2003 Preservation Durham Home Tour - Historic Bahama: Durham's Country Crossroads

2003 Preservation Durham Home Tour - Historic Bahama: Durham's Country Crossroads


Historic Bahama: Durham's Country Crossroads

Long before Dr. Bartlett Durham sold a parcel of land to the railroad for a station, many families had settled in the northern part of what was then Orange County. As early as the 1740S settlers were moving south from Virginia and Maryland and west from the coastal settlements to the wooded frontier of the North Carolina colony. Joseph Collins, John Wade, William Churton, Charles Roberts, Arthur Mangum, John Carrington, and several others received land grants of 300 acres or more from Lord Granville in the 1750S and 1760s.

The Umsteads, the Tilleys, the Parrishes, the Balls, the Harrises, the Crabtrees, the Dukes, the Bennehans, and the Camerons all followed to farm the rolling hills north of the Eno River. Although the Bennehan-Cameron family owned 30,000 acres and 900 slaves at Stagville Plantation, most of the farmers in northern Orange County worked their own small holdings. Tobacco was the main money crop, and some farms produced as much as four to ten thousand pounds of the golden leaf each year.

Mills were built on the swift- flowing rivers to grind corn and wheat. John C. Douglas and John H. Webb opened a factory to produce cotton goods in 1852. Orange Factory was the first cotton mill in Durham County and one of the earliest in North Carolina. During the Civil War, the mill produced uniforms for Confederate soldiers and later wove gingham and seamless bags.

In 1881, Durham County was formed from the eastern half of Orange County. The. Lynchburg and Durham -Railroad (later the Norfolk and Western) was completed in 1890, and established a station at the village of Hunkadora. In 1891, a new name was created for the settlement to acknowledge three prominent families, the Balls, the Harrises, and the Mangums, and so Bahama (buh-HAY-muh) was named.

The railroad brought new prosperity to Bahama, and there was a public and private building boom in the early 20th century. The Methodist congregation built a new church in 1901 at the crossroads of Bahama and Stagville Roads. The Mangum School for white children was built in 1924 and with a grant from the Rosenwald Foundation the Bahama School for black children opened in 1926. The Michie Dam was built in 1926 and Bahama had electric power by 1927. Although Mr. J. D. C. Turner had a telephone as early as 1915, most people used the phone at Tilley's Store when they had to make a call.
Today, homes that were built in the 19th and early 20th centuries cluster around the Mount Bethel United Methodist Church at the Bahama crossroads and dot the winding country roads that lead into the village. Two of the oldest houses on the Old Durham Homes Tour, the Adolphus Umstead House and the Marcus Tilley House, are outside the village on land that was farmed before the Civil War. Classic examples of early Southern domestic architecture, both are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Ahmed Tilley Farm House is just a few miles away off the Old Oxford Highway.

Built in the village during the early 20th century boom, the Lyon Ellis House is next door to Mt. Bethel Methodist Church and the Marcus Mangum House is across the street. Also built during the decade ofthe 1910s along the Bahama Road are the Martin House, the Clark-Bowling House, and the Umstead-Roberts House.

These homes harken back to the days when a front porch was a necessity of life, when neighbors gathered for impromptu sessions of music and dancing, when the pace of life in the country remained slow even while the city of Durham was growing fast with booming tobacco factories and cotton mills just a few miles south

Many of Bahama's homes still belong to descendants of their builders. Others have been adopted by newcomers to Durham and Bahama. All have been lovingly preserved or renovated. HPSD is pleased to invite you to enjoy a day in the country, to share the life of Bahama and its people, and to support the preservation of Durham's architecture and history. (History of Bahama adapted from Bahama Heritage by Shirley Jones Mallard.) [by Jan Hessling]

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MARCUS MANGUM HOUSE

8719
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1919
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:13am by gary

Location

United States
36° 10' 2.352" N, 78° 52' 37.6644" W
US

Comments

8719
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1919
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

8719QuailRoost_tax_0.jpg

Mangums have been in the Bahama area since the 1750S. Marcus and Ida Mangum bought three acres of land in the village of Bahama in 1913, but the Mangum family soon outgrew the house that was on the property. Marcus wanted to recycle materials from the old house into a new larger one, so during construction, the Mangum family, which by 1919 included six children, camped out in tents on the lawn. During the 1920s the Mangums had three more children, and the house was a beehive of activity. Neighbors would come and sit on the porch to share the news of the day, and music parties followed the annual hog kill and chitlin' feast.

