Take a walk with me, friends… down the Main Street of my youth… we start at corner of Main and Road Sts. (yes, where I grew up, there is a Street… called Road… go figure… we were very confused). Anyway we’re heading toward the river. The Southern Hotel is on our left.. I see the Elizabeth City Chamber of Commerce and the Apothecary Shoppe, Foster’s Barber shop and Hills (not exactly sure what Hills was other than a hangout for kids for the jr. high school… there is a lone house on the corner there. On the side we are on is a dry cleaner I believe and maybe a law office. At the end of that block is a house where the Department of Social Services offices are located. My mom worked there for a while.
Cross over Elliott street and we’re in front of the Robinson’s house. Across the street is the courthouse. Next the court house is a park area with large trees and a bandstand. I use to love pep rallies there. Seems like I remember the band marching up Elliott Street from the band room down at the Elizabeth City Jr. High School. You could hear them in the distance as they made their way up the street. There are benches out by the sidewalk with flag poles with American flags flying in the breeze all along the curb. Across the top of the band stand we can see the stately columns of the Greenleaf / Small house located back on Colonial Avenue. Next to the Robinson’s house is another house that was the home of C.H. Robinson. This one houses the public library. I use to love to go in there and hear the creaking old floors as patrons perused the shelves of books in each room. And the back yard was still a garden although I am sure it wasn’t kept as nice as the Robinson’s kept it.
Cross over the side street again and we are standing in front of WT Grants Department Store. At this end of the store is the lunch counter with the short stools that you could sit on and spin around and around on in circles. It seems I remember some people getting in trouble for doing that too much. Right behind the lunch counter was the record section… my favorite part of the store! Across the street is the federal building which houses the Post Office and I assume federal court rooms. I use to have to walk down to the Post Office every afternoon as part of my job at Bradshaw’s Jewelery to mail off things that had to be repaired. Directly in front of the Federal Building and connected to WT Grant’s store was J.C. Penny’s Department Store.
There are still 3 blocks to go to get to the river… still a lot to see…. hope you’ll join me for the next part of the stroll…