The first evidence the building served as a barber shop was in 1891 when Frank Anderson Perkins bought it. Perkins was an African American and related to Nancy Perkins Callender, a former slave who owned a restaurant on Washington Street. Perkins sold the building to Edward Carter, also an African American barber.
According to Dr. John Montgomery, local historian, men would go to the barber shop for a weekly and sometimes daily shaves. The shop was filled with colorful shaving mugs that belonged to the patrons. It was a favorite gathering spot for senior citizens who came to socialize and catch up on the local news and gossip.