Berry Company - 401 Ramsey St.

35.989434, -78.897933

Cross Street
Year demolished
~late 1960s
Building Type
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The Berry Company was a construction company founded in 1946 by LM Berry, YJ Grigsby, TE Ruffin, and JR Peddy.

LM Berry was born in Lexington, KY and graduated from the Hampton Institute in Virgina, but came to Durham to teach 'trades' in the Durham City Schools from 1929-1933, when he became construction lead for North Carolina Mutual, overseeing the physical expansion of the company into multiple states. He left that position in 1946 to found his own company.

(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

The company's distinctive, gambrel-roofed building was located on a lot stretching between Branch Place and Ramsey St.

From Branch Place, July 1966.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

From Ramsey, July 1966.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

An earlier aerial picture (mid-1940s) showing several locations I'm posting on this week.

Yellow - Original Lincoln Hospital
Red - Site of original Whitted School / Park
Orange - Berry Company
Green - Jones Hotel
Blue - Original Mt. Vernon Baptist Church

(Original photo courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

I'm not sure when the Berry Company went out of business - it doesn't appear that they were very operational in the 1966 pictures above. By 1967, this area was taken by the city Redevelopment Commission using urban renewal funds. I had trouble getting a great view of the location of the building, as part of the east facade would be inside Rick Hendrick Chevrolet, and these dogs also wanted to eat me.

Looking southeast at the location of the Berry Co. builing, 11.16.08

Find this spot on a Google Map.

35.989434 -78.897933


GK, your blog has gone to the dogs. [ducks]

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. :)

At least the sky looks nice in that last picture...


Reading your blog makes me want to puke. Every time I sit down to read I learn something but I get up with a knot in my stomach.


The combination of the aerial photo + multicolor dots really helps.


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