As always, click the pics for full size

Trade Street looking north from Liberty around 1900. At left is M.W. Norfleet’s 1875 Piedmont Tobacco Sales Warehouse. Beyond it, the former Vaughn & Co tobacco works, by this time operated as a furniture sales and storage facility. From the right, the 1882 Bitting and Poindexter building. H.D. Poindexter’s grocery and dry goods business was in the near half, while the Bitting portion of the building was occupied by the Criterion, restaurant and saloon…Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection


Despite the ever present demolition mindset, downtown Winston still has a goodly collection of commercial buildings ranging from 1882 through the 1920s and 1930s. Fourth Street, between Main and Poplar Streets, with a few exceptions, is mostly a 1920s zone. South of Fourth, we find our best collection of modernist buildings, notably the Winston Tower, the entire Liberty Plaza block, the Forsyth County Hall of Justice, the BB&T building and the Wells Fargo Building. The oldest buildings are found north of Fourth, in an area bounded by Liberty, Fourth, Trade and Sixth Streets.


Trade Street looking north from Fourth around 1917-18.From the left, the 1906 Masonic Temple, the 1912 Ogburn building, the 1908 Fogle Block and the 1915 Odd Fellows building. From the right, the 1912 Efird’s Department Store, the 1882 Poindexter building and the 1907 Boyles Brothers men’s clothing store…Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection

We decided to see which group of buildings in that area was the oldest. Via rough dating, it quickly became apparent that the west side of the 400 block of Liberty held that title, with the 400 block of Trade next, followed by the 500 blocks of Liberty and Trade. Getting precise dates turned out to be much harder. Our next two blog posts will look at the two oldest commercial clusters, starting with the 400 block of Trade. We have already done a fairly thorough job on the 500 block of Trade:

The 500 block of Liberty, lately the hottest development area in the city, will come a bit later.


The 400 block of Old Town / Trade Street


The buildings with dates are still standing, although some are only partial

The earliest development in the 400 block of Old Town / Trade Street was mostly industrial. In 1875, M.W. Norfleet built the Piedmont Tobacco Sales Warehouse on the west side at the corner of Fourth. With its associated wagon parking lot and stables, it took up over a third of the block. Soon, two brick tobacco factories, Vaughn & Company (later W.W. Wood) and the T.L. Vaughn tobacco works, filled the remainder of the space northward to Fifth.

On the east side, Sihon A. Ogburn built a brick residence at the corner of Fourth in the 1870s. On his back lot he had a small wood frame cobbler’s shop and meat market. Soon, another tobacco warehouse, Farmer’s, built by A.B. Gorrell, occupied the center of the block, with its associated parking and stables extending southward to Ogburn’s line. To the north was a small ice house and another meat market, with a two story brick general merchandise store at the corner of Fifth.

Little change occurred in that block until the 20th century. On the west side, the Vaughn & Company building was taken over for furniture sales and storage, then demolished to make way for a row of two story brick buildings housing a variety of businesses. By 1900, the T.L. Vaughn building had been taken over by the Huntley Hill Stockton Company, furniture and undertakers. On the east side, Joseph Bitting and Henry Dalton Poindexter built a Siamese twin pair of two story brick buildings in 1882 between the Farmer’s Warehouse and Ogburn’s line.

East Side

1882 Poindexter Building, 419 North Trade Street

Henry Dalton Poindexter came to Winston from Yadkin County in the 1870s and worked for some years for the J.F. Prather dry goods, notions, hats, shoes and boots business at the corner of Main and Fourth Streets. In the spring of 1881, he opened his own dry goods and grocery store near Brown’s warehouse on Main Street. In 1882, he and Joseph Bitting built a pair of Siamese twin buildings, connected by a central wall on Trade Street. Almost immediately, R.R. Crawford, whose hardware business was in the 1882 Bitting Block on Liberty, expanded into Bitting’s part of the Trade Street building.

The Crawford ad above contains a mistake…his store fronted on Liberty, which is where the post office was, not Main. An article about his business contained the same mistake. In 1891, Crawford moved his business to Fourth Street and his space on Trade was occupied for the next decade by the Criterion cafe and saloon

Bitting’s building was demolished and replaced in 1907. But Poindexter’s half has contributed to a small misconception of history. The inscription on the facade of that building says “1882”. But, according to the city directory and his own advertising, Poindexter’s business remained at the Brown’s Warehouse location throughout 1883. And Poindexter did not move into the building until August, 1884. Perhaps Poindexter began the building, then ran a bit short of funds, so was forced to delay completion. That would not be unusual, as we shall see when we get to the five story O’Hanlon building, which never quite happened. In any case, historic photographs show that the parapet that contains the date was erected much later.


Poindexter’s ad of July, 1883, shows that he was still located on Main Street next to Brown’s Warehouse.

Boyles Brothers / Gorrell Building, 1907. North Trade Street

In July, 1907, the North Carolina secretary of state granted a charter for the Boyles Brothers Company, clothing and men’s furnishings, $6,000 capital subscribed by J.R. And C.O. Boyles and R.W. And P.A. Gorrell. The Boyles brothers were both salesmen for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, with J.R. traveling out of Charleston, SC and his brother Olie working out of Birmingham, Alabama. The Gorrells were also brothers, the sons of the founder of the Farmer’s Warehouse, A. B. Gorell, and thus the owners of the property just north of the old Poindexter store on Trade. Boyles Brothers would occupy the building that they erected there for many years.

