Viola Street

812 Viola Street.

The seventy-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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1922; 1 1/2 stories; gambrel-roofed house; double-pile; turned porch posts; locally rare.”

Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno’s Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey (1980) provides additional details about the house, including the photo above. “This house, probably built in the early twentieth century, has an extremely unusual gambrel roof. Two peaked louvers ornament the gable end and a shed roof porch with turned columns shelters the front facade.” This house has been demolished.

From the mid-1920s to the late 1940s, this house was owned by Nancy Staton Boykin and her husband James Boykin.

703 Viola Street.

The seventy-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.

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As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1913; two-roomed house with shed-roofed porch.”

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 703 Viola Street, house carpenter Jessie Ward, 36; wife Mary, 34; and children Mabel, 17, Gertrude, 12, Kerfus, 7, Malachi, 5, Dempsey, 3, Virginia, 2, and Sara, 1 month. However, the house above was number 654  until about 1922. The family at 654 Viola: widow Dora Bobbit, 47, and niece Parthina Avery, 17.

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Rice George, barber The Mayflower h 703 Viola

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Palmer Horace (c; Mary) slsmn Eastern Carolina Service Corp h 703 Viola

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 703 Viola, rented at $10/month, widow Marjorie Benjamin, 53, tobacco factory hanger; son Harry, 26, truck driver; son’s wife Lelia, 26, in household service; and daughter Elizabeth, 20, tobacco factory laborer.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Benjamin Eliz (c) tob wkr h 703 Viola and Benjamin Margie (c) tob wkr h 703 Viola

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

609 Viola Street.

The seventy-second 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.

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As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1908; L-plan cottage with especially intact bracketed porch; asbestos shingled.”

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Viola Street, Wash Joyner, 35, house painter; wife Sarah, 32, laundress; and son Alexander, 13.

In 1917, Alexander Barnes Joyner registered for the World War I draft in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Per his registration card, he was born 5 June 1896 in Wilson, his address was 616 Viola Street, and worked as a chair pusher for the Shill Company in Atlantic City. [Under the pre-1922 numbering system, 609 Viola was 616.]

In 1918, George Washington Joyner registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 15 April 1875; resided at 616 Viola Street; was a self-employed barber at 213 Goldsboro Street, Wilson; and his nearest relative was Sarah Jane Joyner, 616 Viola.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: public laborer Sarah Joyner, 45, widow, and son Elex, 22.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 609 Viola, owned and valued at $2000, maid Sarah Joyner, 40, widow.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Joyner Sarah (c) lndrs h 609 Viola

Sarah Joyner died 5 May 1943 at her home at 609 East Viola Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 66 years old; was born in Wilson County to Alex Barnes and Frances Stephens, both of Wilson County; was the widow of J. Washington Joyner; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Informant was Annie Alexander of the home.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.

1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C. (The private school was, of course, the Independent School.)

Snaps, no. 36: Ernest and Myrtle Clifton Haskins.

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This magnificent photo depicts Ernest and Myrtle Clifton Haskins on the Viola Street-side porch of their home at 309 Elba Street on a Sunday morning circa 1965.

Ernest Haskins (1898-1975) was the son of Damp and Hester Haskins. Myrtle Clifton Haskins (1900-1970) was the daughter of James C. and Susan Clifton Clifton.

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The Haskins’ 1920 marriage license.

Many thanks to their grandson Ernie Haskins for sharing this snapshot.

 

807 Viola Street.

The 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.

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As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “circa 1960; 1 story; concrete block double shotgun.” This description of 807 Viola is obviously incorrect. What happened?

The nomination form lists five houses on the north side of the 800 block of Viola Street: (1) #801, an I-house built about 1913; (2) #803, a house built about 1970; (3) #805, a Queen Anne built about 1913; (4) #807; and (5) another Queen Anne built about 1913.

A current aerial view of the street shows that, nearly 30 years after the neighborhood was surveyed, 801 and 811 are vacant lots. #803 is easily recognized as the modern house described in the nomination form. However, there is no 805 Viola. Rather, the house next to 803 is 807 — the Queen Anne depicted above. The concrete block double shotgun is, in fact, #809.

