09/26/04 — Former residents gather to remember Little Washington

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Former residents gather to remember Little Washington

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on September 26, 2004 2:05 AM

About 150 people returned Saturday to remember the Little Washington neighborhood in Goldsboro as it used to be.

This was the second reunion of Little Washington residents held at Waynesborough Village. About 100 attended the first one, said Doreatha Macklin. It's getting bigger and better, she said.

Little Washington ran from U.S. 117 South to Center Street in downtown Goldsboro. It went as far north as Ash Street and south to George Street.

For four years, Mrs. Macklin dreamed of holding the reunions. She had lived in the neighborhood before "urban renewal" projects brought in public housing in the 1970s. The area once hummed with residential and business activity.

She wanted to get the people back together to reminisce and to bring their children and let them know about their history.

Part of Waynesborough Village is on a section of what used to be the farm of Jack Murray's father. His father, James A. Murray, owned 27 acres beside the village.

Jack Murray and his wife, Marian, grew up in Little Washington -- he on the farm, she on School Street.

"I lived right across from School Street School," said Mrs. Murray, "and I ran late every day going to school."

Jack and Marian Murray were high school sweethearts. She taught nine years at the former East End School in Goldsboro until they married and moved to New Jersey in 1960.

They lived there 40 years and retired, moving to Faison in 2000.

There's nothing like the South, she said. "Southern people are the best people in the world."

Murray has gone into the logging business. A lot of entrepreneurs came out of Little Washington, he said.

He said his wife and Doreatha Macklin worked hard to get the reunions started.

"Doreatha always wanted to do this," said Mrs. Murray. "Every time we'd get together, this is all she talked about."

Dorothy Bowden also helped organize the reunions. The organizers honored the oldest person attending the reunion.

That was Simon Kennon, 86, of Goldsboro. Murray said he remembers Kennon cutting his hair when he was 5 years old.