Boyles Brothers ad, 1909

Efird’s Department Store, 1912. Fourth at Trade Street

Efird’s Department Store, with the 1931 Walgreen’s Drugstore beyond, ca 1940. Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection.

In 1905, Rosenbacher Brothers built a grand new two story brick building to house their ever growing department store at the northeast corner of Fourth and Trade Streets. In 1912 that building caught fire and burned, leaving only some walls standing. Rosenbacher Brothers moved to a temporary location a few doors north on the west side of Trade Street. Judge Henry D. Starbuck, the executor of the estate that owned the building, announced that the store would be rebuilt for the Rosenbachers. But by the time that the rebuild was completed, the Rosenbachers were happy with their new location, so the building was leased to the Efird brothers of Charlotte, who already operated department stores in Charlotte, Gastonia and Concord. Efird moved to Winston to oversee the new project. A few years later, when the Rosenbacher concern was shut down, the Efirds opened a department of their store in the former Rosenbacher space across the street.

West Side

1908 Fogle Block

In 1908, Fogle Brothers erected a four bay building on North Trade Street which would be known as the Fogle Block. Construction began on September 21, 1908 and was completed by the end of the year. The two story building was designed to have two more stories added if needed. The first tenant, in the latter part of the year, was McDowell & Rogers, mens clothiers, occupying the southern bay of the building. On January 13, 1909, the NC secretary of state issued a charter to the Reece-Mock-Bagby Company, authorized stock $50,000. They would soon open another men’s clothiers in the next bay of the building. Reece had been associated with the N.L. Cranford clothing business. Mock and Bagby were former associates of the Huntley-Hill-Stockon Company. Mr. Reece would soon withdraw, to be replaced by M.D. Stockton, also an officer of the Huntley-Hill-Stockton Company, and his son, Norman V. Stockton. This business would eventually become the font of two legendary Twin City men’s clothiers, Hine-Bagby and Norman Stockton, the latter of which is still operating.

Two gentlemen from Statesville leased the third bay for another clothing store, and the fourth bay was leased by the Sharpe-Modlin Company, a department store. The Statesville store never materialized. Sharpe-Modlin moved into that space as well, and the next year sublet the northernmost bay to the Jones Brothers Furniture Company. That lasted less than a year, as Sharpe-Modlin’s rapid growth pushed them into the Jones space by 1909.

Sharpe-Modlin was chartered November 24, 1908, by B.L. Sharpe, H.L. Modlin & J.R. Modlin of Harrelsville, Hertford County. $12,000 subscribed. Sharpe-Modlin would operate at that location for many years.

Ogburn Block, 1912. North Trade and West Fourth

In November, 1909, Alex Hanes sold the lot between the Masonic Temple and the Fogle Block to C.J. Ogburn for $12,500. The lot extended westward 101.4 feet parallel to Fourth Street.

In 1912, Ogburn erected a new commercial building on the lot that wrapped around the Masonic Temple to Fourth Street. It was built by Fogle Brothers at a cost of $16,000. Ogburn originally announced that the Trade Street portion would be occupied by a drugstore and the Fourth Street portion would be occupied by the Myers-Westbrook Department Store. But when the building opened in late 1912, the entire building was filled by the Ideal Company, dry goods.

Today, the Trade side is occupied by the Guru Convenient Store, while the Fourth side houses King’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar.

Walgreen’s building, 1931. Northwest corner of Fourth and Trade Streets.

Masonic Temple, 1906. Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection.

In 1929, the Masonic Temple was sold and demolished. For a time, the Masons occupied a space on the second floor of a building across Fourth Street until they moved elsewhere. In 1954, they built a new Masonic Temple on Miller Street. In 1931, the Walgreen Drugstore chain built a new Art Deco building on the site, now occupied by CVS.

International Order of Odd Fellows Building, 1915

In January, 1851, Francis W. Miller received the degree from Yadkin Lodge #10 of the International Order of Odd Fellows at Clemmons and set about establishing a lodge in Salem, which was accomplished by him and Joshua and Thomas Boner, D.H. Starbuck and A.T. Zevely that same year, with headquarters over the Sister’s House in Salem. For the next 30 years, they occupied several sites in Salem. After the great fire of 1882, they moved to Winston and joined with the Masons to construct a third floor above the new two story building next to Sihon Ogburn’s three story brick building at the corner of Fourth and Liberty Streets. When the Masons built their own building in 1906, the Odd Fellows began planning their own free-standing building, following the Masons’ idea of erecting a much larger structure than needed, with the lower floors leased for retail businesses and offices. The old lodge was sold to the owners of the current building, and on April 29, 1915, they dedicated their new building on Trade Street. The first two floors were leased for a ten year period to the Rosenbacher & Bro. Department Store. The third floor housed the main lodge hall, reading and lounging rooms, shower areas and other amenities. The fourth floor had a large banquet room and facilities for the Rebekahs, the women’s auxiliary, including lockers and both shower and tub baths.


Buildings with dates are still at least partially standing.


Trade Street, 1936. Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection.

Trade Street, 1950s. Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection.

Late at night in 1964 smoke pours from the Hine-Bagby menswear store in the 1908 Fogle Block as firefighters battle to control the blaze. The Eckerds at right was on the ground floor of the 1915 International Order of Odd Fellows building. The Betty Gay women’s clothing shop on the left was managed by Omia D. Jones. The new fire department “snorkel unit” was not actually engaged in the action, but provided firefighters with a good view of what was going on. They did a magnificent job and no buildings burned to the ground. Photo was taken by Journal staffer Bill Ray.