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Isn’t there an old song or poem about downtown Wilmington streets?

Ben Steelman

There is, although it’s more of a little story.

Librarian Beverly Tetterton found this version in the New Hanover County Public Library‘s Bill Reaves Collection. Apparently, it was used as a mnemonic (memory device) to teach young newspaper carriers the names of the downtown Wilmington streets in order, from south to north.

This version clearly dates prior to 1895, when the city changed the name of Mulberry Street to Grace Street (after Grace Methodist Church, which relocated to the corner of Fourth and Grace in 1887).

“The QUEEN left the CASTLE and went past the CHURCH where she met the NUN named ANN, who was carrying ORANGEs. They went to the DOCK, where the MARKET was, where they met the PRINCESS, who was carrying CHESTNUTs, MULBERRYs and WALNUTs. They went to the house of the RED CROSS where Mr. CAMPBELL lived.”

One later version changed the words slightly after Chestnut: ” … so they all said GRACE and found a WALNUT,” etc.

Local historian Louis T. Moore noted that Wilmington shares a number of street names (including “Mulberry”) with the older city of Philadelphia and with Liverpool, England. (Before its chartering in 1739/1740, Wilmington was briefly known as “New Liverpool.”)

Related links:

Who sang the song ‘Carolina Beach’ and how can I get the lyrics?

What are the words to the New Hanover High School song?

Does anyone remember all the words to the Chestnut Street School song?

User-contributed question by:
Jenna Ault-Holcombe

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One Response to “ Isn’t there an old song or poem about downtown Wilmington streets?”

  1. On December 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm Stanley Outlaw wrote:

    That little jingle was still around in 1970 when I joined the Wilmington Fire Department. I forget now which officer it was, maybe Capt Tot Sellers, taught me that to helpme learn my streets

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