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Mecklenburg African American Resources Survey

 

Many of the properties discussed in this report have been assigned an "MK" number. The "MK" stands for Mecklenburg, and the number refers to a file maintained on each of the properties by the State Historic Preservation Office in Raleigh.

PROPERTY TYPES

The purpose of this survey was to identify the historic built environment associated with African Americans in Mecklenburg County. Generally the survey concentrated on properties that were built before WWII. In some instances attention was paid to significant later properties, especially if they were the only tangible evidence of a place of historical importance. Other post-WWII properties were included if they demonstrated important building trends. Earlier surveys had identified historic African American neighborhoods in the City of Charlotte and individual historic properties associated with the black community. Efforts in this survey concentrated on the quickly disappearing rural sections of the county, on the county’s towns and neighborhoods outside of Charlotte, on parts of the city that had not been previously surveyed, and then on previously surveyed areas in Charlotte. The significance of some properties has changed as they have aged, as the city has grown and lost some of its historic resources, and as an appreciation of the history of Mecklenburg’s African American community has increased.

While certain building types appear to have been favored by Mecklenburg County’s African American community, the survey found nothing in terms of architecture that was unique to the black citizens of the county.

The properties included in this survey were identified as either individual properties, or as properties in districts. Property types in this survey can be divided into three categories: residential, institutional, and commercial. While separated into different sections, this report on the property-types identified in this survey has been written as a chronological narrative.

TYPE 1A - Residential – Single Family

The majority of the properties included in this survey are single-family residences.

The Era of Slavery

The Stafford Plantation Log Dwelling (MK 2309) is very likely the earliest surviving example of African American housing in the county. This small single-pen log house is constructed of squared logs joined with half-dovetail joints. This form of construction was practiced in the late 18th century by the early settlers of the county and is found in the ca. 1793 Hugh Torrence House and Store. Trees were felled and then hewn into square timbers, which were then usually pit-sawn into narrower timbers. This construction practice continued in Mecklenburg County until the last years of the 19th century. While no other known slave housing exists in the county, this simple building type was surely utilized by many of the estimated 6,800 slaves living in Mecklenburg in 1860.

Late 19th Century

1. Charlotte’s Urban Core

After the Civil War Charlotte experienced rapid growth. Soon after the war a vital black neighborhood developed in Charlotte’s Third Ward, and then, by 1890, in Charlotte’s Second Ward. None of the 19th century housing stock from these neighborhoods survives.

2. Biddleville

Close to Charlotte’s First Ward was the Biddleville village, which was enveloped by the City of Charlotte by the beginning of the 20th century. Biddleville, rich with early 20th century residential architecture, contains a few late 19th century residential properties.

 The 1891 Davis House (MK) is among the oldest surviving homes. The two-story cross-hipped form shows the influence of the Queen Anne Style. This imposing hipped-roofed home was far from representative, but rather a testament to the success and importance of Dr. George Davis, one of Charlotte’s leading African American citizens.

Most of Biddleville’s 19th century residents would have lived more modestly. Although somewhat altered, the hall-and-parlor form house at 208 Solomon Street is a rare surviving example of Charlotte’s typical 19th century African American housing.

This was the Biddleville home of Joseph and Nancy Davidson Butler

3. The Small Towns and Rural Neighborhoods

On Crane Street (MK 2268) in Davidson, the hall-and-parlor rental houses are examples of the most common 19th century house type found in this survey. The three bay wide and one room deep hall-and-parlor form was employed for rental and owner-occupied housing in the established town and city neighborhoods and in the developing African American rural neighborhoods such as Tank Town, with the Thompson House (MK 2305) being perhaps the only surviving example.

4. Farms

John and Roxie Connor were a farm couple near Cornelius

The Hall and Parlor form was also popular with Mecklenburg’s farmers. However, most of what was rural at the turn of the century has now been either incorporated into the City of Charlotte, or into the sprawling development around the city and the county’s towns. The hall-and-parlor Rich Hatchet House (MK 2290) is perhaps the only surviving 19th century black-owned farmhouse in the county.

The hall-and-parlor form also appears to have been favored in the construction of Mecklenburg’s late 19th century tenant houses. The board-and-batten sided White Farm Tenant House (MK 2277) and the dilapidated board-and-batten sided Caldwell Farm Tenant House (MK 2279) are both hall-and-parlor form houses. These simple two-room houses, each with a single fireplace on one of the gabled sides, are truly basic, utilitarian examples of this traditional folk housing form.

