Durham Historic Sites
DESCRIPTION: This richly decorated Colonial-style house is emblematic of the those built by African Americans in the 1910s. J S Scarborough, who founded an undertaking business, also became the first president of the Colored Voters League in 1922. The league was instrumental in registering many first time Black voters.
ADDRESS: 1301 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC MAP
Former Royal Ice Cream Company
DESCRIPTION: In August 1957, a desegregation sit-in led by Rev Douglas E Moore of Asbury Temple United Methodist Church which resulted in a court case. Rev Moore and famous Durham attorney, Floyd McKissick led many more sit-ins in public places around town.
ADDRESS: Roxboro Street at Dowd Street, Durham, NC MAP
Bennett Place State Historic Site
DESCRIPTION: The site where real emancipation began in the old Confederacy; Confederate General Lee surrendered to Union General Grant on 9 April 1865 in Appomattox, Virginia, establishing the terms of punishment for Confederate states. Then on 26 April 1865 Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston met Union General William T. Sherman at this restored farmhouse between Greensboro and Raleigh, a site selected between the two armies. General Sherman issued Field Order #15 which decreed that 40 acres would be set aside in parts of South Carolina and Florida per family of former slaves. History records with infamy that after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, President Andrew Jackson reversed the field order, preventing nearly all former slaves from receiving reparations.
DAYS & HOURS: Apr-Oct Mon Sun 9a-5p, Nov-Mar Tue-Sat 10a-4p
ADDRESS: 4409 Bennett Memorial Road, Durham, NC MAP
Stagville Preservation Center
DESCRIPTION: At 30,000 acres with over 900 slaves owned by the Bennehan-Cameron families, it was one of the South’s largest plantations; Horton Grove contains many historic 18th and 19th century structures for housing enslaved people, Staggville Barn and the Bennehan House, orchard, garden, tobacco barns built by enslaved craftsmen and planters are now dedicated to the preservation of African American cultural and historical studies; the plantations were owned by Richard Bennehan in 1800, a transplanted Virginia merchant who purchased land from Judith Stagg; his daughter Rebecca married Judge Duncan Cameron who operated a neighboring plantation; their son, Paul Cameron, held numerous political and financial positions throughout the state and the family presence extends to Duke University; pre-Civil War life at Horton Grove is captured in the book “The Black Family from Slavery to Freedom” by historian Herbert Gutman
ADDRESS: Old Oxford Highway at Stagville Road, Durham, NC MAP
Black Wall Street
DESCRIPTION: The name “Black Wall Street” was earned from the vast number of African American businesses that flourished there in the 1920’s and 1930’s, including the earliest homes of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance, Mechanics & Farmers Bank, Bankers Fire Insurance, and Mutual Community Savings; Black Wall Street was actually in the white-business section
ADDRESS: 100 and 200 blocks of West Parrish Street, Durham, NC MAP
Durham Hosiery Mill
DESCRIPTION: Built in 1901, but after 1904 it was the only mill in the country staffed entirely by African American employees; today it has been historically restored and adapted to an apartment complex
ADDRESS: 804 Angier Street, Durham, NC MAP
DESCRIPTION: Contains the graves of many Black Wall Street business and community leaders, including C.C. Spaulding of North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company and Dr. James Sheppard of North Carolina Central University.
ADDRESS: 3400 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC MAP
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1876 as the first cemetery for African-Americans in Durham, it includes the graves of Civil War veterans. Its very small.
ADDRESS: between Camden, Colonial and McGill Streets, Durham, NC MAP
DESCRIPTION: This red brick Revival style structure was built in 1921 on the former Stokes estate; oldest remaining hospital in Durham developed for African Americans; now operated by Duke University Medical Center, it is chartered as Lincoln Health Center
ADDRESS: 1301 Fayetteville Street at Linwood Avenue, Durham, NC MAP
Former Woolworths Store
DESCRIPTION: Shortly after the Greensboro Woolworth sit-in of 1 February 1960, Durham Woolworth was the site of a similar sit-in protest against “Whites Only” service. It was attended by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Rev. Douglas Moore and many others in the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, a portion of this historic Woolworth’s counter is on display at North Carolina Central University.
ADDRESS: 124 West Main Street, Durham, NC MAP
North Carolina Civil War Trail
DESCRIPTION: Recognizes Bennett Place, the onetime farmhouse where the largest surrender of Civil War troops was negotiated between Generals Joseph Johnston and William Sherman. Other proposed sites include the New Hope Creek area in Southwest Durham where the Union cavalry met retreating Confederate soldiers for the last picket battle of the Civil War prior to the surrender. Durham’s Station Brassfield Station, which served as key train stations during the final troop movements of the war and West Point, where the Union Cavalry camped, among other historic sites.
DESCRIPTION: The Shepard House is named after North Carolina Central University (NCCU) founder Dr. James E. Shepard; built in 1929, the house originally served as the official residence of the university’s presidents through the early 1980s and hosted such luminaries as W.E.B. Du Bois, Marian Anderson, Philip Randolph and Mary McLeod Bethune. Shepard was president of NCCU from 1910 to 1947. The property has been renovated and highlights Dr. Shepard’s life and work including photographs, papers and recorded oral histories. Shepard House is not only a focal point for preserving the history of the university, but also that of Black Durham.
ADDRESS: North Carolina Central University campus, Durham, NC MAP
North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1899, when it was tri-managed by John Merrick, Dr. Aaron M. Moore and Charles Spaulding. Over 1904-1918 the insurance company expanded its territory of coverage to South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, DC, Maryland. By the end of 1921, insurance in force reached a then staggering sum of $21 million. A national success story, the company now issues insurance nationwide from its modern 12-story building downtown. The company is further distinguished as the nation’s largest Black-owned insurance company and it is one of the 20 largest insurance companies in the nation. Arrange a tour of the Heritage Room for a pictorial review of the company’s history.
ADDRESS: 411 West Chapel Hill Street, Durham, NC MAP
Mechanics & Farmers Bank
DESCRIPTION: Beginning business in 1908 by RB Fitzgerald and nine others, one of the oldest African-American owned banks. In 1921, the bank merged with Fraternal Bank & Trust. In 1935, they reached $1 million in assets and became the first African American owned bank to receive a highly sought after Certificate of Authority from the Federal Housing Authority. In 1965, they bought this headquarters building from North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance.
ADDRESS: 116 West Parrish Street, Durham, NC MAP