Buildings on Upper Main Street
1. On the right in the same block, is 425-427 Main Street the old Glascock Hardware Buildingwith its iron columns and Victorian Italianate design. This is a block of two stores, one with its original storefront, containing large upper-storey windows with heavy girders and an elabourate conjoined cast-iron cornice extending across the top of the building. A cast-iron segmental base with panels is in the middle of the cornice.
2. Most of the buildings downtown are two-storeys which was common with respect to late 19th and early 20th century commercial buildings. The exception that makes the rule is on the southeast corner of Main and North Main, 441 Main Street, the old Masonic Temple Building, formerly A.R. Via Jewelers. Besides being taller than most buildings downtown, the arches and the unusual corner location makes the building stand out. The third floor still has a large Masonic room with all the secret symbols.
3. The South Boston Municipal Building is the main landmark of the commercial district, the South Boston Municipal Building, a distinguished two-storey brick building with a rounded corner entrance framed columns and dominated by a full base. The impressive U-shaped building sums up South Boston's boom time at the turn of the century. The main entrance is Neoclassical, the preferred style for government buildings at that time. The most distinctive characteristic of the building is the tall circular brick tower on top of the corner of the building. The building was once a grocery store, and later the firehouse. Its tower contained a siren for the firehouse.
4. Across the street from the Municipal Building is the old United Virginia Bank at Ferry Street and Wilborn Avenue, which now houses Fry, Jordan, and Wilson, Inc. The 1918 building, stone building with the look of an ancient temple with ornate ionic columns on either side of the entrance enhanced by a classical ornamental facades. en español, em português
Houses on North Main Street
1. 616 North Main Street Built in 1885 by John W. Easley, a merchant and tobacco warehouse owner. His daughter, Mrs. E. L. Evans, Jr., lived there until she died in the 1980s.
2. 700 North Main Street Queen Anne Victorian house with gable roof, 6-bay wraparound porch with turned posts, spindle frieze, turned balustrade. Built by the Willingham family in 1899. Purchased by the Dickerson family in 1920 and remained in the Dickerson family until the 1980s. Mr. Dickerson started a pool hall in 1901, and was located downtown at 521 N. Main Street. Mrs. Benjamin Dickerson's maiden name was Terry and her sister married E. B. Jeffress. Their portraits hang in the South Boston - Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts & History. 3. Open to all in the community, the Prayer Garden is filled with azaleas, peonies, tulips, dogwood trees, and a myriad other flowers and growing things. It offers "a quiet place, to be still and know that He is God". The garden is located on church property once occupied by the Hunt House. The garden is divided into three sections: The first area as people come in from the entrance on Main Street is "the pure meditation part of the garden," and is patterned mainly in green and white for the soothing qualities of those colors. This part of the garden is already home to a copper and steel cross created by local artist Bob Cage. Visible from three churches in the area the Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches Cage created a three-dimensional rather than a flat cross.
4. The First Presbyterian Church at 800 North Main Street is a Gothic Revival-style brick building with a steep cross gable slate roof, corner square bell tower, and pointed-arched stained glass windows. The oldest church building surviving in South Boston today, it was built in 1887 and is the most eyecatching historical church in the town.
5. Spanish Colonial Revival Style house, now Boston Commons Retirement Home on 1146 North Main Street. Lee thinks I am old enough to be a resident and I'm lucky he didn't leave me here. The Italian Renaissance section on the right was built by Tucker C. Watkins, Jr.. Dr. Rawley H. Fuller bought this mansion for $25,000 in 1927, and remodeled as the South Boston Hospital. It was expanded for the first time in 1928 by building a 2-storey wing at the back, along Sixth Street. In 1943 it was bought by Dr. William R. Watkins, son of the builder, and Dr. I. Keith Briggs, and the old Halcyon Hospital was then closed.
en español, em português
1223 Fenton Street
This Carpenter Gothic Style house was built by W. D. Barbour in 1885 on land bought from E. B. Jeffress. It is a Triple Front gabled house, complete with elabourate cornices and decorative woodwork decorating bay windows. Mr. Barbour was the brother of R. S. Barbour of Barbour Buggy Co. who operated a five and dime store on Main Street, and was mayor of South Boston. This is not just an ordinary house along the historic walking tour. See, it was my Grandma Terry's house. Mama and Aunt Natalie grew up in this house and I spent hundreds of nights here from when I was a baby until after I graduated from university. When I was in school, I would spend about half the summer at grandma Terry's house in South Boston. Sadly, Grandma Terry died on 6.6.92 and Granpa Terry died on 1.4.89. The house chock full of 3 generations of memories was sold in late 1992. Nearly 12 years after Grandma Terry's death, the house still appeared to be in good shape. In fact, the new owners seemed to make some improvements including the picket fence in the front yard and getting rid of the weeds that grew in Grandpa's old garden (from the backyard through to Charles Street) from the time he was unable to tend it. Twice since 2004, I have been back to see this old house and miss the days when Grandma would be greeting my family and me on that front porch.
Southern Heritage Harvest Festival
I have been to the Harvest Festival before, but I have never had so much fun as I did in 2005 when my best friend Lee gipper84 accompanied me here. Lee and I both like the fact that Southern Heritage remains in the name of the festival in the face of attempts in other places to cleanse Southern pride from American culture. This was a day of old meeting new. 24 September 2005, we were fresh off a 3-mile (5 km.) parade route in Emporia. That would have tired out most folks, but Lee and I were thirsty for more festival action. We parked right in front of my grandma's old house on Fenton Street and took a short walk downtown. Main Street was closed to traffic and each side of it was lined with food and craft vendors. The local Republican party had a tent and many of those folks knew me either from previous events or they knew my late grandparents and grand aunts and uncles. It was great to introduce Lee to these folks. We went to the Prizery, which is a renovated tobacco warehouse or textile mill turned into an art gallery. Since my grandparents on my mama's side have all gone, I have not had much chance to visit South Boston since then. Even then, the downtown had started its decline. However, many of the vacant buildings have been filled by upmarket businesses such as Vintner's Cellar and Bistro 1888. In 2006, there seemed to be a more diverse selection of food. I visited a booth selling Asian food, a nice departure from the usual cuisine de fun fair.
Trinity Episcopalian Church
I was too young to remember being christened here on 3 April 1970, but I remember attending some services here together with Grandma Terry. Sadly, this was the church at which both Grandma and Grandpa Terry's funeral services took place.