Flower Ladies

The flower ladies were a Franklin Street institution for most of the twentieth century. A group of local African American women began selling homegrown flowers on Franklin Street as early as the 1920s. They were popular with students and local residents. By the late 1960s more street vendors joined the flower ladies. The new "hippie vendors," selling albums, handmade goods, and drug paraphernalia, soon drew the anger of the Franklin Street store owners, who helped pass an ordinance prohibiting street vendors. Unfortunately, the ordinance also applied to the flower ladies. They moved to the alley adjacent to the Varsity Theatre and eventually to the NCNB Plaza (now called the Bank of America Center), where a few continued to sell flowers through the 1990s.


Date Established: 1930

Date Range: 1930 – 1980

The flower ladies were a mainstay on Franklin Street for decades. This photo shows a group from the late 1960s. Durwood Barbour Postcard Collection, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library.