The Alexander Farm Tenant House (MK 2293) shares the three-bay wide, one-room deep characteristics of the hall-and-parlor form, but this small frame turn-of-the–century tenant house has only one front room, and appears to have been expanded with a rear shed addition.

In the second half of the 19th century, log construction was surely prominent in the tenant houses of Mecklenburg County. However almost no evidence remains. After the Civil War, the Stafford Plantation Slave Cabin (MK 2309) served as a tenant house. The ruined, late 19th century Fincher Farm Log House was certainly used as a tenant house in the early years of the 20th century, and may have been constructed in the 19th century as a tenant house.

Early 20th Century - Houses before WWI

1. Charlotte’s Urban Core

Within Charlotte’s historic urban core, the city’s four wards, no residential property from the first half of the 20th century and associated with the city’s black population still exist at its original location. Two shotgun houses from the former Blandville Neighborhood have been moved to First Ward.

The shotgun house was once the most prominent housing type in Charlotte’s black neighborhoods. The two houses now sit on the grounds of the Old Little Rock AME Zion Church, now the African American Cultural Center, as a historical exhibit.

2. Biddleville

In Biddleville the earliest 20th century houses may be the cross-gabled houses that can be found near the intersection of Miller Road and Solomon Street. Adding a small single-bay gabled wing to the front of a traditional hall-and-parlor plan produced the interesting asymmetrical façade that is an element of the Queen Anne Style. A common decorative element on these homes is a small gable over the front door.

With the new century, Mecklenburg’s African American communities began to adopt a new house type that was very different from the linear hall-and-parlor and cross-gabled plans. In these communities massed-plan, hipped-roofed houses, usually three-bays wide, and two rooms deep for a total of four rooms, began to appear in the first decade of the 20th century. Indeed, this was not a local or isolated phenomenon.

"In the south, one-story pyramidal houses became a popular replacement for the less spacious hall-and-parlor house during the early decades of the 20th century."

In Mecklenburg County, these simple four-room houses typically have two interior chimneys, one on either side of the center of the house, allowing fireplaces or flue access from each of the four rooms. The single-central-chimney style pyramidal cottages found in neighboring Gaston County were not encountered during this survey.

In Biddleville, several examples of these pyramidal houses can be found. The houses at 305 Solomon and 327 Mill Street are good early examples. Pre-WWI examples are less likely to show the influence of the Craftsman Style. Rafter ends on the earlier houses may have been boxed-in. Nearly all of the pyramidal houses constructed after 1920 and included in this survey had exposed rafter tails, which is an element of the Craftsman Style.

3. Cherry

While the Cherry Neighborhood was plotted in 1891, its earliest surviving homes date from the first years of the 20th century. Among Mecklenburg’s white residents building small houses, the hall-and-parlor had been largely replaced by cross-gabled Queen Anne cottages in the last decades of the 19th century, with the old hall-and-parlor form relegated to utilitarian mill workers housing. In the black community, the form had a longer life in the neighborhoods. Of the few surviving single-family homes from the small Cherry Neighborhood that existed before WWI, all are of the hall-and-parlor form. The best surviving example can be found at 1820 Luther Street (MK 1953). In response to popular taste, elements of the Queen Anne Style were incorporated. The house features a decorative centered front-gable, and a hipped-roof front porch. Other pre-WWI house types in the Cherry Neighborhood included shotgun and hipped-roof Queen Anne inspired cottages, however none has survived.

4. Hoskins Mill

 

Mills operating in Mecklenburg County at the start of the 20th century, along with their accompanying mill villages, were generally segregated, and those operated by Charlotte’s famous D. A. Tompkins were strictly segregated. The Hoskins Mill, built in 1903 about three miles northwest of Charlotte, was apparently an exception to this rule. Not only were blacks hired to work in the mill, separate housing, identical to the housing for the white workers, was provided. The mill company constructed approximately eighty one-story cross-gabled houses, six of which were available to black workers. These mill houses were very similar to the popular hall-and-parlor houses. They were both three bays wide, and the principal section and the front and rear wings were all just one room deep. The design of the house was basically the same as a hall-and-parlor house, with a centered rear wing, rotated ninety degrees. This rotation allowed for a more complex asymmetrical façade. The houses feature a center chimney and a hipped-roof front porch. Two of the African American workers houses, the Ashford and the Strong family houses (MK 2322) have retained their essential form and setting.

