Tobacco and E.J. Parrish, Durham
Leah Foushee, Sculptor
Michael Waller, Sculptor
Alvin Frega, Sculptor
This bronze sculpture is the first in a series of six monuments documenting “Black Wall Street” in Durham. It highlights the importance of the tobacco industry in Durham County; in addition, it honors the life of E.J. Parrish, a tobacco tycoon in the area who built a warehouse on Parrish Street. The sculpture features five large-scale tobacco leaves above a plaque.
Tobacco and E.J. Parrish
Named for tobacco tycoon E.J. Parrish and his father, Parrish Street was the site of his expansive 1879 warehouse. / Early tobacco entrepreneurs E. J. Parrish, James B. Duke, Julian Carr, John Green, and W.T. Blackwell transformed Durham’s business landscape.
Image of the plaque
The City of Durham
October 15, 2009
35.994960 , -78.899060
"Parrish Street Advocacy Group," City of Durham, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link
Vaughan, Dawn Baumgartner. “Remaining Parrish Street Markers to be Unveiled,” Herald Sun (Durham, NC), 2010, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link
Vaughan, Dawn Baumgartner. “Sculptures to Recognize Contributions of Parish Street,” Herald Sun (Durham, NC), 2010, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link
“Durham Unveils Parrish Street Sculptures,” City of Durham, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link
“Tobacco Leaf: Tobacco and E.J. Parrish,” Main Street, Carolina: Historic Parrish Street, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Funds granted with the assistance of Representative David E. Price.
The Parrish Street Sculptures
Tobacco has been an important part of Durham’s history since the 19th century. Tobacco entrepreneurs such as E.J. Parrish and Washington Duke marked the early business landscape of Durham.
The sculpture sits on historic Parrish Street, which is better known as “Black Wall Street.” It is part of a series of six sculptures that each commemorates important pieces of Durham’s history.
This sculpture rests in downtown Durham. There are a few trees close to the monument.
This monument, and the entire series of Parrish street sculptures, is part of a larger revitalization effort by the city of Durham.
With the help of Representative David E. Price, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development granted $350,000 to the City of Durham’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development for the Parrish Street Revitalization and Historic Commemoration Project.
The entire Parrish Street monuments series cost $350,000.