Tour Historic Wilson
SELBY H. ANDERSON HOUSE - 901 West Nash Street - 1917. One of Wilson's finest bungalows, an architectural style for which Wilson is nationally known. This house has been associated with Selby H. Anderson, a leading businessman in the banking, tobacco, and insurance industries in the early 20th century; and later with John A. Gray, rector at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church. Designed by S.B. Moore, the house features distinct traces of Gustav Stickley’s influence. The house has roughly dressed stone interior chimneys with a large central shed roof dormer with mock half-timbering. There is also mock half-timbering in gable ends as well with overhanging roof. The porch is part of the main roof with flaring square columns on rough stone plynths with ornamental curved brackets. First floor windows have multipaned transoms and stone sills.
WILLIAMS-COZART HOUSE - 900 West Nash Street - 1903. Earliest and most outstanding example of Classical Revival architecture remaining in Wilson. An unusual bonnet shaped dormer and 2-story Ionic columns flank the facade of the home; and the beveled glass transom and sidelights surround the entrance. The house is associated with Jesse B. Williams, son-in-law of Alpheus Branch, (see Branch Bank & Trust); and U.H. Cozart, one of the state's leading turn of the century tobacconists, a pioneer in the cultivation and marketing of bright leaf tobacco.
W. W. GRAVES HOUSE - 800 West Nash - ca. 1923. The finest example of Georgian Revival architecture in Wilson, as well as one of the best in the state, the Graves house was designed by Harry Barton of Greensboro. Donated to Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College by the heirs of Gladys Graves, it serves as the residence of the college president. The Graves family were planters. The symmetrical façade is divided into seven bays. The tile roof is accented by pedimented dormers with arched windows flanked by pilasters. The boldly molded cornice is ornamented with modillions and the corners are accented by stone quoins. The surface of the house is richly patterned using brick panels and stone trim. An imposing central bay is stone veneered above the generous front door with its fanlight transom. Doric columns ornament the sun porch, entry, and porte-cochere. Oriental influence on the design is suggested by the fine latticed balustrades.
ALLIE W. FLEMING HOUSE -112 North Rountree Street -ca. 1919. An outstanding example of a Bungalow, this picturesque cottage with its rough stone foundation and chimney is the only one of its type in Wilson. The Flemings were early pioneers in bright leaf tobacco which eventually led to Wilson being the World’s Largest Bright Leaf Tobacco Market in the 1920's. The shingles curving around the roof edge, the eyelid dormers, and half-timbered gables enhance the picturesque effect, as do the flared rough stone porch columns, stone chimneys and foundation.
MOSES ROUNTREE HOUSE - 107 North Rountree Street - ca. 1869. National Register of Historic Places. The Moses Rountree house is valuable because of the contribution of the Rountree family to the development of present day Wilson, and also its designer, Oswald Lipscomb, who was one of Wilson's most talented architects. The Gothic Revival cottage features three front gables with arched windows, and a ca. 1900 lacy sawnwork porch. The house is the only surviving one of its style in Wilson, and the interior has been carefully preserved as well as the exterior.
DAVIS-WHITEHEAD-HARRISS HOUSE -600 West Nash Street – ca. 1858. National Register of Historic Places. Designed by Oswald Lipscomb, and one of a few surviving Victorian Nash Street residences, this home was remodeled to its present Italianate form in 1872. Bold exterior Italianate ornament includes carved brackets, a latticed balustrade, and exquisitely detailed window surrounds. The house is buffered from the surrounding commercial development by exotic trees and shrubs, while the handsome interior woodwork is inviting to guests staying at the bed & breakfast. It is associated with James Davis, the first state printer and publisher of one of the first newspapers in the state; Howell Gray Whitehead, a prominent planter and businessman; and William James Harriss.
