Milestones Along the Color Line

Milestones Along the Color Line


Published by Olvier B. Quick - dated in 1922, but the buildings and residents appear to be ~mid-1920s, the introduction reads: "This little book presents views showing property owned and controlled exclusively by Negroes in the city of Durham, NC. It is not a complete collection. There are other institutions and homes in the city equally as deserving of place in this book but lack of space prevents their showing. We have selected these as evidence of the progress being made by our race group in this section of the South." -OLIVER B. QUICK.

Published by Olvier B. Quick - dated in 1922, but the buildings and residents appear to be ~mid-1920s, the introduction reads:

"This little book presents views showing property owned and controlled exclusively by Negroes in the city of Durham, NC. It is not a complete collection. There are other institutions and homes in the city equally as deserving of place in this book but lack of space prevents their showing. We have selected these as evidence of the progress being made by our race group in this section of the South." -OLIVER B. QUICK.

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NORTH CAROLINA MUTUAL / MECHANICS AND FARMERS

116
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1921
/ Modified in
1950-1970
Architect/Designers: 
,
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
,
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
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Location

United States
35° 59' 45.726" N, 78° 54' 3.0132" W
US

Comments

116
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1921
/ Modified in
1950-1970
Architect/Designers: 
,
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
,
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

North Carolina Mutual Insurance Co. was established in 1898 as the North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association by John Merrick, Dr. AM Moore, PW Dawkins, DT Watson, WP Pearson, EA Johnson, and Dr. James E Shepard. This coalition of men appears to have grown out of the Grand United Order of the True Reformers, a mutual-benefit society founded in 1881 by William Washington Browne. John Merrick, a member of the True Reformers, helped form the Royal Knights of King David with John Wright, WA Day, JD Morgan, and TJ Jones. As was common in the 19th and early 20th century, fraternal organizations and 'friendly societies' were the source of life, burial, and health insurance. Although the sources I've looked at seem unclear, the Royal Knights of King David were evidently not financially successful in the insurance business, but the relationships therein formed the seed of the establishment of the North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association.

John Merrick had been a successful barber in Raleigh, and was evidently, in part, persuaded to move to Durham by Washington Duke, Julian Carr, and WT Blackwell. Once in Durham, he established a successful barbershop business as well as a real estate business - evidently assisted by a loan from Julian Carr. Dr. Aaron Moore had moved to Durham in 1888 to begin his medical practice - the first African-American physician in Durham. CC Spaulding was a nephew of Dr. Moore and became first an agent for the company, and then, quickly, chief of agents.

The company struggled initially, and the first death claim of necessitated an additional capital infusion from the stockholders to keep the company afloat. The initial financial troubles of the company caused all organizers except for Merrick, Spaulding, and Moore ("The Triumvirate") to resign. However, the three men were successful in keeping the business afloat, and "using sound scientific principles" building a prosperous company.

The insurance company was first located in Dr. Moore's office on Main St., at the site of the "old courthouse". Parrish St. was transitioning from tobacco warehouses to commercial structures.


Looking northeast, 1905.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

In 1906, the NC Mutual and Provident Assn. built their own office building, just to the right of the Christian-Harward building in the above picture.


Looking northeast from Parrish St., 1911.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The insurance company offices were located on the second floor, while the first floor was rented to a shoe store and a clothing store. By 1907, the principals had started Mechanics and Farmers bank, located in the same building.

Both the insurance company and bank were quite successful. John Merrick was the first president; after his death in 1919, Dr. Aaron Moore became president. In 1921, the company had grown to such an extent that the existing building on Parrish St. was not large enough. It was demolished, and an impressive neoclassical revival building - similar in style to the First National Bank building at W. Main and Corcoran - was errected in its place. The six-story structure was designed by local architects Rose & Rose.

NCMutual_const_1920.jpg

Under construction,1920. (Courtesy NC Mutual Archives)


A view of Parrish Street, looking northwest, 1924.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)


A view of the North Carolina Mutual building, looking northeast, 1920s.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Mechanics and Farmers Bank was located on the first floor, Bankers Fire Insurance Company (organized as a separate division in 1920) on the second floor, and NC Mutual the remaining four floors and the basement.

After Dr. Moore died in 1923, CC Spaulding became president, a post he would hold for the following 29 years.

Above, two views of the building - the one on the left from the 1920s, the one on the right from the 1930s. Note in the second that the Christian-Harward building next door has added a third story.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

NCMutual_Parrish_1950s.jpg

NC Mutual Building, 1950s. (Courtesy Herald-Sun)

NCMutual_WParrish_2_1950s.jpg

1950s (Courtesy Herald-Sun)

CC Spaulding built an ever more successful company, as did the presidents following his death in 1952. By the 1960s, the insurance company had outgrown its Parrish St. building as well.


Above, a view of the first floor of the NC Mutual building, 1963. The original windows had been replaced by jalousie windows.

NC Mutual purchased Four Acres, BN Duke's former mansion, and constructed a 12-story international-style structure in its place in 1965. While the insurance company moved to this large new structure, Mechanics and Farmers Bank remained in the original building on Parrish St. The "North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co." lettering on the facade was replaced by "Mechanics and Farmers Bank." The original awnings and entrances were removed - the two side entrances were filled, and a modern, single canopy entrance was put on the building.

At some point later - I'm not sure when, the building underwent restoration, including replacement of the jalousie windows with more historically appropriate sash windows. Unfortunately, the restoration did not include the original entrance.


Looking northeast, 2007

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HILLSIDE PARK HIGH SCHOOL / WHITTED JUNIOR HIGH

200
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1922
Architect/Designers: 
,
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,
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Last updated

  • Mon, 06/25/2012 - 2:22pm by gary

Location

35° 58' 56.3124" N, 78° 54' 9.9612" W

Comments

200
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1922
Architect/Designers: 
,
People: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Hillside Park High School, 1922.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection. Scanned by Digital Durham)


Hillside Park High School, 1924
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

The original Hillside Park High School was built in 1922 on the northern edge of land donated by John Sprunt Hill for Hillside Park. Hillside Park High School was the first high school for African-Americans in Durham; prior to 1922, the Whitted, East End, and West End Graded Schools were the only educational facilities for African Americans - these schools only taught up to 8th grade. Even then, Hillside did not have a 12th grade until 1937, and the 12th grade offered solely vocational training until the 1940s.

Below, Hillside Park High School, 1949.

Around 1950, the need to expand the high school, and the lack of land to expand into at this site, prompted the School Board to switch Whitted Elementary School and Hillside Park High School (which became simply Hillside) with one another. This building then became Whitted Junior High School.

It remained Whitted into the 1970s, at which point it was abandoned. The building housed Operation Breakthrough in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and has housed several other programs since that time. It has been completely abandoned for several years now.

I believe that as the first high school for African-Americans in Durham, it is essential that this building be preserved, particularly given the loss of so many other original school buildings.

