1713 Wayne Street1713 Wayne Street
Cornwell Tourist Home
Hattie Ellis and John R. Cornwell purchased 1713 Wayne Street in 1905 and built a new residence on the property in 1910. John Cornwell was an avid baseball fan and the proprietor of Cornwell’s Barber Shop, which was in the Habenicht-McDougall building at 1629-1631 Main Street for nearly 40 years. Their daughter, Harriett, turned the residence into Miss Harriett M. Cornwell Tourist Home after their deaths in the 1930s, and from 1938 until 1967 it appeared in the Negro Travelers’ Green Book, a guide that helped African Americans safely navigate segregated spaces in cities across the United States. Harriett, a graduate of Benedict College, taught at Waverly Elementary School until her retirement.
Remembered as a neighborhood leader, Harriet "Hattie Mae" Cornwell, opened her home to not only travelers seeking accommodations during Jim Crow segregation, but also neighbors in need. In 1914, while Francis Butler was rebuilding his family's home at 1716 Wayne Street, several family members stayed at the Cornwell residence.