Appears the interim director of Uptown Greenville has good knowledge of its operations. So let's look elsewhere, form a...

Historic Landmark: Convenience store has withstood test of time

1 of 2

The Landmark convenience store has served Greenville residents since 1938.


Roger Kammerer
For The Daily Reflector

Sunday, May 26, 2019

This story is part of an occasional series of features provided by the Greenville Historic Preservation Commission that will focus on city’s history and historic structures.

Passerby’s on Fifth Street have long wanted to know the story of the little old looking convenience store known as ‘The Landmark” on the corner of Fifth and Ash Street. It has served the neighborhood and apartments behind it for scores of years, being the daily stop for enumerable students and city workers.

The story of “The Landmark” goes back to 1934, when Mrs. Ida Ruth Clark bought a lot at Fifth and Ash streets in the Wilson Acres subdivision. According to a small history of the Landmark, it seems a filling station building, built in 1932 on Evans Street, was bought by William C. Clark of the Clark Oil Company and physically moved in early 1938 to the lot on the corner of Fifth and Ash Streets.

You have to remember that Fifth Street then was known as the Washington-Greenville Highway. In 1937, the Greenville city limits went as far as a few lots past Eastern Street. It wasn’t until 1947 that the city extended its limits to Greenwood Cemetery.

The Clark Oil Company then went into business with John D. Rivers, who operated the station, which became known as the Rivers Service Station or Johnny Rivers Place. The building was enlarged, a bathroom was added and two 500 gallon fuel storage tanks were installed.

John David Clark (1903-1987), a native of Chesterfield County, S.C., operated the station until the early 1960s. Older folks recalled that they heard John Rivers say that he left the store many times at night in the early years with only $6 to $10 he had taken in that day.

After John Rivers retired, two other operators managed the store until 1967. On Nov. 1, 1967, Willie C. Clark and wife, Ida Ruth Clark, of the Clark Oil Company sold the building and lot to Bernice C. Branch. On April 30, 1968, Bernice C. Branch deeded the lot and building to his son, Bernice C. Branch and wife, Edna E. Branch. Bernice and Edna owned and operated the Branch Tile & Marble Company in Greenville. By 1968 the Landmark Apartments had been built next door.

The Branches leased the Landmark building to John M. Forbes, who ran it as the Forbes Sinclair Station and by 1970 as Forbes B.P. Station. The store was remodeled in 1971 and the Branches then hired Bob Hughes to run the business in the store.

They took up the original gas tanks and installed two 6,000 fuel tanks. They had $12,000 worth of stock on the shelves and put $8,000 worth of gas in the tanks underground. The place became known as “Landmark Pickup.’ On Sept. 19, 1977, Bernice C. Branch deeded the Landmark to Edna E. Branch, and she still owns it.

Roger Kammerer is an artist and historian who has documented Pitt County’s history. He works at Joyner Library at East Carolina University and is a member of the Greenville Historic Preservation Commission.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


August 16, 2019


Jazz fundraiser

The Churches Outreach Network will present an Evening of Jazz fundraiser from 6:30-9 p.m. today at Yankee Hall Plantation, 3332 Yankee Hall Road. The event, which will celebrate 11 years of service by CON, will include a three-course meal and a live jazz ensemble. Tickets are…


August 14, 2019

Q: I decided to try to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Standing in front of the olive oil section I couldn’t figure out what to buy. Can you help? KP, Farmville

A: You share the same dilemma with many of us. On a recent trip to Boston I went into a great market that had an entire…


August 11, 2019

Before she graduated from high school, Ghita Harris worked as a medical research assistant in the ECU School of Medicine, an opportunity that would have seemed to have put her on the fast track to becoming a physician. But more than two decades later, her journey has just begun.

The Greenville…


August 11, 2019

Over 50 years ago, I had a Swedish girlfriend.

It never turned into anything long-term. But the fact that I met the Swedish girl before I met the girl I ended up marrying clearly introduced several complications into both relationships. And it has produced a tale that my wife Ruthie has never tired…


August 10, 2019


Relay fundraiser

Relay for Life Pitt County will host its annual Purple Ribbon Charity Dinner and Silent Auction from 7-11 p.m. today at The Cotton Barn, 942 Laurie Ellis Road, Winterville. The theme is “Eat, Drink, and be Charitable.” Tickets are $50 each or $75 per couple. Visit…

August 09, 2019


Play festival

Magnolia Arts Center, 1703 E. 14th St., will host the annual 10-minute Play Festival performance at 7:30 p.m. today. Tickets are $10. Visit magnoliaartscenter.com.

Music in the Park

Grimesland’s monthly Music in the Park series continues at 6:30 p.m. today at Grimesland…

August 09, 2019

Capsules of movies playing locally. New releases are indicated with an asterisk.

*BRIAN BANKS — The inspirational true story of Brian Banks (Aldis Hodge), an All-American high school football star committed to USC who finds his life upended when he is wrongly convicted of a crime he…

August 07, 2019

In the South, we have a connection to the land and its people. We root ourselves in the soil, nourish ourselves with the fruits and vegetables that grow and use products created from natural elements sold by seasoned craftsman and farmers.

All of these wonderful treasures can be found at a farmers…


August 07, 2019

Q: My doctor told me to use spices and herbs instead of salt in my food. I looked at the spice section of the store and really didn’t know what to choose. What is your favorite one? FG, Greenville

A: That’s a simple question for me to answer — it is dill. A jar sits on our dining…


August 04, 2019

Being part of a group can oftentimes be intimidating and quite honestly scary, so when I was invited to be part of the Interfaith Clergy several years ago, I was excited and unsure at the same time.

I only knew two of the clergy in this group and being that I’m not clergy, I wondered if I…

133 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 14
        Next Page»   Last Page»