Albemarle Bank

On August 14, 1920, this structure opened for business as the Albemarle Bank, the first African American-owned bank in northeastern North Carolina. Building off a long tradition of mutual aid within African American communities, African American-owned banks provided their clientele with savings and loans opportunities along with respectful customer service. These goods and services were especially important during the era when Black people in the United States endured segregation and other forms of legal discrimination. By 1924, North Carolina was home to ten African American-owned banks.

The Albemarle Bank served its clientele for five years before its closure in 1925. It offered a popular Christmas Club savings program and customer appreciation days that celebrated different groups of depositors like farmers, women, children, churches, clubs, businesses and professionals. Unfortunately, the bank was forced to close its doors due to slow debt collection and financial irregularities. This disappointing end indicated the fragility of all banking institutions prior to the formation of the Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 1933. The former bank building has since housed several other businesses including a clothing store, a cupcake shop, and, now, a project management company.


200 E Fearing Street
Elizabeth City, NC 27909



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The bank building is occupied by a local business. Feel free to use the public sidewalk to take pictures, but please do not interfere with their space or access.

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