Palmer Springs woman paves the way for black entrepreneurs

Lucinda Talley Wright Alexander sits on the front step of Wright’s General Store. (Family photo contribution)

Lucinda Talley Wright Alexander was the owner and operator of Wright’s General Store in Palmer Springs/Boydton. She and her husband were the first black citizens to own a business in the area, Lucinda being the first black woman.

She was born on Christmas Eve in 1888 and later in life married Mackenzie Wright of Palmer Springs. Wright decided to open a general store in the early 1900s with Lucinda by his side helping him run it. 

After his passing years later, Lucinda was forced to close the store but never gave up on her hopes of reopening. She chose to leave her children with family in Palmer Springs and travel to Philadelphia, PA to work as a maid, helping a family take care of their children. 

She continued to work until she had saved enough money to come home to Virginia and reopen the store that her and her late husband had started. She continued to run the store until her death on September 7, 1976. 

For roughly 70 years, Lucinda worked to keep the business open and to provide a general service for the Palmer Springs/Boydton community. Though most of her family has passed on, her name still lives on in the town with Lucinda’s Dirt Road, which connects Mineral Springs and Palmer Springs Road. 

As a black female entrepreneur, Lucinda has undoubtedly contributed to the history of Mecklenburg County and paved the way for many to follow.