903-905 East Main St.

35.989657, -78.891061

Cross Street
Year built
Year demolished
Construction type
National Register
Building Type
Can you help?
You don't need to know everything, but do you know the architect?
Log in or register and you can edit this.

903-905 East Main appears to have been built sometime between 1907 and 1913, although it was preceded by a frame structure that housed a pharmacy and grocery.

By 1919, the LA Warren Pharmacy, formerly known as the Edgemont Drugstore, was located in 903, and the Hub Department Store was located in 905.


(Courtesy Flea Market Photo Box)

In 1928, 903 was Mack's Drugstore, and 905 was "Eisenberg's", which I believe was a department store. By 1934, 905 had become an A&P.

By 1939, 905 was a pool hall, run by Robert Jacobs. By 1944, 903 was Ingold's Soda Shop, and 905 was vacant.

Looking north across the Hosiery Mills park from the Durham Hosiery Mills at the west end of the business district with 903-905 visible at the left end of the strip.
October 1955.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

By 1952, 903-905 was the Loftin Music Store (with Floyd Loftin providing notarial services on site as well.)

A later (1950s) aerial shot showing East Main St., looking northwest, with the Golden Belt Hosiery Mill in the background. 903-905 is the two-story commercial structure at the left end of the strip.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

By 1957, the building was vacant. By 1960, 903 housed a paint store run/owned by Mary Carter.

I don't have city directories beyond 1960, but the building seems to have become progressively more worn after worsening economic conditions in Edgemont / Morning Glory in the 1970s.


June 1979 (SHPO)


An Operation Breakthrough office in 903 E. Main., June 1979 (SHPO)


Neighborhood pals brown-baggin' it, June 1979.
The corner of E. Main and Morning Glory, looking northeast, 1980.

Looking north across E. Main at a clipped portion of the building, 1981.
(Courtesy Robby Delius)

An undated, but likely late 1980s - perhaps as late as early 1990s view of the intersection of East Main and Morning Glory.
(Endangered Durham)

This building seems to have led a moribund existence through the 1970s and 1980s - it, and its two commercial neighbors to the east, were still standing as late as 1999.



903-905 appears to have been demolished by the city of Durham sometime in 1999. Short-sighted; it's easy to picture it being renovated as spillover development from Golden Belt at this point. As it is, the parcels are small enough to be undevelopable under current zoning, and unprofitable to develop new construction on even if that were changed. In sum, too big a mountain to climb unless rents skyrocket, greatly outpacing rise in development costs, versus renovating a historic building with tax credits.


Find this spot on a Google Map.



I noticed you mentioned Ingold's Soda Shop, and I also saw the sign for Edgemont Lunch in one of the photos. Well, in one of those places, the most delectable mashed pork sandwiches were sold. The buns were warm and soft, and the slaw was not sweet and served as a perfect complement to the pork. I have never tasted anything like it since. While my grandfather and I waited for our order to be filled, I was allowed to select as many comic books as I liked for 12 cents a piece. I thought the place was named Jimmy's Soda Shop, but maybe I'm wrong. After all, that was about half a century ago. The name of the place escapes me but not the memory!

I worked at GB in 1964-65. I remember walking over to the cafe at lunchtime with my friend and co-worker, going in the back door and eating hotdogs in the little storage room. I never actually went in the front door. I guess it was the Edgemont Lunch. I just know those were some really great hotdogs.

My grandparents moved to Durham in the early 1950's. Granddad work in the mills in Durham and lived in Edgemont most of his life. I remember them living in several different houses on mill hill and one on Morning Glory right behind the buildings in the pictures on East Main St. I remember going into the Edgemont Lunch as a young boy and have heard many story's from my dad and uncles about all these businesses on Main St. There was also a Barber shop where I got my hair cut as a boy. I too have heard a many a stories about the great mashed pork sandwiches that English teacher mentioned, but Jimmy's Soda Shop (formerly Ingold's) was a little before my time. According to one of my uncles Edgemont Lunch was owned by Mr.Charlie Ricks from the mid 1950's to probably early 1970 I may not be completely correct on this but pretty close. Also family friend Sam Goss worked in the cafe during most of this time. I have heard stories of how Mr Goss used to line hot dogs up his arm while preparing them with mustard onions and chili. This was the first time I had ever heard of anyone doing it this way. I enjoyed the first few years of my life in Edgemont and even at that early age I still have some great memories. Thank you Gary for your post and the comments also.

