Durham Farmer's Exchange / Central Carolina Farmer's Exchange

Durham Farmer's Exchange / Central Carolina Farmer's Exchange


The Durham Farmer's Exchange transformed into the Central Carolina Farmer's Exchange by the mid-1940s, and expanded during the 1940s-1960s to dominate the landscape between Mallard, Elizabeth, Gilbert, and Alston.

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JOHN O'DANIEL HOSIERY MILL / FARMERS' EXCHANGE

801
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1915-1917
/ Modified in
1930
,
2009
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 09/03/2013 - 11:56am by gary

Location

35° 59' 45.8268" N, 78° 53' 21.2244" W

Comments

801
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1915-1917
/ Modified in
1930
,
2009
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

Scanned from 1924 Durham City of Industry book.

Another of my favorite buildings in Durham, the John O'Daniel Hosiery Mill building, was built at 801 Gilbert St. in the late 1910s as the Paragon Hosiery Mill. It changed names rather quickly thereafter to become the Bowling-Emory Knitting Mill before being acquired in 1919 by Julian S. Carr as a branch of his expanding Durham Hosiery Mills.

Carr named the mill after the recently (1917) deceased John O'Daniel - who the Historic Inventory euphemistically refers to as a former "servant" (rather than an enslaved person) in the Carr household. By all accounts, the relationship between Julian Carr and and John O'Daniel was an interesting one. O'Daniel is referred to in several accounts as Carr's "right-hand man." Carr was one of the first to take the then-unconventional step of hiring African-American labor in his mills. The offensive belief of the time, according to Jean Anderson, was that that "[B]lacks were incapable of running machinery." One of Carr's mills, Durham Hosiery Mill No. 2, located in Hayti on East Pettigrew St. was staffed and managed entirely by African-Americans.

Regardless, John O'Daniel was likely Carr's 'liaison' in the African-American community, helping to hire and recruit. He was one of the earliest African-American landowners in Hayti - purchasing a tract on Fayetteville St. in 1877, and he later contributed financially to the building of St. Joseph's AME.

O'Daniel's relationship with Carr led some to spread the rumor that O'Daniel was actually Carr's half-brother, which was never confirmed. Carr stated once that "John considered himself part of the Carr family." Take that as you will. John O'Daniel is buried in Geer Cemetery (which he may have been part owner of.)

The mill was also known as Durham Hosiery Mill No. 12

The John O'Daniel Hosiery Mill didn't last very long. Julian Carr died in 1924, and I believe that John Sprunt Hill took over the mills (which began waning soon after World War I). In 1930, John Sprunt Hill offered the JOD Hosiery Mills building for a Farmer's Exchange - a farmers' cooperative which would grow to 900 members by 1935. The decline in the tobacco crop in the late 1920s due to blight spurred an interest in developing a market for other farm products.


Farmers Exchange building - 1930s.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

This building holds the distinction of being Durham's first 'Farmers' Market' - what was referred to as a "curb market" at the time - where the farmers would sell some of their produce directly. These early curb markets were evidently operated exclusively by women - offering "an extra source of income through the sale of poultry, eggs, baked and pickled goods, and fresh flowers and vegetables in season." (Anderson, p. 352.) This curb market would later move to Foster St. - the current Cooperative Extension building.

By 1935, the Farmers' Exchange had a chicken processing plant here, and soon thereafter (1937) had built a feed mill for processing and marketing grain just behind the site.


Farmers Exchange building, 1950s.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

As part of an expansion to become a much larger cooperative endeavor, the Durham Farmers Exchange became a part of the Central Carolina Farmers Exchange Inc. in the early 1950s.

The main plant / headquarters remained in Durham, and the Dye House building was an integral part of an expanding headquarters operation, as the organization built a cold storage facility, a Poultry Processing Plant, a maintenance garage, and a hatchery built in the blocks surrounding the Dye House in the mid-1950s. In 1959, CCFE did million in business ( million marketing, million purchasing.) and sold .2 million worth of livestock for its members.

1956 - from "This is Central Carolina Farmers Exchange"

These personable and capable young women are the secretaries, bookkeepers, and cashiers for the main office and the eight departmental offices of Farmers Exchange in Durham. The services they perform are very vital to the efficiency and success of this company.

