The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


January 11, 2010

The 1920s: Boom time in Tarboro

Last month we stopped in the early 1900s having covered another 50 years of Tarboro’s history.

Unfortunately the Southerners from 1910-19 are missing so we do not have a regular record of events in the town. For some reason that decade was not available to be microfilmed when the state library was trying to preserve the state’s history. If anyone has any of the issues from that time, we would really like to see them and copy them for the library collections.

Despite not having the papers, we do know of a few events that happened to enrich the town’s history. For example, that time in American history known as the Progressive Age because of progress in industry and community reform saw several new businesses established in town.

In 1912, the Brown brothers opened the Coca-Cola plant on Main Street and the next year Marrow Pitt Hardware opened. It was the beginning of a company that is still in existence today but in a different location as Ace Hardware and it is still operated by the Pitt family.

The original store was on the 300 block of Main Street where Courthouse Square is now. The store burned in the 1970s soon after Christmas and then relocated down the block in what had been the Belk Tyler store before it moved to Parkhill mall.

It was in the 1990s that the store moved to its current location north of the railroad tracks, but still on Main Street.

The decade of the 1910s also saw lots of improvements in health care. In 1916 Edgecombe General Hospital replaced the Pittman Sanitarium as the major hospital in town. It was on Saint Andrew Street where the courthouse is today.

Two years later, in an effort to improve the health of children, Tarboro opened a milk plant on the corner of Wilson Street and Albemarle Avenue. This was the first city-owned milk plant in the state.

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