The Hoskins Mill drew workers to the area and a community sprang up around the mill. African Americans who worked at the mill, and who found jobs in the new community, settled on Carothers Street. The most intact of the few surviving houses on the street is the small pyramidal house at 232 Carothers (MK 2321).

5. Washington Heights

In 1913 Washington Heights, Charlotte’s first African American streetcar suburb was platted. By 1915 only a few houses had been built, including the Rev. Wilson House at 2328 Sanders Avenue. This somewhat altered side-gabled bungalow is perhaps the earliest surviving home in the neighborhood. It may also be the earliest fully realized Craftsman Style bungalow built for an African American in Mecklenburg County. Soon afterwards, the bungalow form and the Craftsman Style began to dominate the residential architecture of Mecklenburg’s African American communities, to the extent that the influence of the form and the style can be found on the majority of buildings included in this survey.

6. Davidson

Davidson’s African American community to this day is concentrated in the town’s west side. Twin-chimney, four room, three-bay-wide pyramidal houses can be found there grouped on Mock Circle (MK 2263) and along Crane Street (Mk 2268). All of these houses on Crane Street have asymmetrical facades, the front door being offset so it can open into one of the roughly equal sized front rooms. These houses in Davidson are the county’s best collection of this early 20th century house type.

8. Huntersville

The ca. 1915 Espy Alexander House is perhaps the earliest surviving African American home in the town of Huntersville. This house retains a high degree of integrity. A late folk Victorian hall-and-parlor plan, the house features two front roof-gables, diamond vents in the gables, and turned posts. With more integrity than any other hall-and-parlor plan house included in this survey, the house is also an important example of the lingering influence of the Queen Anne Style.

10. Farms

By the turn of the century, a small number of Mecklenburg’s African American farmers had become successful enough to build substantial homes. Around 1910, Frank Lytle built a large two-story, cross-gable house on his farm east of Huntersville. Gracious by today’s standard, it is the county’s most substantial surviving African American home from the early years of the 20th century. The house contains elements of the Queen Anne and Neoclassical Styles. Craftsman Style tapered porch posts and a two-story bay were added in the 1920’s.

The I-house is the most common type of surviving 19th century farmhouse in Mecklenburg. However, no 19th century African American I-house farmhouses were identified in this survey. The style was largely replaced early in the 20th century by massed one-and-one-half and two-story houses. An exception to this is the dilapidated ca. 1910 Sifford House (MK 2320) located west of Charlotte.

Tenant farming continued to be a way of life for many blacks in Mecklenburg County until the advent of WWII. The ca. 1910 front gabled Washam Tenant House (MK 2278) located east of Huntersville reflects the rest of the county’s general architectural trend away from the linear hall-and-parlor plan. This utilitarian one-story massed front-gabled house features engaged porches.

1918 to 1942 - Houses before WWII

1.Biddleville

In Biddleville, a majority of the houses included in this survey were built between the two world wars. Only a few of these houses could be called true Craftsman Style bungalows. The house at 327 Campus Street is an unusual stuccoed, one-and-a-half-story side-gabled Craftsman Style bungalow with an extremely high degree of integrity. Another notable Craftsman Style bungalow with a high degree of integrity is located at 416 Mattoon Street. This large house features clipped side-gables and a prominent clipped front-gabled porch.

Much more common in Biddleville are front-gabled and hipped-roofed houses that feature elements of the Craftsman Style. Most of these houses feature exposed rafter tails and a prominent front porch. Eaves brackets, clipped gables, shingled gables, and tapered posts are also employed. Examples abound on Solomon and Mattoon Streets.

In Biddleville, hipped-roof houses with the two-chimney, four-room plan continued to be utilized; however, the majority of these houses after WWI featured an extended hipped-roof that formed an engaged front porch.

The few early 20th century two-story houses in Biddleville are mostly located on Campus Street, near the imposing Davis House (MK). Most, such as the house at 316 Campus, are hipped-roof four-square houses with Craftsman or Prairie details.

