This property was acquired in late 1924 by Alexander D. Durham, one of dozens of lots laid out south of the growing city center by the New Hope Realty Company.
Both Alexander and his wife Jeanette (also born with the family name Durham) appear to have been born to former slaves living on either side of the Orange-Chatham County line. Alexander Durham was still listed as a farmer when they first appeared in the city directory for 1927, having moved into their new home on Pine Street with at least two daughters old enough to be listed separately as students - Bessie and Julia.
At some point - perhaps after the death of her husband in 1934 - Jeanette's aging mother also moved up from rural Chatham county. It was here, at the age of 103 in 1937, that Tempie Durham was interviewed as part of the Slave Narratives documentary effort funded by the Depression-era WPA and the Federal Writers' Project.
The elder Mrs. Durham passed away the next February, while Jeanette Durham remained in the house until her death in late 1959. Along with A. D. Durham, both were laid to rest closer to their longtime home, at Mount Zion Baptist Church cemetery in Chatham County.
Jeanette Durham's daughter Julia is listed as living with her in her final years along with husband Lee Gamble. Rechristened 1312 South Roxboro when the north-south artery was connected, the house would be the Gambles home for subsequent decades. It remained in possession of their relatives until at least the mid-2000s, but has since changed hands several times and appears to be under renovation.
Submitted by Durhamite (not verified) on Thu, 4/12/2012 - 9:00pm
I have taught for years using this woman's 1937 narrative and authoritatively noting her "1312 Pine Street" address, but not really knowing where it was. I pointed out urban renewal in a general area with a supposition that the house was torn down 50 years ago. I was stunned to see Tempe Herndon's name on the heading; imagine my shock at looking back at her Great Depression WPA image and seeing the same double columns that are on 1312 S. Roxboro Street. Another serendipitous moment!
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