WILKINS-WALSTON HOUSE - 205 Gray Street - 1907. This handsome example of late Queen Anne/early Neo-Classical Revival architecture was the home of the well known Wilson contractor and builder James E. Wilkins. The Wilson Graded School (Margaret Hearne Elementary School) and the City Market (no longer standing) are two of the many structures attributed to Mr. Wilkins. HH Walston, a prosperous planter purchased the home in 1922; and it remained in the family until donated to the Arts Council in 1974. The tiled ridge pole is capped at the gable end by a scrolled metal ornament. Asymmetrical massing, Ionic columns and a half-timbered pedimented porch entrance accentuate the front façade.
DR. OSCAR HOOKS HOUSE - 115 Whitehead Avenue - ca.1915. The only remaining example of this style of stucco bungalow in Wilson. It was designed by Berewell Riddick of Virginia for Dr. Oscar Hooks, a prominent Wilson dentist. A multi-windowed dormer dominates the front façade and massive stuccoed columns support the porch roof. Shed and hipped roof bays add interest to the side and rear elevations, and four beveled multi-paned French doors with cut glass knobs open onto the large, massive porch.
JUDGE HENRY G. CONNER HOUSE - 109 Gray Street - 1907. This house reflects Neo-Classical Revival architecture, yet combines Queen Anne and oriental influences to give the eclectic appearance, common at the turn of the century. It is associated with Judge Conner; a lawyer, judge of the Supreme Court for the Third Judicial District, NC Senator, President of Branch Bank & Trust, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of N.C., and the U.S. District Bench for the Eastern District. The generous wrap-around porch is supported by elaborate Ionic columns and an iron crest rail on the roof is a rare survival.
EUGENE L. JORDAN HOUSE - 406 West Nash Street - ca. 1880. This Queen Anne style Victorian Cottage has attained its significance in the quality of design and architectural detail. Although small, the rich sawn and carved details, the polygonal pavilion and handsome 3-sided bay window contribute to its charm. It represents the style of homes which lined Nash Street in the nineteenth century and made it one of the most fashionable addresses in Wilson. Mr. Jordan continued to supervise his outlying family farm while residing in town.
WILLIAMS-WOODARD-BANKS HOUSE - 501 Broad Street - ca. 1898. Probably the best example of flamboyant Queen Anne cottage style architecture in Wilson, this house, with its unusual polygonal tower reflects the taste at the turn of the century. Although a representative of this style, it is a rare example, as few structures of its kind remain. It is associated with Jesse Williams (Mattie Branch Gay), Calvin Woodard Jr., a merchant; and William L. Banks, an insurance agent. In addition to the tower, the house has notable brackets, shingles, sawn and turned decoration. Many original interior details have been retained while the house has been adaptively reused as an interior design shop.
WILSON WOMAN'S CLUB - 402 Broad Street - ca. 1922. The only surviving early 20th century building constructed as a club house in the city, this Mission Revival brick structure was designed by Solon Balias Moore. The Woman's Club has played a significant role in the social history of Wilson since its founding in 1915, and continues today to contribute to the community. The organization began Wilson’s first public library and was responsible for numerous other projects benefiting the community. The two hipped roof side wings project slightly creating a recessed porch with a shed roof supported by Tuscan columns. The design recalls the bungalow style which Wilson is known for.
BOYKIN-EDMUNDSON HOUSE -304 West Nash Street - ca.1895. Elements of both the Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles are evident in this West Nash Street home, once a component in a residential neighborhood, and currently one of a few survivors in an area of commercial development. It is associated with J.R. and Ida Boykin; and Haywood Edmundson Jr., a pioneer of the Wilson tobacco market; and his son Haywood Edmundson III. The home has been sympathetically adapted for use as a lawyer’s office.
WILSON PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH (former) - 301 West Green Street - 1920. This was the third building for Wilson's oldest established congregation, founded in 1756. This Gothic Revival structure is the only church on the list of buildings attributed to S.B. Moore. The quality of its architecture and its importance as a religious institution that has served the community for over two centuries lend to its significance. Unlike many contemporary structures, the church has been little altered since its construction. The lofty ceiling with its exposed framing, the original oak pews and pulpit furniture, and the outstanding stained glass windows distinguish this modest sized church.