The simple one-story house was designed with three rooms on each side of a wide central hall that extended the depth of the house. The pyramidal roof over the four front rooms extends in the front over a wide porch that runs the width of the house. A front dormer gives light and air to the attic. When the Mangums moved into the house, the two front rooms were the master bedroom and a parlor. Rooms for the boys and girls were in the center of the house, with a kitchen and dining room at the back. The parlor was saved for special occasions, so most of the family's activities occupied the kitchen and the front porch. Mrs. Mangum and the children would sit on the porch to shell peas or to string tobacco bags on contract with the Golden Belt Factory down in Durham. On hot summer nights, the boys would sometimes sleep on the porch.

The house was updated through the years; with electricity added in 1925 (the original fixture remains in the living room), water in the kitchen in 1937, an indoor bathroom in 1944, and central heat in 1965. The wall between the hall and the original master bedroom was removed, creating a large living room at the front of the house. Bookcases were built in flanking the fireplace. Although the fireplace has been closed off, the mantle Mr. Mangum built in 1919 remains. Other original features include doors with seven horizontal panels and ceramic knobs. For the tour, visitors can observe the solid construction of this simple but comfortable home in its two front rooms. And they can enjoy watching Bahama go by from the shady front porch.  by Jan Hessling

The house was sold by the Mangum family in 2009. 

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LYON ELLIS HOUSE - 1623 BAHAMA ROAD

1623
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1918
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

The first house constructed in Bahama with a bathroom, the Lyon-Ellis house was built as a physician's home and office.

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Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:18am by gary

Location

United States
36° 10' 3.4932" N, 78° 52' 32.5452" W
US

Comments

1623
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1918
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

1623 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

Dr. Euel Lyon and his wife Maynie built this house next to the Mt. Bethel Methodist Church around 1918. Dr. Lyon had a successful practice that afforded a gracious two-story house with a wide wrap-around porch. The doctor ordered all the latest conveniences: the Lyon House was the first house in Bahama to be built with an indoor bathroom! Mrs. Lyon remarried after her husband's death in 1924, and remained in the house until the death of her second husband David Roberts in 1937. She moved into Durham in 1938.

The house is a classic four-square topped by a pyramidal roof with attic dormers. The exposed beams under the roof are rough hewn; some still have bark on them.

The side entry hall features a stairwell with the original newel posts and banisters, now uncovered from more than a dozen layers of paint. The paneling hiding the stair risers is of particular note. Other original woodwork remains throughout the house, including horizontally paneled doors with ceramic knobs, windows, and fireplace mantles. Original lighting fixtures also remain, as well as a triple push button switch in the front hall. The style of the ceiling fixtures here is similar to those in the Marcus Mangum house around the corner: both houses were wired for electricity in the mid-1920s. Modern wallboard painted in bright colors covers original bead board paneling that was badly stained by tacks used to hold the underpinnings of early wallpaper.

The wide front porch wraps around the right side of the house, where a door admitted patients directly into Dr. Lyon's office. Today, the homeowner uses the room as a convenient home office.

Upstairs are three bedrooms. In the master bedroom, the mantle of the long-closed fireplace is now used as a dramatic headboard for the bed. An original closet extends back behind the chimney for truly deep storage. In the baby's room, the homeowners commissioned a local artist to paint a colorful mural. From the door to the enclosed attic stairway, visitors can see the beam construction of the roof. [by Jan Hessling]

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HAMP UMSTEAD HOUSE - 1505 BAHAMA ROAD

1505
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1912
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Hamp Umstead's house, built in 1912, has a large wrap-around porch and four-gabled hipped roof. It was restored in the early 2000s.