Find this spot on a Google Map.

35.982309,-78.902767

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201-207EastChapelHillSt_1950s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/Roney_ECH_W_1920.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/warren-strudwick_1922.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/200EChapelHill_NW_1920s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/200EChapelHill_N_1960.jpg

201-207 EAST CHAPEL HILL STREET

201-207
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Construction type: 
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National Register: 
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Last updated

  • Sun, 09/03/2017 - 10:08pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 49.5312" N, 78° 54' 9.1152" W
US

Comments

201-207
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,
,

 

201-207EastChapelHillSt_1950s.jpg

The north side of the 200 block of East Chapel Hill St. - between Roney (which ran in front of the Carolina Theater) and Foster - resembled many of the other blocks downtown, with a row of two story, varied facades.

Below, a partial view of the block - on the left - from the early 1920s.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)


201-207 East Chapel Hill, the Warren-Strudwick building. Interestingly, this building is featured in the 1922 "Milestones Along the Color Line" as William C. Strudwick, an African-American physician, had his office in this building (at 203 1/2 East Chapel Hill St.)
(Courtesy Duke University Archives / Digital Durham)

A much clearer shot of the block is below. The shot is taken from the corner of Corcoran and East Chapel Hill, looking northwest. The Union Bus Terminal was originally in the 300 block of East Chapel Hill, and patrons are boarding the bus in front of the Washington Duke Hotel. The four facades of the 200 block are visible in the background.

(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Below, a good shot of the street in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Looking northeast from East Chapel Hill and Roney St.
(Courtesy Herald Sun)

Along with King's, one of the go-to destinations for hot dogs in Durham was Amos n' Andy's, located on the ground floor of the Strudwick building by the 1950s.


Deluxe Barber Shop and Amos n' Andy's, 01.29.57
(Courtesy Herald Sun)

Although the eponymous, and once enormously popular radio show is cringe-worthy today (and I find it particularly galling to realize that it was located in the Strudwick building) a generation of children / Duke students loved these hot dogs.

It's as good a place as any to point out that the creators of the Amos n' Andy show, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, met in Durham in 1919 while in the employ of the Joe Bren Producing Company. Correll was staging a theater production at "the local Elk's chapter" (I guess that this was likely a block away at the Temple Building and his superiors told him to seek out Gosden for advice. They would work together for 50 years. I don't know if this restaurant was named only for the show, or with some knowledge of the Durham connection.

These buildings survived urban renewal, and even survived an amusingly familiar scene. I assure you, despite the resemblance, the shot below does not depict our current streetscape.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

It was taken in 1975, when we created the streets that we are now correcting. The 200 block is visible on the right, and the Herald-Sun buildings on the left.

These buildings persisted well into the 1980s. The shot below was taken in 1984 from a very similar vantage point to the 1920s 'bus' shot, looking northwest. The store on the corner is noted to be 'The Typewriter Store.'

And a view of the other end of the block, looking northeast, shows 201-207 East Chapel Hill, then Durham Sporting Goods, given a modernist makeover.

And a shot, below, taken by Ralph Rogers from the CCB building in 1986 gives a great view looking north down Foster. Most of what is on the right of Foster is pretty similar, but not the left side. The large tobacco warehouses that took up space that is now parking and Durham Central Park are visible in the distance.


(Courtesy Durham County Library)

I find the history of Durham in the 1970s and 1980s some of the hardest stuff to easily track down, surprisingly. If I had the time to pore over the microfilm of the Herald, perhaps I could get a better handle on it. That serves as my caveat to say that I know little of the events that led to the demolition of this block and the construction of the convention center and the Omni Hotel in 1988. Ralph Rogers documented the changes to this block very well, and his sequence of shots is below.


Looking northwest from East Chapel Hill.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


Looking northwest from East Chapel Hill.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


Looking northwest from East Chapel Hill and Corcoran.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


The completed project.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

I don't particularly have a problem with the hotel, which is just another bland 1980s multistory hotel. It isn't really offensive, nor is it the least bit inspiring.

The streetscape is terrible, though, with one tiny entrance on East Chapel Hill and a lot of blank wall. The difference between the street level of the Washington Duke, above, and the street level of the Marriott below is striking. I do have a more significant problem, as I've alluded to previously, with the convention center space that closed off Roney St. and created a long service entrance out of most of the 100-200 blocks of East Chapel Hill. Really, really dumb urban design. It's hard not to be struck by the demolition of the Washington Duke Hotel so that this could be built a mere 13 years later. I hope at some point the 'Roney Wall' will be breached, and we will once again be able to see and walk to the Carolina Theater from East Chapel Hill St.


The Marriott, 2007.
(This shot is a bit wonky, I know - I was trying to get the whole hotel from the Corcoran/East Chapel Hill vantage point.)
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

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JONES HOTEL

502
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
pre-1907
/ Demolished in
late 1960s
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
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Last updated

  • Sun, 10/16/2011 - 12:20am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 23.604" N, 78° 53' 54.7548" W
US

Comments

502
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
pre-1907
/ Demolished in
late 1960s
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


502 Ramsey St.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection / Scanned by Digital Durham)

The Jones Hotel, one of the two early hotels of Hayti (the other being the Warren Hotel on Proctor St.) was established sometime prior to 1907, and was run by Ms. Josie L. Jones.

There is no history that I can find with regard to the hotel. By the 1940s, it appears to have been out of business, and its signature double front porch gone.


Above, an aerial picture (mid-1940s) showing several locations I'm posting on this week.

Yellow - Original Lincoln Hospital
Red - Site of original Whitted School / Park
Orange - Berry Company
Green - Jones Hotel
Blue - Original Mt. Vernon Baptist Church

(Original photo courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

By 1965, when it was being sized up by the Redevelopment Commission for demolition and eminent domain via urban renewal, it was barely recognizable.


502 Ramsey St., 1965.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

This land sat abandoned for many years after being plowed under in the late 1960s. In 1993, it was redeveloped as Rick Hendrick Chevrolet. The site of the Jones Hotel is now part of their parking lot.


Site of the Jones Hotel, 11.15.08

Find this spot on a Google Map.

35.989894 -78.898613

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ST. MARK'S AME - 529 PINE / SOUTH ROXBORO (1922-1954)

529
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1922
/ Demolished in
1954
Architectural style: 
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Type: 
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Last updated

  • Sat, 10/08/2011 - 6:23pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 17.7144" N, 78° 54' 6.0912" W

Comments

529
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1922
/ Demolished in
1954
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

 

----


Looking north from the present-day location of Rolling Hills, ~1910. The St. Mark Church is visible in the foreground. Other prominent structures visible in the distance include (left to right) the Trust Building, the Hotel Carrolina, First Baptist Church, Fire Station #1, Union Station, the original Durham County Courthouse, Trinity Methodist, the Lyon Tobacco Co, Pine St. Presbyterian, the Venable Tobacco Company, and First Presbyterian. The street running diagonally from the left foreground to the right background is Pine St. (present day South Roxboro.)
(Courtesy John Schelp)

The St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion church was founded in February 1890 by Reverend C.H. McIver and members Gaston Bynum, William and Flora Colley, Derbie and Jerry Richmond, Jordan Wilson, and Sarah Marsh in the Colley home, located on Willard Street. By the early 1900s, a frame church was built at Pine and Pickett Streets, the current location (although the street names have changed.)