WEAVER-SIMMS HOUSE - 307 West Green Street - ca. 1881. A typical Victorian Cottage, associated with the lives of the two major owners, self-made men John L. Weaver and W.W. Simms. Mr. Weaver was one of Wilson's pioneer merchants (hardware) during the Reconstruction and the latter half of the nineteenth century; and Mr. Simms was one of the town's leading industrialists (lumber). The simple house is graced by a particularly large and handsome wrap-around porch with turned and sawn ornament and a latticed balustrade.
A. P. SIMPSON HOUSE - 310 West Green Street - ca. 1880. Exceptional detail on this late 19th century cottage adds to its warmth and the character of its architecture. In addition, it is associated with J.F. Farmer, a community leader who served as Pastor of the Primitive Baptist Church, Justice of the Peace, and Chairman of the Wilson County Board of Commissioners. The detailed sawnwork spandrels, balustrade and ornamental porch trim is remarkably well preserved.
DR. WILLIAM S. ANDERSON HOUSE -316 West Green Street - ca. 1905. One of the most outstanding and the best preserved examples of Colonial Revival architecture in the oldest residential neighborhood of Wilson. It was the home of the prominent Dr. William S. Anderson and his six sons who played an important role in the development of Wilson. The imposing house features a steeply pitched slate roof with dormers and heavy pediments, a Palladian window echoed on the second floor, and columned two-story porch.
A. J. SIMMS HOUSE - 211 Hill Street - ca. 1874. One of very few remaining homes built in the early 1870's, this elaborate, distinctive Early Cottage style was originally owned by A.J. (Jack) Simms. Mr. Simms was the first Clerk of the Superior Court of Wilson County (until the Civil War); filed for bankruptcy; and later served as Deputy Sheriff of the county; Tax Collector; and court appointed commissioner. He represents those who survived the defeat of cultural and financial loss, and rebounded to rebuild their private lives as well as that of their community. The one story L-plan house features a wrap-around porch with turned balusters, floor to ceiling windows and operable shutters.
JAMES E. GORHAM HOUSE -200 West Vance Street - ca. 1853. Pre-Civil War structure, possibly the first education building in Wilson, known as the Wilson Female Academy. It is associated with Colonel James Gorham, a member of the Great Congress in Halifax County who participated in framing the U.S. Constitution. The boxy antebellum structure was embellished in the 1880s with the addition of several porches, a handsome bay window and rear wings.
LUCAS-BARNES HOUSE - 200 West Green Street - ca. 1853. Colonial Revival style architecture overlaid with vernacular Greek Revival proportions. Strong evidence indicates that the house is the remodeled Wilson Male Academy, one of two early school buildings erected in Wilson prior to the formation of Wilson County. It is associated with Silas Lucas, a Wilson builder, brick maker and real estate man; his daughter and her husband, John Thomas Barnes, a businessman and secretary-treasurer of Barnes-Harrell Company and president of the Boykin Grocery Co.
PIVER-MOSS HOUSE AND SHOP - 201 Maplewood Avenue - ca. 1899. The house illustrates Late Victorian Queen Anne style architecture, the shop behind, (ca. 1930) is a rare example of a commercial building in association with a residence. The house was built by J.G. Riley for Clarissa Piver, and later sold to J.G. Raper for his daughter Fannie Moss. Ms. Moss leased the shop to Will Taylor for use with his grocery next door. The house has been adaptively reused as a flower shop which expanded from the shop into the house. The house features a slate roof and unusually well detailed porch.