The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map, below, sheds some light on the street’s curious numbering. #801, the two-story I-house, is shown at the corner of Viola and Vick. At #803 is the predecessor to the 1970s-era ranch house now there. Hard against the street in #803’s front yard was #805, marked “S” for “store.” #807 is the same house currently at the location.

In the 1916 Wilson city directory: Brown Caroline h 807 Viola.

In the 1920 Wilson city directory: Brown Caroline dom h 807 Viola.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 807 Viola, Caroline Brown, 50, and daughter Marjory, 22, both tobacco factory laborers, and grandchildren Lister, 12, and Marie, 1.

In the 1930 Wilson city directory, 807 Viola is described as vacant, and there is no listing for the house in the 1930 census of Wilson.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 807 Viola Street, widowed laundress Blanche Farmer, 67; sons Henry, 34, truck driver for wholesale grocery company, and Samuel, 25, janitor for retail department store; and grandchildren Windsor, 24, tobacco factory laborer, Turner G., 19, cafe cook, and Gloria Hagans, 13, and James H. Farmer, 6.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson City Directory: Farmer Blanche (c) h 807 Viola.

Blanch Farmer died 27 March 1959 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 29 July 1889 in Wilson County to Samuel Gay and Alice Bryant; resided at 807 East Viola Street; and was a widow. Goldie Ricks was informant.

Photograph of house by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2017; aerial photo courtesy of Google Maps.

911 Viola Street.

The fifteenth 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.

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As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this well-preserved house is a: “ca. 1913; 1 story; Queen Anne cottage; double-pile, hip-roofed with projecting front wing; bracketed porch posts.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 911 Viola, paying $10/month rent, farmer George Bullock, 59, wife Ella, 56, sons Buddie, 15, and Author, 13, grandchildren Bulah M., 8, Willie, 6, and Charlie L., 5, and daughter Effie Davis, 23, and her husband Ernest Davis, 28.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 911 Viola, laundress Cherry Ellis, 42, and son Paul, 19, a farm laborer. Ellis rented for $10/month and reported that the family had lived in the house in 1935. In the 1941 edition of Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, Cherry Ellis is listed at 911 Viola Street. In 1942, when Wesley Edwin Hines registered for the World War II draft, he listed Cherry Ellis of 911 Viola as his contact person. Per his registration card, Hines lived at 1001 East Vance Street; was born 28 April 1904 in Wilson County; and worked for Hackney Wagon Company on Gold Street in Wilson. Paul Ellis also registered in 1942. Born 1 April 1921, he lived with his mother at 911 Viola and was unemployed.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.

309 Elba Street (633 Viola Street).

The eleventh 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.

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As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1930; 2 stories; gable front house; two bay, side-hall plan; bungalow type porch and detail.”

Though the address is listed in the nomination as 633 Viola Street, that seems to be incorrect. In the 1930 Sanborn insurance map of Wilson, the house is numbered 629 Viola. (There is no 633 on the map.) Neither the 1930 nor 1940 censuses show any household numbered 633 (or even 629) Viola. Modern searches attach the address 309 Viola to this house.

In the 1930 Hill’s city directory, veterinarian Elijah L. Reid, his wife Ietta and daughter Odessa are listed at 309 Elba, located on the north side of the intersection of Elba and Viola. In the 1930 census: at 309 Elba, doctor of veterinary surgery Eliria L. Reed, 67; daughter Odessa B. Spicer, 28, a beauty parlor operator; and wife Ietta Reid, 57. The house was valued at $5000.

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From 1930 Sanborn insurance map of Wilson, N.C.

After Louisa Kersey Johnson died 15 January 1934, her daughter Gertrude Jones of 309 Elba Street provided information for her death certificate.

In the 1945 yearbook of Winston-Salem State Teachers College, senior Charles Branford‘s address is listed as 309 Elba Street.

In the 1950s and ’60s, the house was inhabited by the family of Ernest and Myrtie Clifton Haskins, as shown in this excerpt from the 1959 edition of Hills’ Wilson, N.C., city directory.

Though the house has entrances on both Viola and Elba Streets, the larger porch faces Elba. (See photo below.) With this orientation, the description changes considerably from that in the nomination form, as the house is gable-end, rather than gable-front, and three, rather than two, bays wide.

Photographs taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.