By the 1922, a brick sanctuary had been erected at the current location.


St. Mark's AME Zion, looking east, 1922.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection / Scanned by Digital Durham)


Looking east, 1940.
(Courtesy Library of Congress)


Looking southeast, 1940
(Courtesy Library of Congress)


An aerial shot showing the rear of the 1920-1950s structure in the left foreground, with American Tobacco in the background.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

In 1954, this structure was replaced with a new neoclassical sanctuary. A nursery school, kindergarten, and first grade were established in the new facility.


531 S. Roxboro St, 1966.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)


A mid-1960s not-so-great shot, looking south on South Roxboro.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

In 1967, the Durham Freeway ('East-West Expressway') was knifed through Durham immediately to the north of this church. By the mid-1970s, all of the surrounding structures of Hayti had been demolished.


Looking southeast at St. Mark's, 1970, in what I think of as a 'missing link' shot - freeway is complete, much of the north side of the freeway has taken on a post-urban renewal form, but many of the structures surrounding the church, including those demolished for the ill-fated Rolling Hills, remain.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

The church remains active today, a vibrant, if lonely, remnant of Hayti.


Looking northeast from Lakewood Ave. and South Roxboro St., 08.20.08

Find this spot on a Google Map.

35.988254,-78.90169

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LINCOLN HOSPITAL (1901-1924)

525
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1901
/ Modified in
1924
/ Demolished in
1968
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
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Last updated

  • Wed, 01/02/2013 - 2:13pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 16.026" N, 78° 53' 53.6244" W

Comments

525
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1901
/ Modified in
1924
/ Demolished in
1968
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Lincoln Hospital, looking west, 1912.

Dr. Aaron Moore was instrumental in the establishment of Lincoln Hospital, the first hospital in Durham to provide care for African-Americans. When George Watts built the Watts Hospital in 1895, it had excluded African-Americans. By the turn of the century, Watts was considering adding a wing for African-Americans.

Moore persuaded Watts that this was not in the best interest of the African-American community; what the community needed was a hospital in which African-American physicians and nurses could care for African-American patients - which they would not have been able to do at Watts Hospital. Watts and Dr. AG Carr (Julian Carr's brother), the Dukes' physician, prevailed upon the Duke family to fund the hospital construction, as did John Merrick, WH Armstrong (Washington Duke's butler), and Addie Evans, his cook.

Ben and James Duke agreed to fund the hospital construction; the building was built at the corner of Cozart St. (Alley) and East Proctor St. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1901. Per Jean Anderson, President Kilgo wrote to Ben Duke about the occasion:

"Your father and I had a big time with the Negroes on the fourth. They were laying the cornerstone of the Lincoln Hospital and asked them to make them a speech, which I did. I gave your father credit for the hospital, and everyone shouted over it; but afterwards he told me 'Ben and Buck are building this.'"

Washington Duke's name was included with Ben and Buck's on the cornerstone. For the African-American community, the price of the Duke's patronage was to accept their insulting paternalism, which was inscribed in the cornerstone, which read:

"With grateful appreciation and loving remembrance of the fidelity and faithfulness of the Negro slaves to the Mothers and Daughters of the Confederacy during the Civil War, this institution was founded by one of the Fathers and Sons: BN Duke, JB Duke, W. Duke. Not one act of disloyalty was recorded against them."

The original structure was a wood frame building that could house 50 patients.


Lincoln Hospital, looking northwest, 1922.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection / Scanned by Digital Durham)

John Merrick was president of the Board of Directors, and Moore Superintendent of the hospital. A 1902 annual report by WG Pearson, secretary, showed that the hospital had treated 75 patients and 8 had died of pneumonia. By 1910, a nurses' training school had been added as a rear wing to the original building.

By the end of World War I, the hospital was completely inadequate to provide health care to the African-American population, and in 1922, it suffered a fire, which damaged but did not destroy the structure. A fundraising drive spearheaded by John Sprunt Hill, George Watts, and the Dukes led to the purchase of the old Stokes farm on Fayetteville St. in 1917 and the construction of a new Lincoln Hospital in 1924.

The original buildings were donated to the Black Ministers' Alliance for use as a home for the elderly and an orphanage in 1925. Through the patronage of JC Scarborough the facility became the original Scarborough nursery school.

By 1932, Mrs. Clydie Fullwood Scarborough, who had attended Talladega College and the North Carolina College became the executive director. In 1946, the school became a member agency of the community fund, which supplemented funds from Durham County and the Scarborough Foundation. In 1959, a ,000 addition made possible by the Scarborough Foundation was added to the original building.

Hayti_guide2.jpeg
An earlier aerial picture (mid-1940s) showing several locations I'm posting on this week.

Yellow - Original Lincoln Hospital
Red - Site of original Whitted School / Park
Orange - Berry Company
Green - Jones Hotel
Blue - Original Mt. Vernon Baptist Church

(Original Picture Courtesy The Herald Sun)

I've been told that this is the Scarborough Nursery, although there is no narration.

(From "Negro Durham Marches On" - 1949.)

In 1967, the Redevelopment Commission utilized urban renewal funds to acquire the property, and the Scarborough Nursery moved to temporary facilities until their new facility was completed at Holloway and N. Queen. The nursery/former hospital was destroyed by 1968. The property is now part of the Fayetteville St. exit ramp off of the Durham Freeway.


Looking north, 11.15.08

Find this spot on a Google Map.

35.987785 -78.898229

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ST. JOSEPH'S AME CHURCH / HAYTI HERITAGE CENTER

,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1891
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
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,
National Register: 
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Last updated

  • Mon, 07/31/2017 - 3:20pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 8.8512" N, 78° 53' 52.3968" W

Comments

,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1891
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

 


The spire of St. Joseph's visible ~2 blocks away on the right, 1922.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection. Scanned by Digital Durham)

In 1868 Edian Markham, an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) missionary and former slave, came into Durham and with five others established an AME church, purchasing property currently occupied by the present-day Hayti Heritage Center from Minerva Fowler. The first place of worship was a 'Brush Arbor' - four posts were anchored in the ground surrounded at the top with four boards covered with branches forming the roof and an earthen floor. As winter approached the small congregation replaced the original arbor with a log structure. This log structure seems to have served as the first school of any kind for African-Americans in Durham - the "Freedmen's School."

