Known Name(s)

Parlor (Primary)
Williams (Secondary)


1978 Main St. Hartford, CT (1939, 1940, 1941)
1978 Main St. Hartford, CT (1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955)

Establishment Type(s)

Barber Shop

Physical Status


Detailed History

The barber shop at 1978 Main Street was simply listed as “Parlor", beginning in the 1939 Green Book. It was run by Henry Belle Williams from 1937 until at least 1955, though the Williams name was not used in The Green Book until 1947. Williams, a native of Dawson, Georgia, had moved north with his family by 1920 and become a barber by 1925 before opening his Main Street shop. From then on, he worked and lived within a few blocks in the same predominantly Black neighborhood.

The barber shop was located in a multi-unit storefront building, where another occupant, Ben's Liquor Store, also catered to Black travelers from 1950 to 1955. Like Williams barber shop and Ben's liquor store, most of the Green Book listings for Hartford were located within a half-mile radius in proximity of Asylum Avenue, Albany Avenue and Main Street, near downtown.

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