JAMES ROUNTREE HOUSE - 206 West Nash Street - ca. 1888. The eclectic richness of the late 19th century is illustrated by the use of a variety of materials, typical of the Queen Anne style; and the turned trim work on the veranda, combined with asymmetric massing, recall the Eastlake style. The steeply pitched roof is positioned gable end to the street, and scalloped and square shingles enrich the texture of the exterior façade. Queen Anne windows of colored glass add jewel-tones to the composition, while handsome porches grace the front and side, with elaborately scrolled brackets, turned spindles, columns and a latticed balustrade. The house is typical of the era when Nash Street was one of the most fashionable avenues in North Carolina; this home is a remarkable survivor of the neighborhood. The elaborate exterior is complimented by beautiful interior work including wide heart pine floors, black marble mantels and a Tiffany chandelier. Thought to be built by James Rountree, son of prominent merchant Moses Rountree; then sold to Frank Barnes, president of the First National Bank of Wilson in1897. In 1904 it was sold to Capt. J. G. Roney, head of the American Tobacco Co. whose descendant still owns the house.
GRADY BUILDING AND WILSON THEATRE - 108 West Nash Street - ca. 1919. Designed by Solon B. Moore, this structure represents the only example of an office/retail building associated with Wilson's earliest and only known multi-purpose entertainment theatre accommodating both live performances and motion pictures. The outstanding architectural and decorative interior detail is much as it was when built. The building served as the design studio for Mr. Moore, and is associated with Dr. Leland V. Grady, a prominent Wilson physician. The symmetrical composition of the brick façade is dominated by the projecting arched pavilion.
WHITEHEAD AND BARNES BUILDING - 106 North Tarboro Street - ca. 1887. This rare example of a one-story commercial building in the Central Business District has been associated with numerous notable who owned or operated businesses there. Orren V. Foust's photography studio produced many early scenes of Wilson; Boykin-Townsend Realty, and Corbett Brokerage were a few of the significant occupants. DEMOLISHED 2003
CONNER-LUCAS HOUSE - 210 North Tarboro Street - late 1890's. This house is an example of Queen Anne Cottage style architecture of the late 1890's, unlike any Queen Anne style still extant and now rare in Wilson. It is associated with the sons of prominent Wilson families: the H.G. Conners and the Silas R. Lucases. George Conner served as a judge of the Supreme Court, State Representative, and Trustee at UNC; Wyatt Lucas, continued to operate his father's local brick industry, and his son Silas was a prominent lawyer and mayor of Wilson. The shingled gable and fine turned and sawn work porch detail are the trademarks of the period, but the dormer window is quite unusual.
DAVID WOODARD HOUSE - 409 North Goldsboro Street - ca. 1901. A reflection of upper class tastes and values is apparent in this turn-of-the-century residence when Wilson was undergoing rapid expansion. Money, fine materials and good craftsmen were readily available as evidenced in the Art Nouveau stained glass transom. The first owner, David Woodard was a principal in one of Wilson's first tobacco warehouses whose market evolved into the largest Bright Leaf Tobacco Market in the world. The Colonial Revival house boasts a small Palladian window in the large central cross gable. A wrap-around porch with a pedimented entry is supported by slender Doric columns. The trabeated door has an exceptionally fine transom. Original interior woodwork, mantels and main staircase remain intact.
CORA FARMER HOUSE - 304 North Goldsboro Street - ca. 1887. One of the finest and last examples of Queen Anne architecture standing in Wilson with the ornate detail work still intact. The picturesque asymmetrical massing, elaborate finials on the ridge pole and rich carved and sawn details enhance the house. It is associated with one of the oldest families in Wilson, that of Larry D. Farmer, a large land owner and member of the town board, and his son, J. Ed Farmer, Sheriff.
WILSON FIRE STATION NO. 1 - 209 North Douglas Street - ca. 1926. Designed by local architect, Solon B. Moore, and constructed by Jones Brothers, the station represents the City's attempt to construct the most modern facilities possible to house their firefighters and equipment. Architecturally it demonstrates the use of design elements and construction techniques common to contemporary residences. The handsome building boasts overhanging eaves supported by paired curved brackets. Stylistically the station is related to the Mission and Bungalow styles. It is currently in use as a shelter for the homeless.