2. Washington Heights

Development of the Washington Heights neighborhood gained momentum after WWI, and like Biddleville, the majority of the houses along the streets included in this survey were built between the two world wars. In most of the neighborhood, front-gabled and hipped-roofed houses that feature elements of the Craftsman Style are dominant. These houses feature exposed rafter tails and a prominent front porch. Eaves brackets, clipped gables, shingled gables, and tapered posts are also employed. Numerous examples can be found along Dundeen, Tate, and Fairmont Streets. It appears that some of the largest and finest homes in Washington Heights were built along Beatties Ford Road. However, few of the homes built on the road, now a major thoroughfare, have retained their integrity.

Several impressive homes were also built along Oaklawn Avenue. The house at 1927 Oaklawn (MK 2350) is a very large side-gabled Craftsman Style bungalow.

3. Cherry

Most of the Cherry neighborhood’s houses date from between the world wars. Roughly equal numbers of one-story front-gable and hipped-roof massed houses make up the majority of the homes. Typically the front-gabled houses feature an engaged porch. The house at 608 South Torrence (MK 1962) is a good representative example. The house features Craftsman Style details such as brackets and four-over-one windows. Its asymmetrical façade may indicate that the house shares the massed four-room floor plan with the pre-WWI pyramidal houses found in Biddleville and Davidson.

Basic pyramidal houses are not found in the Cherry neighborhood. Its many hipped-roof houses feature a variety of modifications to the form, usually decorative gables or small dormers that have been added to the roof. Another frequent modification can be seen at 628 South Torrence (MK 1962). Here a gabled room extends from the front elevation of the hipped-roof house.

4. Grier Heights

Many examples of early 20th century African American houses can be found along Skyland Avenue and Orange Street in Grier Heights. A single shotgun house (MK 2349) is located in the neighborhood, although the house’s concrete block foundation may indicate that it has been moved to its present site. Other older forms, such as the hall-and-parlor and the one-story cross-gabled, continued to be employed in Grier Heights into the 1920’s, although they were updated with Craftsman details (MK 2345). Along the same street several small hipped-roof Craftsman Style bungalows can be found (MK 2346). Unlike the Cherry neighborhood, nearly all of the hipped-roof houses in Grier Heights featured engaged porches.

The house at 232 Orange (MK 2341) Street is a rare one-and-a-half-story front-gabled Craftsman Style house. The large house features gabled dormers and Craftsman details such as eave brackets, exposed rafter ends and various arrangements of four-over-one and three-over-one windows.

The Arthur Samuel Grier House (MK 2340) is one of the largest and most impressive homes built by an African American in Charlotte in the years following WWI. The side-gabled two-story massed house is rich with Craftsman Style elements. It also features a two-story gabled portico supported by large square posts.

8. Matthews

The ca. 1930 Rowland House (MK 2301) is a very rare early 20th century brick home. This small front-gabled house features a hipped porch supported on tapered columns. It is a good example of a vernacular interpretation of the Craftsman Style bungalow.

9. Shuffletown

This rural neighborhood to the northwest of Charlotte features several important early 20th century African American Homes. Here the Caldwell Family built a one-and-a-half-story side-gabled Craftsman Style bungalow (MK 2296) on the rural landscape.

One of the most unusual homes included in this survey was found in the Shuffletown area: the ca. 1925 Bright Bland Log Cabin. This one-and-a-half-story front-gabled house was constructed using round logs connected with simple saddle notches. This house in no way is related to the historic building traditions of Mecklenburg County. Instead it is an example of a romantic revival, perhaps inspired by pictures found in grade-school history books. Similar structures can be found as auxiliary buildings near churches in northern Mecklenburg.

10. Hemphill Heights

Hemphill Heights contains several early 20th century examples of the typical hipped-roof, three-bay wide, four-room homes found throughout the county. The best example is the Morrow House (MK 2328). This home was built as a farmhouse, and features a smaller than usual front porch.

11. Farms

The majority of Mecklenburg’s few surviving African American farmhouses were built in the years between the world wars. The northern part of the county was the last to experience sprawling suburban development and thus contains many of the rural resources identified in this survey.

The ca. 1930 Potts House near Huntersville was probably one of the last I-houses to be built in Mecklenburg County. Mr. Potts reportedly used salvaged materials from construction sites in Charlotte to build this traditional form house.