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Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:25am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 55.656" N, 78° 52' 39.5256" W
US

Comments

1505
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1912
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


1505 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

This house was built at the crossroads center about 1912 by Hamp Umstead and his wife Bettie Travis. They grew tobacco in the field behind the house. The square house has a pyramidal roof with a large gabled dormer on each side and two tall chimneys. The huge wrap around porch was designed to catch any available air in hot weather.

This house is known by neighbors as the Clark-Bowling House, after its [2003] residents. One owner, James Bowling, did all the restoration work on the house. They have lovingly renovated the house, undertaking major repairs such as replacing the foundation. They creatively recycled the original foundation bricks to pave the walkway leading up to the porch. Inside the beveled glass front door, the spacious central hall contains a grand piano. A "Kennedy" rocker is nearby.

The left door with six horizontal panels leads to the front parlor. The [2003] owner stripped ten coats of white paint from the mantle before refinishing it. The floors are heart pine and the windows retain their wavy glass panes. Many of the light fixtures are original, and period replacements came from Durham's Pettigrew Street.

To the left of the fireplace is the original kitchen. The walls here retain their original bead board and there is another carefully refinished fireplace mantle. An original light fixture hangs above the table and the North Carolina chairs that surround it. A glass door leads to an old pantry.

The [2003] owners believe[d] that the back hall with its rough-cut lumber walls was originally a dog run later enclosed to provide more inside space and a bath. They use the hall as their home office. The bathroom contains a period light fixture, claw foot tub, and pedestal sink.

The two bedrooms both have original fireplace mantles. The back room is dominated by a white iron bedstead and the front room is furnished with many antiques. The sleeping loft in the gables above is accessed from a ladder in the front bedroom closet! The [2003] owners of this house have worked hard to bring it back to life, turning a "diamond in the rough" into a true gem. This property is truly an inspiration for everyone who dreams of renovating an older house. [by Kimberley Miller]

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UMSTEAD-ROBERTS HOUSE - 1502 BAHAMA ROAD

1502
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1914
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

An Umstead family house built in 1914, a large wrap-around porch has been removed. 

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Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:34am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 53.568" N, 78° 52' 38.3772" W
US

Comments

1502
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1914
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


1502 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

From the 2003 HPSD tour of Bahama:

This eight-room house was built about 1914 for the John Umstead family. John's son William Bradley Umstead was a U.S. Congressman and Governor of North Carolina in the early 1950s. [Note - my research has pointed to the John Umstead House - at least the John Umstead that was the father of Governor Umstead as standing on Hampton Road. There were several John Umsteads, and it's possible that some conflation occurred here. - GK]

The house sits well back from the road on an unusual nine-sided lot shaded by huge oak trees. The house has four rooms flanking a central hall on each floor. The 2003 owner, a relative of the Umsteads, purchased the house in 1960 from Mrs. Umstead's heirs.

The house originally had a wrap-around porch, but by the early 1950S it was in too poor condition to be renovated. The small front porch is all that remains. Inside, the horizontal six panel doors, the two-over-two light windows, and other woodwork are all original. A solidly built staircase leads from the back of the central hall straight up to the second floor (not open during tour). The back door with its two vertical beveled glass panes leads to the original wood-paneled back entry.

The uses of the downstairs rooms have changed over the years, but they retain many original features, including 11-foot ceilings and pine floors. The original dining room is now the front parlor. The door hardware and the unusual three-chained domed light fixture are original. The original front parlor is now a bedroom. The decorative original mantle features an oval beveled mirror over-mantle. The owner's brother built the tall pine wardrobe in the 1950S. The original milk glass-shaded brass light fixture has particularly beautiful detail.

At the back of the house is the dining area, connected to a new kitchen added in the 1950s. The kitchen features a '50s-era wood stove that was used for home heating. Note also the original wood panel walls in the kitchen dining area. The fourth downstairs room is another bedroom, which is not open for the tour.

Behind the house are a smokehouse where salted pork was cured and a washhouse with its original stove for heating water and boiling clothes. Next door is the small building where the owner ran her medical practice from 1951 until 1966, treating patients from Bahama and surrounding communities. [by Kimberley Miller]

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MOUNT BETHEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

1605
,
Bahama
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1949
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

This church body dates back to the 18th century in Bahama, and has been on this site since 1901. This structure was built in 1949, replacing the 1901 church.

