the much wider Hines.