WIGGINS-HADLEY HOUSE - 208 North Douglas Street - ca. 1872. This house stands as the only remaining physical evidence of the well known Wiggins and Hadley families, and is a rare example of Italianate Cottage architecture, built for a middle-class family shortly after the Civil War. Mr. James T. Wiggins owned Wiggin's Mill and is believed to have planted the first lot of marketable tobacco in Wilson County; Mr. Hadley and his family are remembered for their bravery in the Civil War, participation in the development of the school system, activity in government, and their General Merchandise business. It was moved from North Goldsboro Street to its present site ca. 1901. Capped with shallow hipped roof, the eaves are supported by paired Italianate brackets. The richly ornamented porch boasts similar brackets, chamfered square posts, and the original turned balusters.
ST. TIMOTHY'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH - 202 North Goldsboro Street - ca. 1906. The oldest established Episcopal Church in Wilson, founded in 1856, and an outstanding example of Gothic architecture and detail, evidenced in its altar, stained glass windows, and design. It is believed to have been built by local architect Charles C. Benton in 1906. The exterior is of smooth red brick with a gabled slate roof, terminating in a large square tower on the Goldsboro Street side, and a smaller octagonal tower on the east side of the tower. Vestibules project on both sides of the tower. A cruciform plan is carried out by shallow transepts on the east and Green Street sides of the tower. The bell tower has serrated battlements, and the entire church is supported by square brick buttresses. The interior features exposed roof framing pierced with trefoil motifs. Pulpit furniture, pews, rood screen and lighting fixture are all Gothic in style.
WILSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE - 125 East Nash Street - ca. 1928. National Register of Historic Places. The most monumental Classical Revival structure in town was designed by Fred A. Bishop and built in 1924 by William P. Rose. The fine classical detailing complements the proportions of the structure. Massive fluted Corinthian columns support a recessed porch.
PLANTER'S BANK - 201 East Nash Street - ca. 1920. One of the financial institutions built in Wilson as a result of the intense period of economic and physical growth which Wilson experienced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is one of the finest examples of Classical Revival architecture in Wilson. Constructed of masonry with stone veneer the building boasts a balustraded roof with squat stone corner posts enlivened by boldly executed cartouches. The heavy stone cornice is molded and bracketed, and the freize has large stone dentils. “The Planter’s Bank” is incised below the dentil course and paired 2-story Ionic columns punctuate the Goldsboro and Nash Street facades. The entrance consists of an elaborated molded pediment formed by laurel wreaths, swags and acanthus leaves supporting a circular ornament with an egg and dart molded edge. The windows and doors were altered in 1976. The building serves as the City Hall annex.
BRANCH BANK AND TRUST COMPANY - 124 East Nash Street - 1903. National Register of Historic Places. Neo-Classical Second Renaissance style structure that represents the oldest continually operating bank facility in North Carolina. Originally a private banking firm chartered in 1872 by Alpheus Branch and Thomas Jefferson Hadley, growth required larger quarters, and this building was erected. It remained in use until 1985, and was been donated to the City for public use. It is currently being leased to the Arts Council of Wilson and open to the public. The bold Tuscan windows, quoined corners, striated first floor, and forceful entrance portico create a surprisingly monumental composition.
CICERO CULPEPPER CARRIAGE SHOP - 222 South Tarboro Street - ca. 1907. The best preserved example of a common building type for early 20th century commercial and industrial uses. The Carriage Shop was surrounded by tobacco warehouses, prize houses, livery stables and machine shops, most of which were similar in size, style, and function. The excellent state of preservation of the lower façade is particularly unique. The two main display windows consist of large sheets of glass with a multi-paned transom above and a paneled section below. The entrance is recessed, level with the edge of the deep display windows, and consists of double doors with multi-pane glass above 3 panels.