North of Huntersville, the Pink Graham house (MK 2291) is a large version of the typical hipped-roof, three-bay wide, four-room plan. A hipped-roof wing is attached to the rear of the principal section. Perhaps the larger size of the house also allowed the builder to maintain a symmetrical façade.

While most rural hipped-roof farmhouses were only one-story, the ca. 1925 one-and-a-half-story Logan Houston House (MK 2271) near Davidson features a hipped dormer that allows for living space on the second floor.

One of the few surviving African American farmhouses not located in the northern section of the county is the Pressley Farmhouse (MK 2299). Again, the typical hipped-roof, three-bay wide, four-room plan was employed.

 

TYPE 1B – Residential - Multi Family

No examples of multi-family housing outside of Charlotte were included in the survey, and surviving examples of early 20th century multi-family housing in the city are rare.

In the Cherry Neighborhood, several identical ca. 1915 hipped-roofed duplexes have survived and can be found along Cherry St. (MK 1938). Like the pyramidal cottages found in neighboring Gaston County, these duplexes rely on a single center chimney for all four rooms of the building. These duplexes feature hipped-roof porches and decorative roof-gables. They do not show the influence of the Craftsman Style.

Wise Street was located on the edge of the now demolished Greenville Neighborhood. Renamed Brewton Drive, the street contains several ca. 1940 two-story massed side-gabled duplexes. These utilitarian buildings feature shed porches and two interior chimneys, but no surviving decorative features.

Post WWII duplexes are very common. In Biddleville several ca. 1946 front-gabled duplexes can be found on Mattoon Street. In Grier Heights along Skyland Drive (MK 2345), numerous front-gabled duplexes were built in the 1950’s. The extremely narrow apartments of these buildings share many of the attributes of the shotgun house plan.

TYPE 2A- Institutional - Schools

The oldest surviving buildings associated with the education of African Americans in Mecklenburg County can be found on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University. Founded in 1867, the school’s 1883 Biddle Hall is by far the finest example of Victorian institutional architecture in Mecklenburg County. Another impressive Victorian brick building is the 1895 Carter Hall, which was built by the students. Both of these buildings are listed on the National Register.

All of the significant 20th century buildings on the Campus have been previously survey. Separated by Beatties Ford Road from the rest of the campus, two brick four-square faculty houses built by the University in the 1930’s are good examples of the house-type. They are included here because of their use by the institution.

Outside of Charlotte, the ca. 1899 Bethesda School (MK 2325) is perhaps the only surviving 19th century African American school building in Mecklenburg County. The cross-gabled frame building has retained a high degree of integrity. Architectural elements include a large bank of tall double-hung windows.

The Rosenwald Schools in Mecklenburg County have been well documented. The McClintock and the Newel schools have been identified as being significant in terms of their integrity. The influence of the Rosenwald plans can be seen in the ca. 1939 Reed School (MK 2319). This school was built by Mecklenburg County about ten years after the Rosenwald program ended, and yet the linear plan, and the particular attention paid to allowing for natural light with the school’s two large banks of triple-sash windows set high in the wall, are typical elements found in Rosenwald plans.

A recent survey also identified the Morgan School (MK 2234) as a significant example of early 20th century urban school design. No other urban African American schools with a reasonable degree of integrity were identified in this survey.

Two large, African American brick school buildings, both dating from the 1930, were found outside of Charlotte and included in this survey: the Torrence-Lytle High School (MK 2285) in Huntersville, and the Ada Jenkins School (MK 2260) in Davidson. Unlike the two-story Morgan School, these are one-story school buildings. Both schools are designed around double-loaded halls. Ada Jenkins, an elementary school, was built on a T-plan. Torrence Lytle is a wide asymmetrical building with one principal hall and a rear wing containing an auditorium.

TYPE 2B- Institutional - Churches

Previous surveys had identified several grand and imposing African American churches in Charlotte’s urban core. The neighborhoods that established and supported the impressive 1910 neo-classical revival Little Rock AME Zion Church, the 1902 Gothic Grace AME Zion Church and the ca. 1895 eclectic gothic First United Presbyterian Church have disappeared.

The Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in the Cherry Neighborhood is the oldest frame African American church in the county. The simple gothic-influenced building has retained a high degree of integrity.

In Biddleville, the 1918 Gothic Style Mt. Carmel Baptist Church is perhaps the only early 20th century African American Church outside of Charlotte’s urban core that has retained a good degree of integrity.