The church was originally called Union Bethel church, after the original AME church established in Philadelphia in 1787. Rev. Markham left Durham in 1870; within a short time, the log structure was replaced by a frame structure under the leadership of Rev. George Hunter, and that structure was replaced by another frame building by Rev. WD Cook.

In 1890, under the leadership of Rev. Andrew Chambers, a fund-raising campaign was begun. The African-American community gave generously to the church - most notably John Merrick. The fund-raising efforts also extended to the white community; both Washington Duke and Julian Carr made contributions to the construction of the church. Architect Samuel Leary was likely connected with the congregation and the commission by Washington Duke; Leary ostensibly came to Durham from Philadelphia to design and build structures for the Dukes, but designed several important structures during his brief Durham career. Leary, whose house still stands on Cleveland St., designed the original Washington Duke building at Duke (burned), the original Fire Station #1, the First (white) Graded School (later Morehead School), and the Foushee House (now Camelot Academy on Proctor St.) It has never been confirmed whether he designed any of the still-extant Italianate brick tobacco warehouses from the 1890s-1900s. There is some speculation that the collapse of the original tower of the Washington Duke Building doomed Leary's career; regardless, after furious work during the 1890s, Leary appears to have left Durham - I've come across no further record of any subsequent work.

The cornerstone for the St. Joseph's AME church, which bears Leary's name, was laid in 1891. The bricks for the building came from the Richard Fitzgerald brickyard. The historic inventory describes the structure as "a highly eclectic work, combining the dense massing of Richardsonian Romanesque with elements culled from Gothic Revival and, to a lesser extent, from the Neo-Classical movement."

W.E.B. Dubois stated, “never in all my travels have I seen a church as great as St. Joseph’s.”

An ornate pipe organ built by the W.H. Reisner Manufacturing Company, Inc., was purchased with donations by John O'Daniel, John Merrick, WG Pearson, James Weaver, Agnes Saterfield, and Rev. JE Jackson.

I've copied the following description of the interior from the Hayti Heritage Center website

"The pressed tin ceiling is painted a brilliant turquoise accented by gold on an off-white background. Large coffers formed by bands of reeding with plaited ribbon shape the squares. Identically trimmed diamond shapes fill each square and floral bosses decorate the intersections for the coffers. The margins are filled with guilloche molding intertwined with avillan crosses."

"Hanging dramatically over the center aisles is a two-tiered Art Nouveau chandelier. A buttercup shape encircles the stem of an opalescent glass light fixture. Falling in open quatrefoils form the base of each tier are pendant drops. High on the left wall are two very large electric fans that were installed by a Black electrician, E.N. Toole, during the 1930’s. The pews have scrolled arms above flat-paneled lancet arches. A second story wooden gallery supported by six slender columns begins on each side of the center aisle."

"Twenty-four stained glass windows enhance the beauty and dignity of this former sanctuary. Most are memorials to individuals who made outstanding financial contributions and/or gave dedicated service to St. Joseph’s Church."

"A window facing old Fayetteville Street at the front entrance keeps alive the memory of Edian Markham, the organizer. To the right, Moses Tablet memorializes Rev. George Hunter, the first builder of Union Bethel frame church. In the center facing old Fayetteville Street is the image of 'our friend' Washington Duke."


St. Joseph's AME interior, 1911.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection. Scanned by Digital Durham)

Atop the spire of the building is a vévé, a voodoo symbol of Erzulie, the lwa of love, representing the diasporic connection between the Hayti neighborhood and Haiti, the world's first black-led republic.

Below a drawing from "Milestones Along the Color Line" of a proposed annex in 1922 - the proportions of the original church are incorrect, which makes this drawing look somewhat strange.


(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection / Scanned by Digital Durham)

I don't have much detail regarding the congregation through the mid-20th century, however, the church, along with White Rock Baptist, was at the center of African-American spiritual life in Hayti.


Looking north from the 900 block of Fayetteville St., 1944.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)


Bird's Eye view of St. Joseph's, looking northwest, 1940s.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)


Looking northeast, 1950s.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

stjosephs_color_1960s.jpg

St. Joseph's, 1965.


St. Joseph's Annex, 1970s

(Courtesy Duke University)

Along with the remainder of Hayti, St. Joseph's was slated to be demolished by Urban Renewal. The congregation moved south on Fayetteville St. to their present location: 2521 Fayetteville St.


1970s view of the front of St. Joseph's.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

Efforts to save the structure catalyzed the formation of the St. Joseph's Historic Foundation, incorporated in 1975 "with the intention of preserving the embellished old sanctuary and adapting it for cultural and civic events." St. Joseph's was placed on the National Register in August, 1976, and demolition was averted. The building hosted concerts and events "everybody from jazz saxophonist/ 'Round Midnight' star Dexter Gordon to local punk bands in the 1970s, '80s and '90s."

In 1996, voters approved million in bond money to revitalize the old church structure as a true performance hall, attached to the Hayti Heritage Center, which documents and celebrates the city's African-American history.

The building closed in fall 1999 for a facelift and restoration, with a design by Durham's Freelon Group. The slate roof was removed, and the trusses supporting the ceiling were removed and restored. A middle section was added to the upper balcony, giving the restored sanctuary a new capacity of 450 people. The building reopened in 2001.


Original St. Joseph's AME / Hayti Heritage Center, 09.04.08
09.04.08


The spire/vévé
10.05.08


Original St. Joseph's AME / Hayti Heritage Center, looking southwest, 10.05.08

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35.985792 -78.897888

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418-422 EAST PETTIGREW / THE WONDERLAND THEATER

418-422
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1920
/ Modified in
1940s
/ Demolished in
1970s
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sat, 08/13/2011 - 7:50pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 26.07" N, 78° 53' 52.0512" W

Comments

418-422
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1920
/ Modified in
1940s
/ Demolished in
1970s
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Wonderland Theater, looking southwest from East Pettigrew and Ramsey Streets, 1922.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection / Digital Durham)

The Wonderland Theater was built in 1920 by Frederick K. Watkins, self-described "Movie King" (his house at 1218 Fayetteville St. still bears this description) at the southwest corner of East Pettigrew Street and Ramsey Street.

Mr. Watkins built the "first [African-American] theater in Durham" in 1913, per the 1951 "Durham and Her People." (It isn't noted which theater this is, although I suspect it may have been the Rex or the Electric.) Per Andre Vann, Mr. Watkins initially shot his own films and screened them in public schools, charging students 5 cents each at showings.

His theater holdings grew to 16 theaters in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia during the 1920s.

The theater initially showed silent films with an accompanying musician (likely a pianist). Dorothy Phelps describes that Mrs. Hattie Shriver Livas would create music for each scene "for horror movies a creepy sound, playful tunes when children appeared, soft flowing tunes for the love scenes, and 'oh so many creations to follow the theme of the pictures.'"

