LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Reynoldstown article brings back memories

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Reynoldstown article brings back memories
December 17
00:00 2015

To the Editor :

I enjoyed the article about Reynoldstown. I saw, in the news, the unveiling of the historical marker for Reynoldstown.

My father worked at R.J. Reynolds in the chewing tobacco department.  He applied for a house as soon as they were finished and we became one of the first black families to move into Reynoldstown.

Our address was 901 Baltimore Street. That was the one street for blacks. The sidewalk was paved and the street was covered with cinderblocks. A board fence separated the street for blacks from other streets.

My sister Rachel and I used to peep through the cracks to see what games the white children were playing. We could hear them having fun but could not fully see them. So we enjoyed watching them through the fence cracks.

Baltimore Street dead ended at 10th Street on the north and a stream of water on the south. We called it the “the branch,” people walked across a little foot bridge to catch the Fifth St. Street Car to go downtown.

My mother did laundry work for several white families that lived in the white section. She washed and ironed for them at our house and carried them back at the end of the week. That way, she could stay at home with us. One family she worked for was the Gilley family. Mrs. Gilley was special to us. She gave us lots of clothes when her children outgrew them. Some of the other black families that moved in later were the Perrys, Ashes, Covingtons, Daniels and the Shaws.

I believe that the street name was changed from Baltimore Street and I’m not sure what the new name is. I don’t get out much anymore. It may be called Jackson Avenue, I’m not sure. Being 101 years old, I enjoy thinking about the old days. Enough memories for now. Hope to write you again.

Adeline Richardson Hodge

Brief Bio

Public School- Columbia Heights High School Diploma Graduated 1930, Winston-Salem Teachers College B.S. Graduated 1942, Starr Stenographic School, 1945, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Master’s Degree Graduated 1960

Occupation- Retired School Teacher Stokes County School System

Church Affiliation- Member of Shiloh Baptist Church since 1927 (88 years)

About Author

WS Chronicle

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