U.S. POST OFFICE AND COURTHOUSE - 224 East Nash Street - ca. 1927. Beaux Arts style architecture, the popular choice of early 20th century public buildings throughout the United States, was the style for the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse building in Wilson. It represents a building begun when the economy was booming, and completed during the Depression. It was used for its original purpose until 1981, when it was converted to a "hands-on" science museum. Designed by James Wetmore of the Treasury Department staff, the imposing four story building features stone veneer on brick. Its central bay arches create a pleasing rhythm, while the massing and most of the details are inspired by classical designs. Art Deco details are used on the door hardware and iron fencing.
CHERRY HOTEL - 333 East Nash Street - ca. 1917. National Register of Historic Places. An elaborate Beaux Arts entrance features lion's masks supporting a pressed metal canopy on a building which epitomized hotel design of the period. The approximately 200 rooms were small and simple, typical of hotels in the first quarter of the century; however the lobby, banquet rooms and public areas are well appointed and intact. In 1984 the hotel was restored and is currently used as apartments for retired persons. It features an elaborate metal cornice with plume motifs on the corners, providing a symmetrical façade. Lion’s masks supported an elaborate pressed metal canopy, now removed. Stone veneer covers the first floor, while the remainder of the five-story building is brick.
ATLANTIC COASTLINE RAILROAD PASSENGER AND BAGGAGE DEPOT - 401 East Nash Street - 1924. A.M. Griffin used Flemish influence of Mission style architecture in his design for the most recent train station in Wilson. It represents the growth of the transportation industry in Wilson, which greatly affected the rate of the town's growth. The building is cruciform in plan, with a small square porter's room in the same style to the north. Both buildings have red Spanish terra cotta roof tiles. An umbrella canopy with curved brackets runs the length of the station on the track side.
ORANGE HOTEL - 526 East Nash Street - ca. 1906. The oldest and the last trace of a number of wood frame hotels built for blacks around the turn of the century near the railroad. The design was popular, although due to fire, no others are standing. It was constructed for Samuel H. Vick, a leader in the black community and innovator in providing excellent facilities for health care, improved living conditions and socializing in East Wilson. The double porch with turned balusters and columns, and brackets is sheltered under a standing seam tin roof.
JACKSON CHAPEL FIRST MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH - 571 East Nash Street - ca. 1913. Romanesque style architecture adorns the oldest of the two most architecturally significant religious structures in the black community of Wilson. It serves as a visual landmark as you approach the downtown from the east, and is a focal point for the East Nash Street business area. In addition to its contribution to Christianity, the building represents early 20th century construction techniques. The large corner tower and overhanging hipped roof makes the church seem to spread its sheltering eaves over the entire neighborhood. Boldly designed with a beautifully executed brick corbel table, the church is little altered since its construction. Windows on three sides of the sanctuary contribute to the light and airy feeling of the interior. An addition complements the original design elements of the structure.
ST. JOHN AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL ZION CHURCHY - 119 North Pender Street - 1915. Gothic Revival church with handsome arches, original stained glass windows, and corbelled brickwork of a master craftsman. It was constructed by John Barnes, a talented local brick mason and brother-in-law to the Darden family, leaders in the community, active in church affairs, and operators of the first black funeral parlor in the state. A significant effort has been made to repair, restore, and further protect the structure which has meant so much to the community. The church features a handsome slate roof, massive corner tower, and beautiful stained glass windows. The surface of the building is enriched by the use of raised brickwork, stone trim, and a lavish use of Gothic arches.