The northeast corner of the building housed Dodson's Drug Store (the mortar and pestle sign can be made out hanging from the corner of the building in the picture above.)


Wonderland Theater, looking southwest from Ramsey St. and East Pettigrew St., 1926.
(Courtesy The Herald Sun Newspaper)

Mr. Watkins retired from management of the movie theaters in 1929, and delved into real estate soon thereafter (developing the former Durham Hosiery Mill No. 2 into a multi-tenant structure in the 1940s.) He married his wife, Parepa Bland Watkins that same year; she became principal of the East End School for ten years.

The theater appears to have shut down at the time of Mr. Watkins retirement, and was used as a union hall during the 1930s. The former drugstore portion of the building housed the Wonderland Barber Shop.

The city directories become quite confusing after this, primarily because the addresses seem to change as often as the businesses did. However, it appears that the building housed a Goodwill Store, and Papa Jack's package store for periods in the 1930s and early 1940s.

For some brief period during the 1940s, the building housed the John Avery Boys' Club.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)


418-420 East Pettigrew, 1940s.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

By the 1950s, the building seems to have housed Big Wheel Record Bar and Smith's Grocery, Fruit, and Produce Market. By the 1960s, the Triangle Barber Shop and an increasing number of apartments, as well as the Apter Cut Rate Food Store.


(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

By the mid-1970s, the building appears to have been abandoned.


418-420, likely early 1970s. Note the stucco cracking along the former arch.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

The building appears to have been torn down in 1977.

The parcel became overgrown and wooded for the next ~15 years before being converted into a gravel parking lot by Rick Hendrick Chevrolet.


Looking southwest at the site of the Wonderland, 09.04.08.
(The corner of Ramsey and Pettigrew was ~30-40 feet west of the corner of S. Dillard and E. Pettigrew. S. Dillard did not extend south of East Pettigrew. The present-day "East Dillard" is a post-urban renewal street. You can note in the mid-1970s photo above that the corner has already been 'moved' to the east. You can also note the manholes in the street and sidewalk in the 1970s image and present day to orient yourself the location of the building.)

Below, an overlay of Hayti streets on a 2007 satellite image.


Google Maps Link to this spot

35.990575 -78.897792

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1211 FAYETTEVILLE - DR. J. NAPOLEON MILLS HOUSE

1211
,
Durhan
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1915
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Wed, 01/02/2013 - 2:44pm by gary

Location

35° 58' 55.3836" N, 78° 53' 55.3056" W

Comments

1211
,
Durhan
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1915
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection / scanned by Digital Durham)

Dr. Joseph Napoleon Mills was born in Richards, NC in 1879 and attended Kittrell Normal and Industrial School and Leonard Medical School, from which he graduated with an MD in 1907. Mills began practicing medicine in Durham in 1907, and married Sarah J. Amey of Durham in 1915, and likely constructed the house at 1211 Fayetteville St. for himself and his family soon thereafter.

He established a private practice and served as a staff attending at Lincoln Hospital. In addition, he worked as a field examiner for the North Carolina Mutual Company and a physician for North Carolina Central University, then referred to as the North Carolina College. As with many of the preeminent figures of Hayti, Mills was involved in numerous other business endeavors - including stints as a director for the Machanics and Farmers bank and president of the People's Drug Store.

Mills lived here until his death in the 1960s, after which the house was occupied by a Mrs. Edna Mills. I believe that it is currently a rental house.


Looking northeast, 11.15.08

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35.982051 -78.898696

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WHITE ROCK BAPTIST CHURCH

602
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1893-1896
/ Modified in
1910
/ Demolished in
1967
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Wed, 01/02/2013 - 2:44pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 14.046" N, 78° 53' 49.9776" W

Comments

602
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1893-1896
/ Modified in
1910
/ Demolished in
1967
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

White Rock Baptist Church figures in the earliest origins of Hayti, organized in 1866 in the home of Mrs. Margaret Faucette, following a series of house-to-house prayer meetings. These meetings became services conducted by the Reverend Zuck Horton. Following his pastorate, Reverend Samuel Hunt, the second pastor, held services for what was then known as the "First Baptist Church" in a cotton gin on Elm Street and in a warehouse on Peabody Street.

On March 13, 1877, the first building site was purchased at a cost of .00 at the corner of East Pettigrew Street and Coleman Alley on land deeded from Cornelius Jordan to the "trustees of the Colored Missionary Baptist Church." The first structure was erected under the third pastor, Reverend Frederick Wilkins (1879-1881). When the building was completed, it was named “White Rock Baptist Church” because of the large white flint rock in the front yard.

In 1881-1884, the Reverend T. W. H. Woodward, became the fourth pastor and, subsequently, Reverend B. K. Butler became the fifth pastor. He left after the first year and organized the Mount Vernon Baptist Church of Durham.

The first brick building was erected on the corner of Fayetteville Street and Mobile Avenue during the ministry of the sixth pastor. Reverend A. P. Easton (1886-1897). The cornerstone for this structure was laid in 1893, and the structure was completed three years later. Sources vary as to the seating capacity of this first church, but it could have held between 350 and 1000 people. Eaton left the church in 1898 to form St. John's Baptist church - located originally on Dunstan St. and later on Fayetteville St. on part of the later site of Speight's Service Station.


The first brick White Rock Church, from "End of An Era" by Dorothy Phelps

Raleigh Minister Augustus Shepard, father of Dr. James E. Shepard and Dr. Charles Shepard, became the eighth pastor of church, serving from 1901 until his death in 1911. In 1910, the church was remodeled and a wing called the Baraca Room added to the Mobile Avenue side of the sanctuary. This annex provided seating capacity for 250. In the basement, a kitchen and classrooms were added. The North Wall of the main sanctuary was removed, expanding the seating capacity to 800, including the balcony. In 1911, the renovation was completed, with a new church facade, a library, public baths, an elevated floor in the main sanctuary, and the installation of a pipe organ, at a cost of ,000 to ,000.


White Rock Baptist during renovation, 1910.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection / Digital Durham)

Durham’s first African-American doctor, Dr. Aaron M. Moore, gave property to the church for a future Sunday school building. In 1913, he established a library in the church basement, which in 1916 moved to the corner of East Pettigrew and Fayetteville St., become the "Durham Colored Library" - the forerunner of what is now Stanford L. Warren Public Library.

From 1913 to 1919, Dr. E. M. Brawley served as the ninth pastor. Dr. James Kirkland of Darlington, SC became the tenth pastor and served 1919-1924. Among his achievements were the replacement of the original pipe organ and the construction of a modern parsonage at 1219 Fayetteville Street.