In 1980, Central Carolina Farmers Exchange merged with FCX, Inc. which had headquarters in Raleigh. Office headquarters were relocated to Raleigh, and the merged company was branded FCX; the facilities in Durham continued to operate under the FCX name.

FCX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 1986; Southern States, a farm cooperative organized in 1923 in Virginia, purchased the FCX Durham assets out of receivership in 1986.


Farmers Exchange, 1970s. (Durham Historic Inventory)

This building was likely sold off in the 1990s.  During the 1990s, a nightclub by the name of 'Cobra' was operating in this building.

1999 - Durham County Tax Office

A fire destroyed the roof and much of the interior - unfortunately, the 'restoration' did not restore the original detail or the original clerestory on the roof. The building, however, remains a beauty.


Looking northeast from Gilbert and Pearl, 2007. (Photo by Gary Kueber)


From Gilbert St. looking northwest, 2006. (Photo by Gary Kueber)


As seen from Holloway St. bridge, looking north, 2007. (Photo by Gary Kueber)

One cool thing about this building is that it can be yours - for 9,000. At least the tax value is only ,681.

Update:

The building was purchased by Wendy Clark, entrepreneur and owner/founder of Carpe Diem Cleaning. She redeveloped the building as a shared-resource office space, targeted primarily to small and non-profit companies.

801Gilber_041909.jpg

04.19.09 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

801Gilbert_021911.jpg02.19.11 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

From the Feed Mill - 08.30.13 (G. Kueber)

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DURHAM HOSIERY MILLS DYE HOUSE

708-710
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1920-1922
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

Built as a central Dye House for the Durham Hosiery Mill Company in 1921-1922, 708 Gilbert closed during the Great Depression (1934,) but reopened in 1941-1942 as part of the Durham Farmers Mutual Exchange - serving as a seed cleaning and inoculation facility and "service store"

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 02/06/2014 - 8:47pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 43.1556" N, 78° 53' 22.9992" W
US

Comments

708-710
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1920-1922
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

1955 (From  "This is Central Carolina Farmers Exchange")

The Durham Hosiery Mill Company Dye House was built in 1920-1922 by the Durham Hosiery Mills Company. It served as a specialized dye house for the expansion of DHM operations during the post World War I era, connected to Hosiery Mill No. 1, No. 6, and No. 12 by the adjacent Norfolk and Western spur line.

Designed in 1919/1920 by architect Joseph Emory Sirrine, this mill accessory building was one of the first projects executed by his newly formed company J. E. Sirrine & Company, founded ca. 1921.   The Durham Hosiery Mill utilized reinforced concrete construction for all three structures the company built during this timeframe, including the Durham Silk Hosiery Mill (demolished) and the Durham Hosiery Mill No. 15 in Mebane, NC.

The company had acquired the former Paragon Hosiery Mill across Gilbert Street in 1919, which Julian Carr renamed the "John O'Daniel Hosiery Mill." It was also known as Durham Hosiery Mill No. 12.

The Durham Hosiery Mills Dye House, as originally constructed, consisted of a contiguous Boiler Room (section A), Office, Warehouse and Drug Room (section B), and Dyeing Area (section C). The building is early 20th century mill construction of a style developed for the textile industry, with a hybrid of reinforced-concrete bearing walls, steel framing support and heavy timber (“slow burn”) wood framing. While the building contains heavy timber wood framing and steel trusses for interior floor and roof support, the exterior walls of the building are constructed with reinforced concrete, a newly accepted method of industrial and office construction in the late 19th and early twentieth century that allowed for large open spaces, multi-storied buildings, and large windows that provided light and ventilation. Containing both elements of reinforced concrete construction and heavy timber wood framing construction, the Durham Hosiery Mills Dye House is a good example of mill construction during this transitional period of design.

