The evolution of College View: Neighborhood near ECU began as a plantation
By Roger Kammerer
For The Daily Reflector
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Note: This is the first in of occasional stories that will focus on the history of Greenville area buildings.
To understand the property that would become College View, you must remember the County Road since the 1700s was Third Street going east, crossing Town Branch turning slightly South, crossing what is now midway of the block of Summit and Jarvis Streets, to Johnston Street (the last remaining part of the old County Road). The County Road continued east joining what is now Fifth Street a little before what is now Elm Street.
In the 1850s, it is known that William Darden Moye had a plantation on land that would become College View. His house still sits at the northwest corner of Woodlawn and Third streets. He died about 1858 and his plantation of 245 acres was sold in 1861 to Edward C. Yellowley. Edward C. Yellowley was a well-known lawyer, who built a house on the hill facing Third Street, with a long drive up to the house. He surrounded his house with vast grape arbors and fruit trees. E.C. Yellowley died in 1885 and the plantation was then owned by his nephew, J.B. Yellowley for several years.
In January 1894, J.B. Yellowley leased the E.C. Yellowley house to W.H. Harrington. In 1895, the E.C. Yellowley plantation was sold to W.W. Leggett. In 1895, Leggett sold 44 acres to James A. Lang. This Lang land was next to 100 acres of the Willis Johnston land, which was on the north side of the old County Road (Third Street). This land was later developed by Franklin Vines Johnston in the 1920s. The old Willis Johnston House still sits on Johnston Street. In 1896, W.W. Leggett sold the E.C. Yellowley plantation of 137 and a half acres to W.H. Harrington and wife Mary. W.H. Harrington would soon after built a large house and farm (on what is now Summit Street). He then leased out the old E. C. Yellowley House.
In May 1902, W.H. Harrington extended Fifth Street east 400 yards to connect to a road he built from Fifth Street to the County Road (about where Jarvis Street now sits). By June 1902, the County Road from the east was built to meet up with Fifth Street, so now it extended Fifth Street from near Elm Street to Reade Street. In October 1902, a new wooden bridge was being put over Town Branch at Fifth and Reade Streets. In March 1903, the local newspaper said they had finished the new part of Fifth Street through the W.H. Harrington property and stated "it was a nice street."
In June 1906, W.H. Harrington offered the City of Greenville part of his land on the hill south of Fifth Street for a hospital. The Pitt County Hospital was incorporated in August 1902, but nothing came of the hospital effort. On April 14, 1908, W.H. Harrington sold 47.45 acres on the hill south of Fifth Street for $9,490 to the N.C. Board of Education for the East Carolina Teacher's Training School.
In 1909, W.H. Harrington gave the City of Greenville a deed for land at Fourth Street and Town Branch for the city to build a bridge over Town Branch.
In May 1910, W.H. Harrington had a survey map done by Dresbach & Clark of his farm to be divided into a large neighborhood to be called “College View,” and by April 1916, W.H. Harrington had laid off “College View” into a block grid pattern of numerous lots.
In the design layout of this new neighborhood, W.H. Harrington's home was in the middle of Summit Street. According to the newspaper, the house was auctioned off; and it appears a new large house was built in the old County Road site to face Summit Street. The old E.C. Yellowley House, was turned to face Fourth Street (it burned in 1969).
The first addition to College View was dated Nov. 17, 1923. The second addition was dated Nov. 17, 1923. The third addition was dated February 1925. The fourth addition was dated February 1925. The Fifth Addition was dated January 1926.
Lots within College View and land beside College View were eventually bought by various other people. Franklin Vines Johnston developed the lots around Johnston Street into “Johnston Heights,” built his large house there about 1923 and gave the land for the Rotary Club.
The Greenville Development Company bought land adjacent to College View and developed Chatham Circle in December 1927 (SEE: Map Book 2, p. 201). The largest homes were built along Fifth Street facing the East Carolina Teachers Training School.
Roger Kammerer is an artist and historian who has documented Pitt County’s history. He works at Joyner Library at East Carolina University.