Our historic journey began in 1907 when Lawrence and Warren Jennette left their family farm in Hyde County and moved to Elizabeth City. After arriving in the city, the brothers opened a farm implement and supply business at 18 Water Street called Jennette Brothers Company.
The original Jennette Brothers location at 18 Water Street, located to the right of the W.H. Weatherly Candy Company.
The Jennette Family Farm still exists today as shown in these recent photographs.
The original Jennette Brothers, Lawrence on the top and Warren on the bottom.
Jennette Brothers brokered in local produce such as peas and beans, as seen in this 1911 ad in Elizabeth City's "The Weekly Advance."
Referred to as "The Metropolis of the Albemarle," Elizabeth City was the hub of business enterprise in the Albemarle area at the turn of the century. When the two brothers left their historic family farm in 1907, two-mastered sailing ships still plied the river, transporting products and other goods to area communities such as Hertford, Edenton, Washington, Currituck and Manteo. Farm commodities were shipped to Norfolk, Baltimore, and as far away as Philadelphia and New York.
This advertisement for seed potatoes is the earliest known Jennette Brothers advertisement.
It appeared in Elizabeth City's "The Tar Heel" on February 8, 1907.
By the late 1920's and early 1930's, bridges were constructed across the Chowan and Pasquotank Rivers as well as the Currituck Sound, reducing the dependence on waterborne transportation.
Except for pleasure sailing vessels, all of the masted boats that used to ply the area waters have disappeared, but Jennette Brothers remains on Water Street (just a few block from its original location.) You can observe the company's white trucks with their signature orange and blue logos traveling alongside the highways, delivering area customers quality products along with high-end services.
Water transport was the main means of shipping goods in the early twentieth century. With the advent of trucking, the waterfront ceased to be a bustling center of mercantile activity. This photograph shows the present location of Jennette Brothers and the foot of Burgress Street.