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Last updated

  • Wed, 02/01/2012 - 10:32pm by gary

Location

United States
36° 10' 0.8472" N, 78° 52' 35.2596" W
US

Comments

1605
,
Bahama
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1949
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church. - 1605 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

The Methodist congregation in Bahama dates back to the 18th century. As early as 1808 several prominent citizens of the neighborhood agreed to build a meeting house for public worship, which became affiliated before 1820 with the Methodist Church in the Granville Circuit. Church buildings were built in 1838 and in 1850 where the cemetery now is. In 1883 Andrew J. Roberts and his wife Clara deeded four acres of land to Mount Bethel Church. A new church was built on the site and dedicated in 1901. The church was a center of social as well as spiritual activity, with ice cream socials, "dinners on the grounds," and revival meetings bringing the community together. Although two additions were built in 1939, after WW II the congregation had outgrown the space. The building we see today was built in 1949. The simple stone structure features a small bell tower over the entrance, which is reached by a graceful flight of stairs. The fellowship hall was added in the 1980s and the Sunday School in 1998. [Jan Hessling] 

Per Jean Anderson:

Archer Harris, son of Nathaniel [Harris] who is credited with the establishment of a meetinghouse. [James] Walker said that the Methodist itinerant preachers came to their neighborhood in 1780, and that Archer Harris was converted and became a lay preacher. Walker further said that when Stephen Wilson bought Charles Carroll's land in 1784, "the Methodists had a Meetinghouse on the land and moved the Meetinghouse" with Wilson's consent to the land of James Walker, Sr. Thus the meetinghouse was built sometime between 1780 and 1784. In 1812, Archer Harris gave two acres of land to John Wilson, John McFarling, and Nathaniel Harris (his son,) "trustees of a meeting house standing at the cross roads between the Harris's and John McFarlings ... for the only proper use and benefit of a meeting house. Five or six years later, the congregation was incorporated into the Methodist Church and assigned to the Granville circuit. The church was long called Crossroads Meetinghouse because of its locations at the intersection of the roads from Raleigh to Roxboro and Oxford to Hillsborough. Now called Mount Bethel, the present edifice, the sixth, stands at the same intersection but on a different corner, separated from its graveyard.

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MOUNT CALVARY MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH

8021
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1938
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
,
Type: 
Use: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 01/01/2012 - 10:05pm by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 16.1208" N, 78° 52' 15.7512" W
US

Comments

8021
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1938
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
,
Type: 
Use: 

 

mtcalvarymissionary_ci.jpg

In 1892, a group of African-American worshipers organized a Sunday school in a log cabin beside the Norfolk and Western Railroad tracks one mile south of Bahama. The structure also served as an elementary school for black children. By 1915, the congregation had acquired land and constructed a small building at the site of the present church. As membership grew, a larger sanctuary was badly needed and Pastor Thomas Carr Graham initiated the Lord's Acre plan in 1935. Families, or groups of members, were asked to plant an acre, or a plot of land of any size that was to be "prayerfully cultivated and kept separate at harvest time.” Proceeds from the sales of crops grown on each of the Lord’s acres were reserved for the construction of a new church. In September 1938, the earlier church was demolished and the new sanctuary begun. Worship services were moved to the Little River High School until the new church was completed four months later, in January 1939. The congregation continued the Lord's Acre plan and paid the entire mortgage within two years, a remarkable accomplishment during the Depression era.

Two bold crenellated towers capped by pyramid roofs, a motif frequently found in African- American churches, dominate the broad-gabled entry facade of the rectangular building. Twin doors beneath a center stoop, opposite one another on the side of each tower, open into small vestibules from which two aisles lead to an altar at the far end of the sanctuary. Around the building, stained glass windows incorporate Gothic Revival arches; an arch-capped window is found in the center of the front facade, and arches are incorporated into the designs of windows at the bases of the towers and on the long walls of the sanctuary (installed in 1973). The brightly colored windows are accentuated on the interior by white walls and ceilings and dark wainscoting and pews. In 1949, an education building was added to the rear of the church, and in 1970, the entire structure was covered with aluminum siding.

