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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Downtown Hampton in Hampton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Black Business

Creating successful lives in the midst of segregation

 

— Explore Hampton 2010: From the Sea to the Stars —

 
Black Business Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 6, 2021
1. Black Business Marker
Inscription.  
Following Reconstruction, black entrepreneurs established thriving downtown businesses. Bankers, merchants, lawyers and doctors provided almost any product or service needed by residents of the village, black or white. These businesses also helped to create an independent robust black middle class, creating successful lives in the midst of segregation, and Hampton grew as a result of this.

Among the enterprises along Queen Street, as many as half were owned by blacks. There was a similar mix of black and white ownership along King Street to the northern end of town. Among those lining Queen Street were Thomas Harmon's imposing grocery and dry goods emporium, Kate William's dry cleaning, Richard Palmer's dry goods, Walter Hickman's butcher shop and David Pratt's furniture store. Along King Street, one could find other grocers, barbers, and butchers. There were the wood and coal companies of William Nelson and P.J. Taliaferro, the law office of George Field, and the doctor's office of Thomas Addison. Around the corner from King was the weekly Country Journal, edited and published by Sara Banks. There were two black pharmacists, William

Black Business and Grand Contraband Camp Markers image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 6, 2021
2. Black Business and Grand Contraband Camp Markers
Parker and Robert S. Boyd Sr. A popular mainstay of the black district was the Lyric Theatre, later replaced by the Basie Theater. They featured black films, singing groups, and bands.

Other businesses could be found in the district: W.T. Anderson Dry Goods Store, Adam Lively Grocery Store, "Shack" Walker's Taxi Cab, Famous Crabcakes, Fred Chisman Confectionary, Henry Holmes Cleaning Store, Shelton Davis Confectionary Store, James Bell Cleaners and Taylor Shop, R and H Filling Station, Yeoman Dining Hall and Barber Shop, Lyles Service Station, Hicks and Wallace Tailoring, Jacob Williams — High Class Tailoring, Merritt Hope, "the Bicycle Man," Owens Blacksmith and Modern Shoe Rebuilder, Spratley Radio & TV Service, Glen's Barber Shop, Fauntleroy's Barber Shop, Willie Morgan Service Garage, and the Savoy Hotel. There were many popular restaurants, including The Manhattan, The Flamingo, The Rush, and The Silver Candle Dinette.
 
Erected 2010 by Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 37° 1.663′ N, 76° 20.977′ W. Marker is in Downtown Hampton in Hampton, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of North Armistead Avenue (Virginia

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Route 134) and Lincoln Street, on the right when traveling north on North Armistead Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 204 Lincoln St, Hampton VA 23669, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Grand Contraband Camp (here, next to this marker); Historic St. John's Episcopal Church (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Virginia Laydon (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. John's Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hampton Confederate Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Elizabeth City Parish (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named St. John's Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Founders And Patriots Buried In This Cemetery (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown Hampton.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 7, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Mar. 7, 2021