1926 update to 1913 Sanborn Map (Durham County Library, photographed by Gary Kueber)

 It remained operational for a very short period of time -  like most branches of the Durham Hosiery Mills, it was shuttered in the 1934. It remained vacant until 1941, when it was acquired by the Durham Farmers Mutual Exchange, which had taken over the former John O'Daniel mill in 1930 as their base of operations.

hosierymilldyehouse_1950s.jpg

Bird's Eye view, late 1940s (Courtesy Herald-Sun)

DurhamHM_dyeHouse_SW_1950s.jpg

Late 1940s (Courtesy Durham Herald-Sun)

Screen shot 2012-12-11 at 11.39.29 AM.jpg

1950 Sanborn Map.

The Farmers Exchange utilized the building for their "Seed Cleaning, Inoculation, and Certification" processes; George Watts Hill negotiated for the Durham 'complex' of Exchange buildings to act as a central clearinghouse for information and shipments of fertilizer and bulk supplies.

It also was one of many "service stores," which provided "marketing [of] grain, seed, poultry, and eggs that farmers need to sell." It also supplied fertilizer and "1200 farm supply items." Custom grinding and mixing of home grown grain, cleaning, and testing of seeds was also available.

In the early 1950s, the Durham Farmers Exchange expanded, becoming the Central Carolina Farmers Exchange. Although there were branches all over the NC piedmont, Durham remained the headquarters. During that time, the company expanded significantly in the Gilbert Street area, adding a cold storage facility, a poultry processing plant, a maintenance garage, and a hatchery in the adjacent blocks.

In the 1960s, the original windows were removed from much of the building, the window openings infilled with brick, and some small windows placed in the infill.

In 1980, Central Carolina merged with FCX, with hq in Raleigh, where the main office was relocated. The exchange in Durham continued to operate under the FCX name.

FCX filed for bankruptcy in 1986; Southern States bought the properties out of bankruptcy. The former dye house building was sold by Southern States to the current owner in 1998.

2001 (Courtesy NC SHPO)

2001 (Courtesy NC SHPO)

2001 (Courtesy NC SHPO)

2001 (Courtesy NC SHPO)

2001 (Courtesy NC SHPO)

As of 2012, it is occupied by the Durham Food Bank.

708Gilbert_021911.jpg

02.19.11 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

dyehouse_041909.jpg

From the SEEDS garden, 04.19.09 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

708Gilbert_8_032312.jpg

 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

708Gilbert_9_032312.jpg

(Photo by Gary Kueber)

708Gilbert_13_032312.jpg

(Photo by Gary Kueber)

708Gilbert_5_032312.jpg

2012 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

708Gilbert_6_032312.jpg

2012 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

08.30.13 (G. Kueber)

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FARMERS EXCHANGE COLD STORAGE / FREEZER LOCKERS

918
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1945-1950
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 09/03/2013 - 11:52am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 49.3728" N, 78° 53' 20.5656" W
US

Comments

918
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1945-1950
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

1956 (From "This is Central Carolina Farmers Exchange")

The Cold Storage and Freezer Locker Plant in Durham offers all services needed for the complete processing and storage of meat for farmers and others. Processing starts with the dressed carcasses, which farmers bring to the plant or which the plant has bought for those wanting meat. For a nominal charge it is cut, processed, wrapped in convenient size packages and frozen. There are 9 refrigerated rooms kept at different temperatures. Some are 10 degrees below zero for quick freezing, some at zero for storing and some just above freezing for chilling and aging meat. One thousand freezer lockers, kept at zero degrees, are available for renting by those who have no home freezer and those who want additional freezing space.

1956 (From "This is Central Carolina Farmers Exchange")

Complete meat processing is done here exactly according to the customer's wishes. Meat is cut, sliced, ground, and wrapped for freezing by these men. C.W. (Demp) Shaw, center foreground, is manager of the Freezer Locker Plant.

1956 (From "This is Central Carolina Farmers Exchange")

Customers who rent the 1000 private locker boxes carry their own key and have access to the lockers at any time.

---

The building is occupied by Scoggins Heating and Air Conditioning as of 2013.

