In 1890, Steven and Carolina Warren purchased land at the current intersection of Warren Street and West Court Street in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Out of this purchase grew the historic African-American settlement of Warren Street. Records indicate that the Warren name was first used for the street after 1945. The Warrens owned several businesses, including a livery stable, restaurant, dry cleaning shop, general store, and boarding house.
In 1893, J. E. Brooks purchased land on the corner of Main and Court Streets and opened the first African-American grocery store in town. As other African Americans moved to the area, Warren Street became a center for African-American businesses in Franklin County. These businesses included Carrington Funeral Home, William Snead Mortuary (the first local funeral home for African Americans), Douglas Reeves T.V. Shop, Circle Cab Stand, Carrie Waid's Boarding House with Missy Holland's Restaurant, Ollie Warren's Restaurant and Boarding Rooms, Jack Hopkins' Store, Brooks & Co., Asbury A.M.E. Church (established in 1893), and others.
The Warren Street Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Warren Street in Rocky Mount. The Society began with the vision of the late Eleanor G. Woods and continues through efforts of her friend Darlene Swain, owner of Glamour House Beauty Salon on Warren Street.
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Rocky Mount, Virginia