In reply to by Ricky (not verified)

Not to argue... U sure it wasn't at Amos 'n Andy you saw the hot dog on the arm thing?

I also remember it as Jimmy's Soda Shop.The best place in town to buy comic books.And in my teen years the cutest boy worked in there.I think I went in there just to swoon over him.Don't even know his name but I think he ended up becoming a fireman.I also remember Edgemont Lunch. But the best food in Edgemont was Wiley Evans' Cafe on Angier Ave.I would save up my money for a Saturday bowl of his vegetable soup.


I live on Morning Glory Ave. now, right behind Golden Belt. If you happen to have any family pictures of Morning Glory from the the 1950's-1970's, I'd love to see them, and I'm sure Gary would like to be able to post them as he moves through this neighborhood.


John my grandparents lived in a house on the corner of Morning Glory right beside GB I don't remember the other Street name but the GB building was across the street to the left if your where facing their house. We lived on Dale St which was on the other side of Main St. Between main and Angier. That old neighborhood has been rehabbed now. There was a wooden framed church building directly across from there house. Their house was torn down several years ago. I check for some pictures but I doubt I find any of the Morning Glory house but maybe some of the other houses they lived in on mill hill.

Re: Lining hot dogs up on arm:
The man who ran Amos 'n Andy in downtown Durham, ? Eubanks, did this - is it a talent specific to serving hot dogs? What kind of health rating would they get today?


I live next door to where your grandparents lived. Although the house is gone, there is a gorgeous maple tree in the front yard. Right now it is spectacular: full of fiery red-orange leaves. Perhaps your grandparents planted it?

The little church across the street is still there and has an active congregation. And I love the name "mill hill."

If you go here:


you'll find a link to our neighborhood website. The relatives of some former owners of my house provided some pictures that are posted there. You might be interested in seeing them. Click on "Family History in Golden Belt," in the upper left corner.


John my grandparents only lived there a few years and didn't own the house . But I remember your house very well. A guy named Wayne and his father Lightning lived in your house during the time that I remember. I never new Lightnings real name or their last names. Lightning worked for the West Durham Lumber Co. Wayne was ,let's say a very unique person. I know that neighborhood well, even after we moved out when I was about 5 or 6 we visited my grandparents every Sunday. The neighbor got a little rough in the later years and one Sunday my grandmother got robbed on the way home from church. They moved in with my uncle shortly after that.


I rode by your house today and it looks really nice. Great job!


I'm glad you like the house. Credit where credit is due: Gary (the creator of this blog) actually chose the exterior paint colors. The firm he works for bought the house and restored the exterior, and then sold it to me. I had the interior restored.

I've heard stories in the neighborhood about a father and son who lived in this house, but I didn't know their names. Do you remember when they lived here and when your grandparents moved away? I'm just curious about the approximate dates of the rise, fall, and rise of the neighborhood.

Thanks for the information.


John I think my grand parents lived in that house in the mid 70's through maybe early 80's but don't set that in stone . They also lived at 1205 Worth and 1104 Franklin and as you already know 1003 Morning Glory. Don't know if you know this but across the street behind the church there where businesses that work out of the basement of that old brick building. My favorite place in that neighborhood was the fish market/ corner store on the corner of Main and Elm it was run by Eunice and Whitey Olive when I was a boy.

Memory fails me but in 1964-65 I worked at Golden Belt. My friend and I would walk to the back door of a small café in those buildings, don't know which it was.. We sat on crates in the storage room and the owner would bring us hot dogs and drinks. We had our own private dining room. Can't remember his name. We never went in the front door. Those were great hot dogs.

Add new comment

Log in or register to post comments.