When The Stars Align – Whit and Robert Barnes Appear – Sons of Rocky Mount

It suits my romantic inclinations to write this Sorsby’s Tale after spending time with Whit Barnes. This tale is my favorite kind of Main Street news.I love generational novels that cover family history. In this case we have the family that founded Bullocks Furniture in 1901 unto the 5th generation that rests in a tall, dark, handsome fellow…. that would be Whit…. the nicest of young man that will one day appear on the genealogy pages of this grand family.

Whit graduated from Rocky Mount Sr. High where his mother Martha Kincheloe Barnes and father, Russ Barnes, met and started dating after graduation. Whit went on to  Wake Forest and graduated in  2013 in Business Management. His grandfather, Bill Kincheloe, who lived on Wildwood in West Haven, started making lamps in the warehouse behind his grandfathers retail furniture store, Bulluck Furniture Company in downtown Rocky Mount, the year 1969. Whit is now the Sales Manager for Wildwood. The company used to be called Wildwood Lamps and Accents, but now the name is  “Wildwood” because they make all types of home decor such as furniture, mirrors, lighting, decorative accessories, and artwork.

Whit has come home though he still has his New York apartment. He tells me he knows of at least 25-30 others moving back to Rocky Mount. This return is HOPE personified. These sons and daughters of Rocky Mount will join those already here; the future leadership providing a moral compass, and integrity we badly need. If any of them are like Whit, who is a bright, enthusiastic, and a energized, young gentleman, then hurry and get here.

Robert and Whit Barnes have bought the fabulous building on Sunset – Sorsby’s Place. The entire building may be leased or the two floors leased separately. The second floor has its own entrance. You may remember the building when it was Rocky Mount Chamber Paint, (1910.) Or, Barnes Tin Shop (no relative), or Carols Dress Shop. The restoration of this building is another preservationist dream and much more. When I visited with Whit, the joy on his face is evident over owning Sorsby Place with his brother, Robert. This joy includes home and family, taking part in the revitalization of Main Street, and putting a stake in the ground for past and future generations of their family.

I think of these young men standing quietly outside their building making room for their memories growing up here; the voices that have gone before them that they now honor. It is spectacular when one reaches the September of their life as I have, to stand beside a young man who wants to make a difference. It is my prayer that ‘all will be well, all manner of things will be well,’ when I am gone because of people like Whit and Robert. They are putting their life experience, their education, creativity, and love of place and family towards a future for themselves and others. Thankfully, they are joined by young people who are doing the same thing along Main Street and beyond. The leasing of this building will become an economic driver in the Rocky Mount Downtown Historic District.

**Wildwood Lamps & Accents Inc is a small business with 20 to 49 employees. Categorized under importers & exporters, Wildwood Lamps & Accents Inc has an annual revenue of $10 to 50 million. Wildwood Lamps & Accents Inc is a public business located in Rocky Mount, NC.

Architectural Plans for Sorsby Place

Beautiful brick walls on two sides each floor

2nd floor, beautiful floors. Window at far end faces Sunset and across to Howard St.

View of Howard Street out the second story window

The restored beams on both floors

 

CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEW OCCUPANTS THAT WILL ADD TO THE SORSBY’S TALE FOR MORE PHOTOGRAPHS VISIT THE FACEBOOK PAGE OF MAIN STREET

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in People Making A Difference in Rocky Mount, Preservation of Historic Commercial Buildings, Rocky Mount Building Preservation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to When The Stars Align – Whit and Robert Barnes Appear – Sons of Rocky Mount

  1. Maggie Barkley says:

    Great news for Rocky Mount. What is the history behind the Unusual name “ Sorsby”?

    Like

  2. tomabetts@gmail.com says:

    Thank you Step

    Sent from my iPhone

    >>

    Like

  3. David Iery says:

    Excellent post. I wish him success and hope it inspires other entrepreneur thoughts, to other people to pursue similar opportunities in Rocky Mount and other places.
    Stepheny you set the PACE. Where a Positive Attitude Cures Everything.

    Like

  4. tomabetts@gmail.com says:

    Thank you Stepheny. Another very well written assessment of our future.

    Tom

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  5. Eliza Bowen says:

    Wonderful article!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  6. John says:

    Wildwood is an incredible feather in downtowns cap! Glad to see the boys are back home!

    Like

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