Most of the county’s African American churches were small frame buildings. After WWII, the wealth of the county’s African American congregations increased. As a result nearly all of Mecklenburg’s black churches were razed and replaced with more modern masonry buildings, significantly altered, or abandoned for a new location.

The Center Grove Church was abandoned soon after the war. This rare small frame church is in an unaltered but ruinous state. Aside from the Center Grove Church and Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, no other frame churches were found in the course of this survey.

Davidson Presbyterian Church was rebuilt in 1942, using relatively small 3x4x12" masonry blocks. The front-gabled, three-bay-wide form of the sanctuary is typical among the county’s many mid-sized black churches. It is significant in that it has not been noticeably altered.

The 1944 Grier Heights United Presbyterian Church retains a good degree of integrity, despite the addition of a frame-construction portico in the 1960’s. This large, one-story brick building was constructed using a variant of Flemish and American bonds. The principal section of the church is hipped-roofed, and is three-bays deep with brick pilasters separating the bays.

Cemeteries

Because they are generally excluded from listing on the National Register, cemeteries were not searched for during this survey. However several cemeteries were included in the survey. The two most significant being the Tunis Hood cemetery (MK 2311) and the Red Branch Baptist Church Cemetery (MK 2310).

The significance of the Tunis Hood cemetery is in its age (ca.1800), and in the way it was segregated, with a rock wall separating the white and black sections. A few stones and markers identified the white graves. Depression in the ground and periwinkle marked the black graves.

The Red Branch Baptist Church Cemetery contains perhaps the best collection in Mecklenburg County of early 20th century "hand-made" grave markers. Many of the African American cemeteries in the county contain simple locally produced concrete markers. Some of the markers in the Red Branch Baptist Church Cemetery, decorated with lettering and geometric designs that were etched into the concrete before it had completely dried and adorned with faceted glass lenses, may qualify as important pieces of Mecklenburg County folk art.

TYPE 3 - Commercial

Very few pre-WWII commercial buildings associated with Mecklenburg County’s African American community survive. Much of it was lost during the destruction of urban neighborhoods during Urban Renewal. One significant exception is the 1922 Mecklenburg Investment Company Building. This three-story building is decorated with contrasting glazed bricks. Mecklenburg Investment Company Building is by far the most substantial surviving African American commercial building in Mecklenburg County.

In Biddleville the most intact pre-WWII commercial building is the 1928 Pharr Building, which housed the Grand Theater from 1937 until 1967. The building is most significant as the only remaining theater in Charlotte to have served the African American community during the Jim Crow era.

Not far from the Pharr Building, in the neighboring Washington Heights Neighborhood, is the ca. 1950 Excelsior Club. Perhaps the finest example of the Art Moderne style in Mecklenburg County, the Excelsior Club continues to be an influential social institution. It is also significant for its association with its original owner Jimmie McKee (1913-1985) a Charlotte businessman, philanthropist, and political activist.

Less substantial but still a part of everyday life is the corner store located at 601 Baldwin Avenue (MK 1925) in the Cherry Neighborhood. This one-story flat-roofed store building has a clipped-corner entrance. Once a common feature in most neighborhoods, this surviving early 20th century small store building is now rare.

In the small towns of Mecklenburg County, no pre-WWII commercial buildings in African American neighborhoods were found during this survey. However on Davidson’s Main Street, the building that housed the black-owned Norton’s Barber Shop (MK 2272) from 1927 until 1993, survives. This business rented one of three storefronts in the J.L. Sloan Building, a one-story, three-bay-wide parapeted brick commercial building. The building has a good degree of integrity with original wood storefront in place.

Also in Davidson, three significant post-WWII commercial buildings were identified in the town’s African American neighborhood. Two small flat-roofed one-room masonry block store buildings were constructed soon after WWII near the intersection of Mock Circle and Sloan Street (MK 2263 and MK 2264). These small stores sold groceries to the neighborhood and candy to the children who came to town to attend the nearby Ada Jenkins School.

One of the most modest buildings encountered during this survey was the one-room barbershop located at 231 Crane St (MK 2268) in Davidson. This ca. 1955, one-story, side-gabled, one-room, masonry block building was built so that the black barbers who worked on Main Street cutting white men’s hair would have a place to practice their trade with black customers.