202-210 North Mangum / Rogers' Drug Store

35.995586, -78.89993

Cross Street
Year built
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Local historic district
National Register
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Rogers Drugstore, 1968


Looking northeast from the corner of Parrish St. and N. Mangum St., 1890s

(Courtesy Duke Archives)

(Courtesy Duke Archives)

After his first warehouse on the south side of the 100 block of E. Parrish St. burned in the 1880s, EJ Parrish built a second warehouse that eventually extended most of the length of the block, although it was set back from Mangum St. with a grassy area in front and places to park your mule along the north side of the building.

(Copyright Sanborn Fire Insurance Co.)

Above, the intersection of Parrish, Mangum, Orange, "Hollaway" (now City Hall Place), and North (later Rigsbee, now parking lot) - 1893. Fire Station #1 is located just to the north of the warehouse, and the Parrish building is just to the south. First Baptist Church is located west, across Mangum St.

Below, a fuzzy bird's eye view shows the EJ Parrish building (with some interesting protruding bays on the front that I hadn't previously noticed), the Parrish warehouse, and the first Fire Station #1. Trinity Methodist Church is in the background.

Looking east, 1905.
(From "Images of America: Durham" by Steve Massengill)

By January 1913, the Parrish warehouse was torn down by RH Wright. He announced that month he would tear down the ware house and begin construction on "six of the handsomest business buildings in the city - four [of which would] face Mangum street while the other two [would] face Parrish street" to be completed before 1914.

Above, looking north from the 100 block of North Mangum St., around 1914. On the right, the EJ Parrish Building, and just beyond that, the northeast corner of Parrish and Mangum. There is a scale outside the front door, and it appears that there is a sign that says _Levin on the Mangum St. side, Henry Levin(e)'s shoe repair shop.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The Carrington-Rogers Drugstore became the initial tenant on the corner (200-202); Public Hardware was another early tenant. By 1923, they had moved a few doors east on Parrish St., and Carrington-Rogers had become Rogers Drug Co. Other bays of the building were filled with other tenants - 200-202 was the Rogers Drugstore, 204 was Henry Levin(e) (spelled both ways,) 206 was Universal Stores, Inc., 208 was SE Rochelle, and 210 - a one story 'bumpout' on the north side of the building was the Service Cafe.

Above, the view looking east-northeast, 1923. Moving left to right, a bit of the First Baptist Church is visible at the left edge of the picture, the first Fire Station #1, Rogers Drug, and the EJ Parrish building. ( I surmise 1923 because Trinity Methodist Church is missing in this picture - it burned in January 1923 and was rebuilt in 1924).
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

In 1928, Medlin's Electric Shoe Shop was at 204, Universal Stores at 206, SE Rochelle at 208, and A&P at 210.

In 1932, the OK Electric Shoe Shop was at 204, Universal Stores at 206, SE Rochelle at 208, and Warren and Markham at 210.

In 1937, 204 was Ferrell's watchmaking, with Wright's Automatic Tobacco Packing Machine Co. and Wright Real Estate upstairs. 206 was the White Owl cigar store, 208 was SE Rochelle, and 210 was Mangum St. Barber Shop. By 1941. Rochelle had moved to his next location. 204 was empty, 206 was W&L Cigar Store and Billiards, 208-210 was the Durham Gas Co.

A small view of the Rogers Drugstore sign is visible at the left edge of the shot below, looking east on Parrish St. ~1940.


(Courtesy Duke Archives)

A shot of the south side of the building looking west down Parrish St., 1950s.
(Courtesy Bob Blake)

In 1948, 206 housed the Allenton Co. real estate, and 208 the Ray-Browning Co., men's clothes. 210 housed Broadwell Paints. In 1952, 206 has Allenton Realty and Insurance Co., 208 Ray-Browning Clothiers, and 210 Family Finance and Acceptance, which had become Union Finance Co. by 1959.

The business lasted into the late 1960s.

Above, the Rogers Drugs Co., 1968 - note the multiple building entrances/storefronts.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

A 1970s redo deprived the building of its original windows and much of its variety of entrances on the first floor for a feast of plate glass, but helped meet the wig needs of Durham.

Above, looking northeast, 1979.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Another redo in 1980 reformulated the entryways with arches and different doors.