WILSON HOSPITAL AND TUBERCULAR HOME [MERCY HOSPITAL] - 504 East Green Street - 1913. One of three early black hospitals in the state, and the only remaining early hospital in Wilson. The grandeur of its two-story Neo-Classical Revival design is attributed to local architects Benton and Moore, and was repeated in the design of the Woodard-Herring Hospital. Wilson Hospital was known for its competent medical staff, including Doctor F.S. Hargrave, instrumental in its establishment. Financial hardship and the Depression plagued the hospital, and in 1964 the hospitals in Wilson consolidated and Mercy Hospital, as it had become known, closed. It has been renovated and is adaptively reused as a business incubator. The cruciform-plan building features a two-story portico with a beautifully executed Doric entablature. The central door is framed by multipaned sidelights and transom typical of the period.
WILSON COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE - 403 Oak Avenue - 1859. Built originally as the Wilson Female Seminary, the two- story Italianate structure served as a Confederate hospital during the War between the States. In 1872, it became known as Wilson Collegiate Institute and was attended by Governor Charles B. Aycock and Josephus Daniels, Ambassador to Mexico and Secretary of the Navy under Franklin D. Roosevelt. What remains is the last remaining part of the building which was divided into six houses around 1898. Future plans for this building include relocation and restoration for use as a Wilson history museum.
GENERAL JOSHUA BARNES HOUSE - Waterworks Road - ca. 1844. Pre-Civil War home of Joshua Barnes, known as the "Father of Wilson County" as he succeeded in getting the bill passed through state Legislature in 1855 forming Wilson County. In addition, he was active in improving the educational system here and establishing the Wilson Academy (for Boys) and the Wilson Female Seminary where he served as the first president. His home maintains the architectural distinctiveness and flavor of the ante-bellum southern plantation home which has remained on the same property, although the lot is currently less than four acres of what was originally a 1000 acre estate. The vernacular Greek Revival plantation house is typical of those in eastern North Carolina before the Civil War. The simple three bay façade is capped with a shallow hipped roof and a plain continuous frieze set under boxed eaves. The trabeated door with remnants of the original cranberry glass which once filled the transom and sidelights dates ca. 1870 when the house was remodeled. The simple hipped roof porch with plain square columns probably also dates after the Civil War. The only documented examples of Federal woodwork in Wilson are found in two interior rooms.
HERRING'S DRUG STORE - 211 East Nash Street - 1885. This Victorian commercial building is the site of Wilson's oldest family owned business, Herring's Drug Store. The Herrings were one of Wilson's most prominent families, who contributed to the town's business, social, and political organizations. The second floor, known as "Herring's Hall" is one of two surviving dance hall/theatres in Wilson dating from the 1890's. The building was maintained as a drug store from 1885 until the 1990s, although it was sold by the Herring family in 1961. The 1920's brick facade, like many other commercial buildings, was rebuilt following a fire. The building features one of the finest pressed tin ceilings in town.
FREDERICK D. SWINDELL HOUSE - 906 West Nash Street - ca. 1924. Georgian Revival architecture graces the West Nash Street home associated with Frederick Dudley Swindell, a prominent Wilson lawyer, and his wife Elizabeth (Gold), who became the owner, manager, and outstanding editor of the Wilson Daily Times, the newspaper founded by her family. The house is currently owned by their grandson, the current president and publisher of the paper. The entrance features an unusual bonnet-shaped porch pediment.
SMITH-BISHOP HOUSE - 1301 West Nash Street - 1918. The most robust of three Western Stick style Bungalows in Wilson. This dwelling was constructed for William E. Smith, President of the Planter's Bank in Wilson, and the developer of the West End Park subdivision. In 1922 the Smiths sold the property to Asa Edward Bishop, who, with her sons were the owners of the Carolina Laundry. The use of granite for the massive pillars and the half-shoulder chimney is characteristic of this form of architecture in Wilson.