White Rock, 1922
(From "Milestones Along the Color Line" - scanned by Digital Durham)


White Rock, 1924

Dr. Miles Mark Fisher became White Rock’s thirteenth pastor on January 1, 1933, having come from the 16th Street Baptist Church in Huntington, West Virginia following receipt of Master's and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago. Dr. Fisher brought a new sensibility to the pastorate of White Rock and, per Anderson, unseated much of the the staid and conservative NC Mutual leadership that had dominated the church for many years. He created an afternoon supervised play program for children of the community. During his years, the church sponsored a nursery school for children of low-income families (1939-1942), a health clinic, and a training program for early African-American employees of the city Recreation Department. The first African-American Boy Scout troop in Durham, Troop 55 was invited to White Rock in 1935 when they had no meeting place. Cub Pack 55 was organized in 1944, the Explorer Post in 1954, and the Girl Scouts in 1951. He made the church available for Tobacco Labor Unions, he created softball leagues; Judge Mamie Dowd Walker was quoted as saying that Fisher's programs had done "more than anything else to decrease juvenile delinquency...in the community."


White Rock, 1950s.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)


White Rock Baptist, 1950s
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun)

Dr.MLK_GordonCarey_RevDouglasMooreRaceMeeting_1_021660.jpg

 

"Dr. MLK, GordonCarey, RevDouglasMoore Race Meeting, 02.16.60"

Dr.MLK_GordonCarey_RevDouglasMooreRaceMeeting_2_021660.jpg

"Dr. MLK, GordonCarey, RevDouglasMoore Race Meeting, 02.16.60"

Dr.MLK_GordonCarey_RevDouglasMooreRaceMeeting_3_021660.jpg

"Dr. MLK, GordonCarey, RevDouglasMoore Race Meeting, 02.16.60"

The Reverend Lorenzo Augustus Lynch, a native of Oak City, NC, was elected as White Rock Baptist Church’s fourteenth pastor on June 25, 1965.


White Rock, 1965.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

When it became clear that White Rock would be demolished by urban renewal and stood near the path of the Durham Freeway, Lynch helmed the planning, fund-raising, and construction of the new church building, located at 3400 Fayetteville Street, on a six-acre tract of land at a cost of more than one million.

The church at 602 Fayetteville St. was destroyed in 1967.


Looking east over the freeway crossing over S. Roxboro, 09.12.67. White Rock is still visible at the edge of the freeway clearance in the distance.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

Below, White Rock and Dr. Aaron Moore's house, with the Freeway encroaching. This is the only color picture I've ever seen of the church.

whiterockbaptist_color.jpg


Looking east from the S. Roxboro crossing, 02.26.68 - White Rock is gone.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)


Looking west from near the site of White Rock, 02.07.69.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)


Looking east from the NC Mutual building at the Fayetteville/Freeway intersection ~1970.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

While the building was under construction, the congregation worshipped at B. N. Duke Auditorium, on the campus of North Carolina Central University and at St. Joseph’s A. M. E. Church. The congregation occupied the new church on October 10, 1971. [This post relies heavily on church history from the White Rock Baptist Church website]

The former site of the church would sit atop the present-day eastbound on-ramp to the Durham Freeway.


Site of White Rock Baptist, looking west, 10.05.08
 

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eastendschool_1950s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_8/eastend_1910.jpgeastendschool_1950s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_8/eastendschoolfire_3_042463.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_8/eastendschoolfire_2_042463.jpg

EAST END GRADED SCHOOL

515
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1932
/ Modified in
1948
,
1961
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 06/28/2012 - 8:19am by gary

Location

36° 0' 2.5056" N, 78° 53' 20.6628" W

Comments

515
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1932
/ Modified in
1948
,
1961
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

 

eastendschool_1950s.jpg

-----

Original East End School, ~1910s

(Courtesy Durham Public Schools)

The East End Graded School, built in 1909, was the third graded school established for African-American children in Durham, after the Whitted School (at Ramsey and Proctor Streets in Hayti) and the West End Graded School. The locations of these schools reflected the locations of predominantly African-American neighborhoods at the turn of the 20th century. The original frame structure was 70 x 75 feet in size with 10 classrooms. In 1927, it enrolled 352 students. A 1927 writeup notes that a proposed "extension of Haywood Street into Drew Street" would "come close to the school."

Whether this or population growth necessitated a new structure, I'm not sure, but in 1932, a George Watts Carr-designed masonry structure replaced the original frame school.

eastendschool_1950s.jpg

Additions were added to the school in 1948 and 1961.

On April 24, 1963 the school burned quite badly.


Looking west, 04.42.63.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)


Looking northeast, 04.24.63.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)


Looking north, 04.24.63
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)


Interior shot, after the fire, 04.24.63.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)


Interior shot, after the fire, 04.24.63.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

eastendschoolfireremains_1_042463.jpg
Interior shot, after the fire, 04.24.63.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

But it appears that the remains of the school were repaired/rebuilt. I don't have a date for when the East End School was decommissioned as a school. The beginning of the end of segregated schools in Durham began in 1959, and court-ordered desegregation occurred in 1970-71. East End continued on after this period as a desegregated school.

EastEndSchool_070284.jpg

School buildings, 07.02.84

I believe East End ceased to be a regular public school in the mid-1980s, but I don't know exactly which year.

Today the former school building appears to house a church: Bethel Family Worship Center - ?


Looking northeast from Dowd and Tucker Sts., 07.12.08

 

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MT. VERNON BAPTIST - 504 SOUTH QUEEN ST.

504
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 08/14/2011 - 1:59pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 25.314" N, 78° 53' 57.9912" W

Comments

504
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Looking west at Mt. Vernon and South Queen Sts., 1922
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection / Digital Durham)

The Mount Vernon Baptist Church was established in 1880 on 'Ramsey Hill' by Pastor JBK Butler.


An aerial picture (mid-1940s) showing several locations I'm posting on this week.

Yellow - Original Lincoln Hospital
Red - Site of original Whitted School / Park
Orange - Berry Company
Green - Jones Hotel
Blue - Original Mt. Vernon Baptist Church

(Original photo courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

I have little information about the history of the church - it appears that the wood frame structure at Mt. Vernon and South Queen Sts. was abandoned by the 1940s, when a new brick masonry structure, still in use, was built at 1007 Pine (South Roxboro) St. in 1940.

The original church became one of those ruins that may be called romantic or blighted, depending upon person, day, mood, and what's at stake.


504 South Queen St., July 1965.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)


Steeple of original Mt. Vernon Baptist, 05.04.69.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)


Remains of Mt. Vernon Baptist ~1970.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

The remains of the structure were taken and demolished by urban renewal. The original location is now part of the Rick Hendrick Chevrolet parking lot.


