The Wilson Biltmore Hotel was listed in the Green Book as “The Wilson Biltmore—539 E. Nash” in the “Hotels” section in Wilson from 1938-1941 and 1947-1955 and as “The Wilson Biltmore Hotel—539 E. Nash” in Wilson in 1956.1
The Wilson Biltmore Hotel was listed in the Green Book from 1938-1941 and 1947-1955 but does not appear in city directories or fire maps. Local historian Lisa Y. Henderson has extensively researched the site and found that the Hotel Union (early 1900s), a boarding house (1910s), and the Whitley Hotel (mid-1920s) were located at 537 E. Nash, 535-537 E. Nash, and 541 E. Nash, respectively. (Please see notes, below, for a link to this research.) 2
City Directory records for Wilson indicate that Libby McPhatter’s Cafe was located at 539 E. Nash Street in 1941; the building that housed the cafe was constructed after the original building at this address was destroyed in a fire.3
Essay by Brandie K. Ragghianti, 2022
1. Victor Green, 1938 Green Book, 14; Green, 1939 Green Book, 33; Green, 1940 Green Book, 36; Green, 1941 Green Book, 36; Green, 1947 Green Book, 65; Green, 1948 Green Book, 63; Green, 1949 Green Book, 57; Green, 1950 Green Book, 63; Green, 1951 Green Book, 54; Green, 1952 Green Book, 54; Green, 1953 Green Book, 54; Green, 1954 Green Book, 54; Green, 1955 Green Book, 54; Victor Green, 1956 Green Book, 46.
2. Lisa Y. Henderson, “Anatomy of a Photograph: East Nash Street,” Black Wide-Awake: Documents of Historical and Genealogical Interest to Researchers of Wilson County, North Carolina’s African American Past, https://afamwilsonnc.com/2018/11/10/anatomy-of-a-photograph-east-nash-s….
3. Hill’s 1941 Wilson, NC City Directory, 371 (street listing), 167 (alphabetical listing); Coscolluela, Nicole, Malorey Henderson, and Claire Kempa, “North Carolina Green Books Historic Preservation Study Report: Beaufort, Bertie, Caldwell, Davidson, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Nash, Pasquotank, Pitt, Rowan, and Wilson Counties,” HI 587: Cultural Resource Management, North Carolina State University, Spring 2016, 74.