The Society was incorporated on September 8, 1997.
The Mount Olive Historic District captures the architectural history and development of a small, bustling Eastern North Carolina town from the 1850s to 1949. Walking and driving tours, guided by The Mount Olive Walking Tour brochure, are available.
The district was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on May 27, 1999 under the financial support and leadership of the Mount Olive Area Historical Society.
Encompassing approximately 200 acres, the district includes homes, commercial buildings, churches, industrial plants and schools. It is rich with architectural details, with 655 resources and 71 percent classified as contributing – at least 50 years old as of 1999 and retaining architectural integrity.
Perry Cherry House.1904
Architectural styles of the homes include Victorian, Queen Anne, Italianate, Tudor Revival, Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, and Craftsman. Churches include Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival styles. (photo)
Commercial buildings, particularly the 100 and 200 blocks of
North Center and the 100 block of South Center, retain much of their
early 19th century details. Among them, decoratively corbeled or
paneled parapets, finial and signage plaques, houndstooth courses,
recessed entries and large display windows.
Four resources within the Historic District are individually entered into the National Register of Historic Places.
The former Mount Olive High School, at 205 Wooten Street, was built in 1925. The Classical Revival three-story school with second floor auditorium now belongs to the University of Mount Olive and is known as the Byrd Building. Named for the former UMO President J. William Byrd and wife Mavis “Marcy” Byrd, it houses student apartments, the Department of Music and the Hazel Kornegay Auditorium.
Mount Olive High School.1925-1965
The former Mount Olive Post Office, located at 124 West James Street, is a Classical Revival building constructed in 1933 with WPA funds. It now houses the law offices of Robert Rice and John Edwards.
Two other National Register buildings are private homes, the Southerland-Burnette House at 201 N. Chestnut Street, and the Perry-Cherry House at 308 W. Main.
The Mount Olive Walking Tour brochure, printed by the Mount Olive Area Historical Society, includes a one-to-two hour walking tour through the downtown district, and a longer guide to selected architectural and historical points.
The brochure is available at the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce, 123 North Center Street, and the Mount Olive Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 802, Mount Olive, NC 28365 (Phone: 919-731-2779).
Another excellent resource for the history and architecture of Mount Olive and Wayne County, North Carolina is J.Daniel Pezonni (ed.) “Glimpses of Wayne County, North Carolina,” published by the Wayne County Historical Society in 1998.
Karen Moore, President
Ken Dilda, Historian
Mount Olive Area Historical Society
P.O. Box 802
Mount Olive, NC 28365
The Society is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax-deducible