A baptistry inside the church has replaced the concrete pool used by earlier generations.

A large cemetery north of the church contains fieldstone, concrete, and manufactured stone markers. Among the earliest stones are those inscribed for Aaron Reams and Polk Brandon; both men died in 1929.

mtcalvary_010112.jpg

01.01.12

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PARRISH'S STORE

1425
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1924
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

Bahama's most famous little store - Parrish's Store was featured in Life Magazine in 1995 for "Thursday Night Fever". 

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Last updated

  • Fri, 06/08/2012 - 5:30pm by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 53.514" N, 78° 52' 41.4012" W
US

Comments

1425
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1924
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Parrish's Store ~1990.
(Durham County Historic Inventory)

Bahama hit the spotlight with a story in Life Magazine's October 1995 edition about Parrish's Store. "Thursday Night Fever" described the country music sessions that brought local musicians, and dancers to the store each week. Originally built as Dr. Patrick's office and drugstore complete with soda fountain in 1924, the building became a residence briefly. It soon returned as a store operated by the Harris family. The Parrishes ran the store from 1959 until Mr. Parrish retired in 1997.

ParrishStore_Bahama.jpg

Parrish Store interior, likely 1970s. (Courtesy of and Copyright by Duncan Heron)

By 2003, it was, Picture Perfect, a custom frame shop and antique store. Sometime prior to 2008, it became Drye's Gun Shop.


The former Parrish's store at 1425 Bahama Road - now Drye's gun shop, 10.26.08. You can tell that I took these pictures in October.

 

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REG TILLEY'S STORE - 1500 BAHAMA ROAD

1500
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1925-1935
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

A Tilley store and Gulf Station, this building has been a barber shop, TV service, and a church since that time. 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:49am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 53.4204" N, 78° 52' 39.8928" W
US

Comments

1500
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1925-1935
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Bahama Road, 1980s

By the depression, Reg Tilley was running a store in this building, selling a "variety of items," including gasoline. The Gulf station remained operational into the 1980s. It later became a barber shop, Bahama TV service, and is now a church.


The former Gulf station at 1500 Bahama Road, now a church, 10.26.08

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TILLEY / BALL / TEASLEY'S STORE

1424
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1900
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

A veritable who's who of prominent Bahama names have run this store and Amoco gas station.

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:53am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 52.344" N, 78° 52' 40.6956" W
US

Comments

1424
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1900
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


Teasley's store, 08.27.52
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

This business property was built in 1900 with distinctive bay windows for displaying goods by the enterprising AW Tilley. Postmaster, yearly parade leader, grocer, and land speculator; "Dolph" Tilley was a well known local leader. It was also a gas station. Clifton Ball bought the store in 1938 and ran it until 1959, as "Teasley's Store" in the 1950s. 


Teasley's store, late 1950s/early 1960s.
(Courtesy Bob Blake)

Ben Lacy owned it when Jeanette Roberts opened up a tearoom and craft shop in 1995. By 2003, it was occupied by "This N That, "an antique shop run by Kay O'Briant, who donates the profits to Bahama charities. As of 2009, it was owned by the Bahama Volunteer Fire Dept. (Hopefully not for one of those 'practice' burns.)


The former Teasley's Store, at 1424 Bahama Road, 10.26.08 - 

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1419 BAHAMA ROAD - KNAP OF REEDS MASONIC LODGE

1419
,
Bahama
NC
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

A Masonic Lodge that provided a new home for the Knap of Reeds order, the building has housed stores and post offices as well.

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 9:00am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 53.0388" N, 78° 52' 41.9124" W
US

Comments

1419
,
Bahama
NC
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Bahama Road, 1980s

Per the County Historic Inventory and the HPSD 2003 Tour booklet:

This combination lodge hall and general retail store building was constructed in 1905 for the express purpose of relocating Masonic Lodge #158 from its original site in Knap of Reeds, a small settlement near present-day Butner. The lodge had been started there in the late 1860's and grew to have immense significance in the social and political life of the male members of the agrarian community surrounding Bahama. The Masonic Order remains highly regarded in Bahama today, continuing to meet semimonthly at the new lodge hall on Bahama Road. Though the decoration of this two-story frame structure is spare, together with the A.W. Tilley Store directly across the road, it forms the commercial axis of the village.