Looking northeast, 1979.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Looking east down the 100 Block of East Parrish
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

I think this was a Verizon building for a number of years in the 1990s. Most recently it has been occupied by Preservation Durham and the Parrish St. Advocacy Group. It is one of Greenfire's many buildings, and they are in the midst of a renovation of this building, fire station #1, and 107 E. Parrish St. (adjacent to this building on E. Parrish St.)

Looking northeast, 2007

Update 4/21/09:

Greenfire appears to have nearly completed renovations on the old Rogers' drugstore, and has "For Lease" signs up. They've done a marvelous job with the exterior, returning to the original form windows, which elicits a sigh of relief after looking at this structure with terrible solid 1980s tinted windows for decades.

Looking northeast, 04.14.09.


In 1917, 204 and 1/2 Mangum was occupied by Utermoehlem Music School. William G. Utermoehlen was a somewhat renowned composer and conductor, having taught at various universities throughout the south. His father, Charles F. Utermoehlem, was also a famous composer and violinist.  The Utermoehlen Music School seems to only have existed in Durham for less than 2 years. By 1920, WG, his wife Mary and their teen daughters Della Wayne and Carla Mae, had moved on to Tennessee. WG's relative Frieda Utermoehlen lived there and was famous for developing Rock City in TN, and her husband created the world's first mini-golf course, at the time called a Tom Thumb course.   In later years, WG Utermoehlen was chosen as part of FDR's WPA Federal Music Project to conduct free public concerts throughout Miami, FL. 

From 1938 to 1939 my grandfather, William "Willie" Frank Webster, ran the White Owl Cigar Store billiards at 206 North Mangum Street. In 1939 the name changes to W & L Cigar Store billiards. I cannot determine what the "W & L" stood for. Below is the city directory listings for this address.

.........1902 No listing.
1903-1908 Fire Department Hose Company No 1 (moves to 212 N. Mangum)
1909-1914 No listing.
1915-1916 Miss Laura K. Ligon
1917-1918 The Great American Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company [A&P] (Frank D. Hospital mgr)
1919-1920 The Great American Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company [A&P] (Joseph Mourane mgr)
.........1921 J. J. Fallon Company florist
.........1922 Smith & Kerr grocery
1923-1926 Universal Stores, Inc. grocery
1927-1929 Universal Stores Company grocery
1930-1933 Universal Stores Company, Inc. grocery
.........1934 Sidney E. Rochelle motorcycle & bicycle sales and service (moves to 208 N. Mangum)
.........1935 Morgan's Inc. billiard (George T. Morgan)
1936-1937 White Owl Cigar Store billiards (James M. Utley)
.........1938 White Owl Cigar Store billiards (William F. Webster)
.........1939 W & L Cigar Store billiards (William F. Webster)
1940-1942 W & L Cigar Store billiards (Alton L. Jones)
1943-1944 The Oasis restaurant (Roy S. Tyman)
1945-1946 The Oasis restaurant (Wesley R. Hedrick)
1947-1949 The Allenton Co Inc real estate / Wright Real Estate Co Inc
1950-1952 The Allenton Co Inc real estate / Wright Real Estate Co Inc / Thomas G Hildebrandt attorney
1953-1954 The Allenton Co Inc real estate / Wright Real Estate Co Inc
1955-1956 The Allenton Co Inc real estate / Wright Real Estate Co Inc / N. Marie Hamm notary
.........1957 The Allenton Co Inc real estate / Wright Real Estate Co Inc
1958-1963 The Allenton Co Inc real estate / Wright Real Estate Co Inc / Weasley F. Beavers real estate

In the newer photos, I'm not exactly sure which building entrance was 206.

Jim - I think the entrances were partially filled / heavily modified at some point. In the 1923 view, I can make out at least three grade-level inset storefront entrances along Mangum Street. It appears that in the ~1980 redo, these were filled in and some arched windows and doorways were created.


Gary - I think that I've somewhat figured it out. The second story window locations have stayed the same. So comparing the 1923 and more current photos you get, from left to right:

202 = the one story portion.
204 = area of 2nd story windows 1 - 3.
206 = area of 2nd story windows 4 - 6.
208 = area of 2nd story windows 8 - 10.
210 = the remainder.

There appears to be an entrance door below 2nd story window number 7. I'm assuming this was either access to a second story area or to a seperate area in the back of the building? Or the second story area of 206? Who knows now.

I believe La Cock Shoe Shop was in 206 in 1968.

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