Site of the original Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, 11.15.08

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35.990365 -78.899442

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/sites/default/files/images/2008_8/PineSt.Pres.jpgVenable_NE_1950s.jpeg/sites/default/files/images/2008_8/307SRoxboro_PineStPres_1966.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_8/305SRoxboro_1966.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_8/PineStPresbyterian_color.jpg

PINE STREET PRESBYTERIAN

301
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1893
/ Demolished in
1978
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 07/14/2011 - 11:14pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 29.2344" N, 78° 53' 59.3088" W

Comments

301
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1893
/ Demolished in
1978
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


Looking northeast from Pine St. and Poplar St., 1922.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection / Digital Durham)

In 1887, Charles C. Hayswood formed the initial congregation of what would become Pine Street Presbyterian Church in a hall at the corner of Fayetteville Street and Ray Place. Around 1890, the group began meeting in a "hall near the corner of Parrish and Mangum Streets." as a Sunday School group. Under the leadership of Rev. Lewis D. Twine this Sunday School was organized into the Twine Memorial Presbyterian Church in 1893. It appears that the church on the northeast corner of Poplar Street and Pine Street was built about that time; at some point thereafter, the name changed from Twine Memorial to Pine Street Presbyterian.

Pine St. Presbyterian was the primary Presbyterian church serving the African-American community / Hayti. The church was located directly south of the Venable Warehouse, on the northeast corner of Poplar Street and Pine Street.

Joel Kostyu notes in his book that, in 1948, "the congregation moved its home to the corner of Lincoln and Massey Streets and changed its name to the Covenant United Presbyterian Church" but he does not note the use of this building from that point forward. The church steeple was significantly remodeled by the 1950s, which can be better seen in the second of the two pictures below.

Venable_NE_1950s.jpeg
Looking northeast, ~1950 - the church is near the bottom right corner of the photo.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun)


Looking northeast, 1966.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

The frame building immediately to the north of the church was built as the "Pride of Durham Lodge (No. 2095)" but had become church property by mid-century.


Looking southeast at 303 S. Roxboro St., 1966.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)


Looking northeast from South Roxboro Street, ~1970.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

The church and adjacent building were demolished on January 27, 1978.


(From "Durham: A Pictorial History" by J. Kostyu)


(From "Durham: A Pictorial History" by J. Kostyu)


(From "Durham: A Pictorial History" by J. Kostyu)

- at which point the space became a parking lot at the rear of the Venable complex.
That parking lot has been improved with pervious pavers and landscaping as part of the Venable center redevelopment, but a parking lot is a parking lot. Although I do like the bear.


Looking northeast, 08.20.08. The driveway in the right foreground is the former Poplar Street.

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35.991454,-78.899808

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/sites/default/files/images/2008_10/DurhamKnittingMill_sanborn_1913.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_10/DurhamHosieryNo2_Interior1_1911.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_10/DurhamHosieryNo2_Interior2_1911.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_10/royalknightskingdavid_1922.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_10/700-702Fayetteville_1965.jpg

DURHAM KNITTING MILL / ROYAL KNIGHTS OF KING DAVID / 702-704 FAYETTEVILLE

702-704
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1911
/ Modified in
1950-1960
/ Demolished in
1966-1968
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

Durham's first African-American owned and operated textile operation, visited and praised by Booker T. Washington and WEB DuBois, then home to the Royal Knights of King David.

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In tours

Last updated

  • Wed, 01/02/2013 - 2:44pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 10.6656" N, 78° 53' 51.108" W

Comments

702-704
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1911
/ Modified in
1950-1960
/ Demolished in
1966-1968
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Sanborn map of Fayetteville and South Elm, 1913.
(Copyright Sanborn Map Company)

The Durham Textile Mill, located at 702-704 Fayetteville St had its place in history cemented by visits and commentary by both Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois.

After Julian Carr broke the taboo against employment of African-Americans as machine operators at Durham Hosiery Mill No. 2 in 1903, John Merrick was determined to show that similar success could be achieved with not only African-American mill workers, but African-American ownership as well.

By 1911, Merrick, along with C.C. Spaulding and Dr. Aaron Moore, established the Durham Knitting Mill (also called the Durham Textile Mill) at the southwest corner of South Elm and Fayetteville Sts.

The Durham Textile Mill is described by Booker T. Washington in 1911:

"I was ready to go home, but they wanted to show me one more successful Negro plant. This was the plant known as the Durham Textile Mill, the only hosiery mill in the world entirely owned and operated by Negroes. Regularly incorporated, they operate eighteen knitting machines of the latest pattern, working regularly twelve women and two men and turning out seventy-five dozen pairs of hose each day. The goods so far are standing the test in the market, being equal in every way to other hose of the same price. They are sold mainly by white salesmen, who travel mostly in North Carolina, New York, Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama..."


Mill interior, 1911.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection. Scanned by Digital Durham)


Mill interior, 1911.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection. Scanned by Digital Durham)

WEB DuBois visited the mill in 1913; his description:

"...we went to the hosiery mill and the planing mill. The hosiery mill was to me of singular interest. Three years ago I met the manager, C.C. Amey. He was then teaching school, but he had much unsatisfied mechanical genius. The white hosiery mills in Durham were succeeding and one of them employed colored hands. Amey asked for permission here to learn to manage the intricate machines, but was refused. Finally, however, the manufacturers of the machines told him that they would teach him if he came to Philadelphia. He went and learned. A company was formed and thirteen knitting and ribbing machines at 70 dollars apiece were installed, with a capacity of sixty dozen men's socks a day. At present the sales are rapid and satisfactory, and already machines are ordered to double the present output; a dyeing department and factory building are planned for the near future."

As W.E.B. DuBois mentions, Charles C. Amey was manager of the mill, and lived nearby at 514 Elm Street.

Although Anderson states that the mill closed in 1916, by 1915, the city directories no longer list the mill, and Mr. Amey is noted to be employed as a teller at the North Carolina Mutual company. Anderson notes the mill's demise resulted from a slump in textile production due to World War I.

Soon thereafter, 704 Fayetteville St. became home to the Royal Knights of King David.


Royal Knights of King David at 702-704 Fayetteville St., 1922.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection. Scanned by Digital Durham)

The R.K.K.D was a fraternal-beneficial organization which had been purchased by John Merrick, John Wright, WA Day, JD Morgan, and TJ Jones in 1883 from a "Reverend Morrison of Georgia." This organization, like many contemporaneous fraternal organizations, provided insurance by assessing members dues - typically burial insurance.

Merrick was "Supreme Grand Treasurer" of the organization, and it's speculated that RKKD incubated the the framework for the North Carolina Mutual Company, established in 1898. When the Mutual offices were established on West Parrish St., RKKD offices were located on the second floor.

The RKKD did not wither with the establishment of NC Mutual, however. The members continued to expand its presence in the southeast, and by 1918 the organization had 21,000 members, was bringing in ,000 a month, and owned ,000 in bonds/securities, and ,000 in property.