07.03.13

(Photo by Gary Kueber)

08.30.13 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

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FARMERS MUTUAL EXCHANGE - MAINTENANCE GARAGE

,
Durham
NC
Built in
1945-1950
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Wed, 07/03/2013 - 3:59pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 48.8904" N, 78° 53' 23.6364" W
US

Comments

,
Durham
NC
Built in
1945-1950
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

1956

07.03.13

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900 MALLARD AVE. - FARMERS EXCHANGE HATCHERY

900
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1954
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 09/03/2013 - 11:54am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 49.7004" N, 78° 53' 23.7588" W
US

Comments

900
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1954
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

1956 (From "This is Central Carolina Farmers Exchange")

Farmers Exchange Chick Hatchery has a two-fold purpose–to provide a cash market for hatching eggs produced by farmer patrons with specialized flocks and to hatch the thriftiest type chicks for either broilers or layers. Growing from 3600 chicks hatched each week in 1940 to the production of 180,000 chicks per week today is proof that this hatchery is doing a good job for farmers.

This new Farmers Exchange Hatchery built in 1954 is one of the most modern and efficient chick hatcheries in existence. It has walk-in type incubators that are completely automatic in controlling temperature and humidity. The heat and humidity of the building itself is controlled and the temperature in summer by large fans and a water-covered roof. The building is arranged so that hatching eggs come in at one end of the hatchery and take a continuous course from room to room through the building to where the graded chicks 100 per box are loaded out in special trucks going to Service Stores or farms.

Each of these automatic walk-in type Buckeye Incubators holds 66,000 hatching eggs which are incubated in them for eighteen days. The eggs are then transferred to the hatching units for the final three days before hatching. Sexton Johnson, Hatchery Operation Manager, is checking one of the machines.

Newly hatched chicks are inspected and culled as soon as they pop out. Then they are graded six to eight hours later just before being placed in new boxes for delivery to the Service Stores by trucks made especially for hauling chicks. This work is done carefully to make sure poultry growers get nothing but vigorous and healthy chicks.

-----

Currently (2013) owned by TROSA. (G. Kueber)

08.30.13 (G. Kueber)

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FARMERS EXCHANGE - POULTRY PLANT

1100
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1955
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 09/03/2013 - 11:50am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 47.8032" N, 78° 53' 13.4268" W
US

Comments

1100
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1955
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

1956 (From "This is Central Carolina Farmers Exchange")

"A Poultry Plant to process and market large amounts of poultry was one of the first operations started by the Exchange to give local farmers a source of income other than tobacco. When the Department began operating in 1931, there was very little poultry being grown in this section - not much more than what it took to feed the farmers. However farmers, were quick to see what mass production and wholesale marketing of poultry could do for them.

Today, Central Carolina is known for its production of broilers, which provides the second largest farm income in the State. Broiler production in this area has grown so fast that the original plant was enlarged twice in ten years. The new plant, shown above, with a dressing capacity of 5,000  birds an hour, was built in 1955. Farmers of Central Carolina now receive over five million dollars yearly for poultry marketing by this firm."

1956 (From "This is Central Carolina Farmers Exchange")

1956 (From "This is Central Carolina Farmers Exchange")

1956 (From "This is Central Carolina Farmers Exchange")

Currently used by TROSA for lawncare / construction operations.

07.02.13

(Photo by Gary Kueber)

08.30.13 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

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/sites/default/files/images/2007_9/durhamstables_1970s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_9/durhamstables_2007.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2013_6/stables_roofstructure_122006.jpg1005Gilbert_021911.jpg

DURHAM STABLES / FARMER'S EXCHANGE

1005
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1925-1930
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 07/16/2013 - 8:42am by gary

Location

35° 59' 45.8016" N, 78° 53' 9.798" W

Comments

1005
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1925-1930
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Looking north from Gilbert St., 1970s. (Durham HAI)

Yet another one of my favorite buildings in Durham, the Durham stables were built around 1925 by the City of Durham for the teams of horses utilized in the construction of streets.  The building replaced the earlier City Stables, located on the southwest corner of Pine and E. Pettigrew Streets in the former Lyon Tobacco Factory, which was demolished at that time for a new Southern Railway freight depot.

The building is 150 ft long by 40 feet wide, and the base is constructed out of stone. Each window at the lower level originally belonged to a horse stall.