ROSCOE G. BRIGGS HOUSE - 111 Park Avenue - ca. 1904. A fine example of beautifully detailed early 20th century Colonial Revival houses. It is associated with Roscoe Briggs, a leading tobacconist and businessman, involved in a number of business, social and cultural activities. He was co-founder and co-owner of Briggs and Fleming, Wilson's first tobacco prizery which also owned Silver Lake farm and recreation area. Mr. Briggs served as the first Fire Chief in 1890; at one time he owned Citizen's Bank in Wilson; had interest in Wilson Cotton Mills, W.W. Simms Lumber Co., and Harper and Company Foundries; and he helped develop Farmer's Mill water power plant. The polychrome slate roof is an unusual survival, and beveled lead ed glass appears throughout the main rooms of the house. The Palladian dormer window Ionic columns and symmetry are typical of the Colonial Revival in Wilson.
PETER J. ROYALL HOUSE - 303-305 West Vance Street - ca. 1876. A conservative home converted to a duplex in 1952, the house is significant to Wilson's history due to its association with Peter Royall and his sister-in-law. During the Reconstruction, Peter Royall worked and later owned a foundry (plow shop), contributing to early manufacturing in Wilson. He was active in the developing city, served on the town council and was instrumental in establishing Maplewood Cemetery. After his death in 1889, his wife, Mary Eliza (Hearne) invited her sister Margaret to stay with her at the Royall house. Margaret is known as one of Wilson's earliest and most dedicated educators, and the Graded School where she taught for 30 years is named in her honor. It is one of approximately 20 homes built before 1880 extant in Wilson.
BENJAMIN F. LANE HOUSE - 601 West Nash Street - ca. 1898. Outstanding Colonial Revival house was designed by the eminent Wilson architect, John C. Stout for Benjamin F. Lane. Mr. Lane was a prosperous planter and co-founder of the Liberty Tobacco Warehouse in 1903. In 1924 Jefferson Davis Bardin, Clerk of Superior Court and Judge of the County and Juvenile Courts for over 25 years, bought the property. His son Benjamin converted the house to an office and apartment in 1982. The proportions, Ionic Columns, door surround and Palladian window are of unusually good quality.
JAMES G. HOUSTON HOUSE - 401 South Conner Street - 1920. An unusually robust and well-finished example of the Colonial Revival bungalow. The Houston house is particularly notable for its overscaled classical details such as heavy molding, Palladian window in a shingled gable, arched windows in pedimented dormers, and fluted Doric columns. It was constructed for James Houston, an employee of the Imperial Tobacco Company and his wife Estelle.
GOLD HARRELL HOUSE - 304 West Vance Street - ca. 1884. Built for Elder Pleasant Daniel Gold, pastor of the Primitive Baptist Church by James E. Wilkins; then sold to E.J. Harrell in 1922. This handsome well preserved Queen Anne style house features bold gable ornaments and Queen Anne windows with tiny border panes. A 1922 renovation included the addition of the present porch. P.D. Gold was the publisher of Zion’s Landmark, which evolved into the Wilson Daily Times.
ROBERT S. WILKINS HOUSE - 106 Gray Street - Robert S. Wilkins was the son of Wilson Builder James E. Wilkins. He was a principal in the firm of Wilkins Brothers, and later Wilkins & Wilkins. The firm was credited with being the oldest contracting firm in town. This particular bungalow design is repeated with minor variations throughout Wilson. The dormer has a clipped gable and recessed window flanked by paired columns. The three-bay symmetrical façade is sheltered by a porch supported by four large flared columns on shallow brick plynths.
WINSTEAD-HARDY COMMERCIAL BUILDING - 205-9 East Nash Street – ca. 1882. One of the oldest extant commercial buildings, the structure boasts exceptionally fine raised brickwork and a handsome metal cornice. Added in the early twentieth century. Two storefronts with a central door leading to the second floor was once a common feature of local commercial buildings.
JACOB TOMLINSON HOUSE – 407 Broad Street – ca. 1913. This Colonial Revival house was built for Jacob Tomlinson, a wholesale grocer and real estate developer in partnership with Kirby Woodard. The most outstanding feature of the house is its two-story pedimented portico. The house remained in the family until the 1990s, and has been preserved on the interior and exterior.