In 1922, "Milestones Along the Color Line" described the organzation thussly:

"The Royal Knights of King David bears the distinction of being the foremost organization of its kind in America. It is perhaps the only legal reserve fraternity operated by Negroes. For thirty-nine years it has operated successfully, unhampered by storms of financial depression and today it is stronger than ever. This fraternity is a distinct acheivement of Negro business organization and a valuable asset to the race."

W.G. Pearson was secretary and manager of the RKKD ("Supreme Grand Scribe") and managed the organization until his death in 1928. How long the RKKD survived after this point is unclear, but this branch had moved across the street by the 1930s. By 1938, 700 housed the White Way Sport Shop, and 702 housed a branch of Scott and Roberts Dry Cleaners. By 1941, White Way had become the Central Community Sport Shop.

It appears that sometime in the 1950s, the top floor of the building was removed. In 1957, the building became home to Fuller Products Cosmetics (at 700) and the Garrett-Parker drugstore. I assume that this drugstore was connected with York Garrett's Biltmore drugstore.


700-702 Fayetteville, 1962.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)


Looking southwest on S. Elm towards the intersection of Fayetteville, S. Elm, and Whitted, 01.05.67.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

This building was torn down prior to 1968. Since the early 1980s it has been the site of a medical office complex.


Looking west at the site of 700-702 Fayetteville, the back of the medical complex.

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Hayti Overview

35.986296 -78.89753

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808 FAYETTEVILLE - WG PEARSON HOUSE

808
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1910-1920
/ Demolished in
1968
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
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Last updated

  • Wed, 01/02/2013 - 2:44pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 7.548" N, 78° 53' 52.8" W

Comments

808
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1910-1920
/ Demolished in
1968
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


808 Fayetteville St., 1922.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection. Scanned by Digital Durham.)

William Gaston Pearson was born in 1859 - I have little information about his early life, although his parents had been enslaved - originally in Florida. William and his mother came to Durham at some point. Per Jean Anderson, Julian Carr heard William give "a stump speech" and was impressed enough by his oratory to offer to pay the 24 year old's tuition to Shaw University in Raleigh. WG Pearson won multiple awards while at Shaw.

Pearson was intimately involved in the growth of Hayti and in advocacy for the African-American community. In addition to founding the Southern Fidelity Mutual Insurance Co. and the Bankers Fire Insurance Co, Pearson became the principal of the first African-American Graded School (Whitted) and then Hillside High School. (A position he held for 30 years.) (He also had a few unsuccessful enterprises - the People's Savings and Loan (1915) and the Fraternal Bank and Trust Co.)

Pearson died in 1940. The house appears to have been divided into apartments thereafter.


808 Fayetteville, 1965.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

The house had been torn down by 1968.


Site of 808 Fayetteville, 10.05.08

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35.985430 -78.898000

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1502Fayetteville_1922.jpg1502Fayetteville.JPG1846807_01.jpg1846807_02.jpg

1502 FAYETTEVILLE STREET – EDWARD D. GREEN HOUSE

1502
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1915-1920
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

This two-story, hip-roofed Foursquare house is two bays wide and double-pile with two one-story, gabled rear ells. The earliest known occupant is Edward D. Green (grocer) 

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Location

United States
35° 58' 47.01" N, 78° 54' 0.5328" W
US

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1502
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1915-1920
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

1502Fayetteville_1922.jpg

1502 Fayetteville, 1922. From Milestones Along the Color Line.

This two-story, hip-roofed Foursquare house is two bays wide and double-pile with two one-story, gabled rear ells. The house has a red brick foundation, molded wood weatherboards, and wood trim including beadboard in the soffits. There are three brick chimneys: two interior yellow-brick chimneys and an exterior chimney on the north rear ell. The house retains four-over-one, double-hung wood sash windows and two four-light windows in the hip-roofed front dormer. The front door is a nine-light, Craftsman-style wood door with matching six-light sidelights. There is a diamond-shaped window to the left of the door and a second diamond-shaped window on the south elevation. The hip-roofed porch wraps around the north side of the house and extends beyond the house to the south to form a porte-cochere. The porch and porte-cochere are supported by fluted, tapered posts on yellow-brick piers. It retains a beadboard ceiling, wood floor, and wood railing with cross-and-diagonal pattern. The porch is accessed by a granite stair with granite-capped brick knee walls. The earliest known occupant is Edward D. Green (grocer) in the early 1920s.

1502Fayetteville.JPG

For sale as of July 2012.

1846807_01.jpg

1846807_02.jpg

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311Umstead_1922.jpg311Umstead_0665.jpg311EUmstead.JPG

311 EAST UMSTEAD STREET - F.L. MCCOY HOUSE

311
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1910-1920
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

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Location

United States
35° 58' 58.6884" N, 78° 54' 2.7144" W
US

Comments

311
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1910-1920
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

311Umstead_1922.jpg

"Mr. and Mrs. FL McCoy House" - from Milestones Along the Color Line, 1922.

311Umstead_0665.jpg

1965

311EUmstead.JPG

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306Umstead_1922.jpg306UMSTEAD.JPG306Umstead_screenshot.jpg

306 E. UMSTEAD ST. - WH WILSON HOUSE

306
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1912-1922
/ Demolished in
2011
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
,
Type: 
Use: 

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Last updated

  • Sun, 06/17/2012 - 4:36pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 58' 57.2772" N, 78° 54' 4.1328" W
US

Comments

306
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1912-1922
/ Demolished in
2011
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
,
Type: 
Use: 

 

306Umstead_1922.jpg

From Milestones Along the Color Line, 1922

306UMSTEAD.JPG

306Umstead_screenshot.jpg

Demolished in 2011

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1011Whitted_1922.jpg

1011 WHITTED ST.

1011
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1890-1920
/ Demolished in
1937-1950
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

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Last updated

  • Sun, 06/17/2012 - 1:52pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 58' 58.5876" N, 78° 53' 47.2164" W
US

Comments

1011
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1890-1920
/ Demolished in
1937-1950
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

1011Whitted_1922.jpg

"Residence of the Misses Whitted" from Milestones Along the Color Line, 1922

Sallie Whitted, Dora Whitted, and Eva Whitted (the latter two listed as "bkkpr" for profession) lived at 1011 Whitted St. in 1919 and 1923. 

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1008 FAYETTEVILLE STREET

1008
,
Durham
NC
/ Demolished in
1965
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Wed, 01/02/2013 - 2:42pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 1.2156" N, 78° 53' 55.1796" W

Comments

1008
,
Durham
NC
/ Demolished in
1965
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

1008 Fayetteville belonged to and "Mr and Mrs. WJ Kennedy"


1008 Fayetteville, 1922. (the printer oddly obliterated the background on the right side of the shot, I guess to make the house stand out more.)
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection and scanned by Digital Durham.)


1008 Fayetteville, 1962.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

The houses were demolished by 1965. The right-of-way for 'old' Fayetteville St. is gone here, having become part of a parking lot and service area for a convenience store.

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35.983892 -78.898619

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