Times celebrates grand reopening downtown

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Wilson business leaders gathered Thursday to celebrate The Wilson Times’ downtown homecoming.

The Times hosted a Wilson Chamber of Commerce grand reopening reception and ribbon-cutting after moving from its 2001 Downing St. SW building to the 126 Nash St. W. office on June 5.

“We’re just really glad we’re back downtown — we’re back home,” said Morgan Dickerman III, president of the Wilson Times Co. and publisher of the Times. “This was the only building that I wanted in Wilson and we got it. We’re glad we’re here. We’re so excited.”

The Nash Street building sits two blocks from the Gold-Harrell House where P.D. Gold, Dickerman’s great-great grandfather, started the Primitive Baptist publication Zion’s Landmark and founded the publishing company that would later launch The Wilson Times in 1896.

Chamber President Ryan Simons said having a family-owned local newspaper is a feather in Wilson’s cap and the recent move will help build buzz around Wilson’s downtown revitalization efforts.

“The chamber staff, our ambassadors, our board, all of our members are here to support the newspaper not just as a member of the chamber but as a member, as an institution in the community,” Simons said.

Elected officials, business owners and managers and various local dignitaries were in attendance. Wes Berry, immediate past chairman of the Chamber board and senior vice president and market president at BB&T, said the large turnout reflected growing excitement about downtown Wilson.

“I think it just shows how everyone wants the downtown to thrive,” Berry said. “It is a piece that everybody needs to be reading — it’s so important, your local community paper.”

Towering floral arrangements from the Gallery of Flowers greeted visitors to the Times’ office. Guests enjoyed refreshments from the Silver Lake Restaurant, Something Different and The Sugar Plum Shoppe and beer and wine from Brewmasters.

The Nash Street building was constructed in 1963 and originally served as First Citizens Bank’s main Wilson branch. It later served as the 126 on Nash Event Center before its purchase in October 2016 for use as the newspaper’s new home.

The two-story building houses The Wilson Times’ news, advertising, circulation and customer service staff as well as the offices for the Wilson County Phone Directory and Mobile Billboards. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.