Washington “Wash” Rose

   November 12th, 2022             Blog

duGard Communications Presents

The Beat Won’t Stop: Gratitude Ceremony

Washington “Wash” Rose

A freed slave turned entrepreneur and business leader.

Out of nothing, he made something…and advertised it.

Wash Rose, a former slave, left South Carolina and moved to Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1866 after buying his freedom. In Yazoo, he started a blacksmith shop in a two-story brick building around 1870 and was regarded as a very successful, respected and regarded businessman with an intense level of attention to detail. His second youngest daughter, of 16 children, was Margaret Alexandria Rose, my great grandmother. As the story was told to us, Wash was so well-regarded as a blacksmith that his business grew and he recognized that the growth could be furthered with additional visibility. More business meant he’d be able to scale and hire his sons to work for/with him as the shop grew. So he took out advertisements in the Yazoo City Gazette to promote his business. It was such a success that he was able to buy the building that housed the shop, along with multiple properties within and outside the city limits.  Well before I realized it, during an excursion, I stumbled upon advertisements that he had placed…and it hit me.

Entrepreneurism and advertising was in my DNA…and it spawned positively, for generations.

With its heavy, tall arched and shaped parapet and denticulated cornice, his shop is one of the oldest remaining commercial buildings in Yazoo City, having survived the Fire of 1904.