By the 1940s, horses were no longer being used for street construction, and this building became the city dog pound. Later it was used by the city as storage for trucks. In 1961, it was purchased by the Farmers Exchange (down the street.) It may have been used as an animal shelter sometime in the 1980s.

The building currently houses studio/construction space for a metalworking artist.


Looking northwest from Alston Ave. and GIlbert St., 2006. (Photo by Gary Kueber)

Gambrel roof interior - 12.20.06 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

1005Gilbert_021911.jpg

02.19.11 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

Not a fan of this change. Since I took this picture, the siding has been painted red. I get it - big barn and all, but the brown and stone looked better to me. 

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CENTRAL CAROLINA FARMER'S EXCHANGE - NEW FEED MILL

909
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1965
/ Modified in
2012
Construction type: 
,
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sat, 08/31/2013 - 4:14am by gary

Location

35° 59' 47.5008" N, 78° 53' 18.6756" W

Comments

909
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1965
/ Modified in
2012
Construction type: 
,
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

(Photo by Gary Kueber)

The modern CCFX feed mill was built on the site of the former Durham Gas Company in 1965 - either replacing or supplementing the capacity of the old feed mill operation behind (to the north of) 801 GIlbert.

The gas plant had been located on the site previously - since 1905. An early picture of the gas plant, below:


(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The Durham Gas Company was formed in 1888 by George Watts and Julian Carr, and would later become the Durham Light and Power Company. The Durham Traction Company and Durham Light and Power split the electricity and gas franchises, with L&P taking the gas franchise in 1905. The company built the Gilbert St. plant shortly thereafter, constructing a facility able to hold 40,000 cubic feet of gas.

The company was absorbed by Carolina Power and Light in 1911. In 1928, the company was sold to Southern Cities Utility Company, headed by Charles Whetstone of Philadelphia. The company was then renamed the Durham Gas Company. In 1934, the Public Service Company of North Carolina (PSNC) took over the company and franchise.

In 1946, the company purchased the former Durham Sun Building on East Main Street for their offices. By 1953, the plant on Gilbert Street had expanded to a capacity of 1.09 million cubic feet of gas.


Looking north. Holloway St. is in the foreground, and the John O'Daniel Hosiery Mill and Durham Gas Company are just to the north, separated by the railroad tracks, 1950s.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


Shot of the gas plant from the tracks, looking northeast across Gilbert St., 1952
(Courtesy Bob Blake)

Plans were already afoot in 1953 for the Gilbert St. plant to become a temporary storage station for gas piped in from afar.

Sometime soon thereafter, the Central Carolina Farmers Exchange purchased the facility and site for its expanding grain/feed production operation. They tore down the former gas plant and built a new facility in 1965. The feed production facility was still in operation in 2007, run by Southern States.


Looking north from Gilbert St., 2007 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

As of spring of 2009, the Southern States facility was for sale. I was curious to see whether someone has the creativity to find an adaptive reuse for this building.

As it turns out, someone with that kind of vision did purchase the building - Al Frega, who has been doing great metalwork in Durham for years. Al located his studio down the street in the old stables building in 1999.

After a long flirtation with the building by Counter Culture Coffee (which has been flirting with just about every semi-industrial building in the core of Durham for the past 5 years without ever pulling the trigger,) the building is as of 2013 being eyed by Triangle Brewing Company as the new location for their brewing operation and brewpub. (Unfortunately, Counter Culture wanted the massive, very cool silos torn down, so they are gone.)

I have a great optimism for this neighborhood - the potential of these former industrial areas has already been demonstrated in the Central Park area - it just takes some folks with vision.

07.15.13

(Photo by Gary Kueber)

07.15.13

(Photo by Gary Kueber)

I had no idea how cool the tower was inside until a tour by Al Frega in August of 2013. It has a 20 foot basement, and huge spaces, supported by massive concrete columns. Remaining feed chutes/piping add to the post-industrial vibe.

08.30.13 (G. Kueber)

08.30.13 (G. Kueber.) War of the Worlds?

08.30.13 (G. Kueber)

The top of the tower affords really interesting views of downtown - a different perspective than I'm used to.

08.30.13 (G. Kueber)

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