LOOKING BACK: A little Hill City History on Washington Street

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2023

By Nancy Bell | Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation

The two buildings at 1623 and 1625 Washington St. were built between 1903 and 1906 on the east side of Washington Street on the north corner of Madison Street.

The two houses on the lot were demolished and the building on the right was probably built to house Ehrman’s Parlor Meat Market, which had moved from across the street.

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In December 1906, Charles Ehrman advertised the following: “Persons who wish extra fine Tennessee killed turkeys, geese and chickens for Christmas should send their orders to Ehrman’s Parlor Market 423 South Washington St. Mr. Ehrman also has extra choice home-killed beef, mutton and pork. Careful attention is given to all orders at this old reliable establishment and satisfaction is guaranteed to all patrons.”

In 1906, 1623 Washington St. was the new business of Johnson Undertaking Company, which did not last very long. By 1911, Ehrman had retired and 1625 Washington St. was Ike Coleman’s pool hall. Then, 1623 Washington St. was occupied by Ernest Bolls, a clothes cleaner, presser and clothes repairer; and Thomas Darden, a barber.

Boult and Houston’s grocers operated out of 1625 Washington St. in 1914, Bolls had moved to the house next door and Wesley Cooper was cutting hair in 1623. By 1918, Kizer J. Abraham Grocers was in the building on the right and its next-door neighbor was vacant.

Three years later, Biedenharn E. Ellis operated his grocery in the end building and Charles Taylor, a barber, was in 1623 Washington St. By 1929, Hill City Café was serving meals in 1625 Washington St. and Saul Earl was cutting hair in 1623 Washington St.

Hill City Café remained there until sometime in the 1940s when the buildings were torn down and a new building was constructed for Hill City Café, later the Vicksburg Café, and then the Delta Queen Café. This building was torn down in the 1980s and there is a vacant lot today.