Good question. You could Google until the cows come home and not find the answer to this. We assumed it had something to do with Hannah Block, a notable Wilmington philanthropist and historic preservationist whom the Hannah Block Historic USO Community Arts Center on 120 S. 2nd St., Wilmington [Map this], just a few blocks from 2nd and Castle, is named for. But we were wrong.
We started with local history librarian Beverly Tetterton, who said she’d heard the moniker got its start from woman named Hannah who lived on that corner and did extensive outdoor planting at her home. After a little searching through tax and phone records, we learned that woman is Hannah Vaughan of 202 Castle St., Wilmington [Map this]. So we gave her a call.
Turns out she and her husband, Norm Robinson, were trying to entertain their visiting granddaughter about five years ago so they made a wooden sign that said “Hannah’s Corner” and put it outside near the intersection of 2nd and Castle streets. Over the years the sign has generated a lot of attention, some positive, including friendly comments from passers-by and people stopping to take pictures, and some negative, including multiple thefts of the sign. Robinson has thwarted the burglary attempts for the past year by putting concrete around the sign.
The neighbors sometimes join in the competitive but friendly nature of the sign by putting up their own, including one that read “Yard of the Month Second Place,” said Vaughan, whose son, Dan Brawley, is owner of Independent Art Company in Wilmington, which includes Jengo’s Playhouse, and director of the Cucalorus Film Festival.
“It’s been kind of fun,” she said. “We’ve had a good time with it.”
Vaughan added: “I take care of it. It’s my corner.”
Date posted: March 16, 2009
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