Alfred Wilkins opened a general store in the storage area of the building. After the store closed in 1950, the ground floor became the Post Office until a new Post Office was built nearby in 1959. The Masons continued using the upstairs meeting area until 1981. The building lay empty until the Roberts renovated it and opened up Bahama Hardware and Feed in 1992. Although the feed store was a popular meeting place, the Roberts sold the building after a few years. It housed a beauty shop briefly, followed by the Bahama Cycle Shop.

Plain weatherboarding covers the entire exterior except for the porch area and the lodge entrance, which consists of a single-leaf door set in the northeast (rear) comer of the building. The ground level storefront in the gable front building presents an inviting appearance to the onlooker. The recessed center entrance features double-leaf doors, which combine half-glazing above their moulded horizontal panels. The doorway, also fitted with double-leaf screen doors, incorporates a three-pane transom. The balance of the storefront consists of rectangular sheets of glass set in wooden frames. The amount of light which entered this south facing storefront, along with that, admitted by just two side windows, was sufficient for the operation of the store because the entire beaded ceiling board interior was painted light-reflecting white.

The lodge hall and its staircase entrance at the rear of the building, by contrast, exhibit handsome wainscoting throughout, as well as varnished six-panel doors having mouldedsurrounds. These interior finishes which would be overbearingly dark in the Bahama residences of the period, were not only appropriate to the formal nature of the hall, but also practical because of the large amount of sunlight allowed into the second story meeting hall by nine symmetrically placed four-over-four double-hung windows. Varnished window surrounds match the other upstairs trim, while outside the windows are trimmed with plain boards. The gable is ornamented only by a quatrefoil louvered vent. A small storage shed is appended to the north wall.

1419BahamaRd_102608.jpg

1419 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

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BETTIE ANN TILLEY HOUSE

912
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1918
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Built in 1918, this house lost its central chimney for bathrooms - which originally were housed in a three-seater outhouse.

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 9:14am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 33.8508" N, 78° 53' 17.7648" W
US

Comments

912
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1918
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

At the far south corner of this property, the road sign reads "Entering Bahama". When Tommy Mangum purchased the property in 1950, this sign was located on the north side. Tommy so loved living in Bahama, he had the sign moved to include his property within the crossroads boundary! It has remained there ever since. 

912bahamard_031207.jpg

Joe Tilley built this classic four room "I" house for his niece Miss Bettie Ann Tilley. Mr. Tilley was considered the wealthiest man in the area at the time and he spared no expense, installing hand hewn cedar roof rafters and heart pine floors. There were no bathrooms installed then, but there was a three-seated outhouse in the back.

Today, a wide front porch graciously welcomes visitors to the house. In the front hall, the original stairs wind upward in a compact stairwell. The bead board closet door with its porcelain doorknob is the only trace of the original interior of the hall. When the house was built a central brick chimney, unusual in a Southern house, provided heat. The mortar and brick were too deteriorated to salvage during an earlier renovation. In place of the huge chimney, bathrooms were installed. Note in place ofthe living room hearth the wonderful inlay of pine flooring salvaged after a Christmas Eve 1991 fir at the home of Bertie Umstead. Other salvaged materials include doorway thresholds and windowsills. One wall is devoted to the homeowners' collection of books and collectibles, and the room is furnished with family pieces including a huge physician's cabinet.

To the left of the front door is the dining room. The six panel horizontal doors are original to the house, although the hardware has been replaced. To keep an open flow to the new kitchen, a wide entry replaces what was once access to the back porch. 

The original kitchen is now a comfortable den. The fireplace in the old central chimney was in the middle of the interior wall. Sliding glass doors lead out to the covered back porch.

Behind the house is a huge barn with many different doors to haul the hay and feed up into the storage lofts above. The original clapboard siding from the house was reinstalled on the barn. Other outbuildings include a smoke house where pork was smoked by burning hickory chips in a tin bucket. A creek runs through the back of the property near the corncrib creating an idyllic setting for country living. 

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adolphusumstead_ci.jpg

ADOLPHUS UMSTEAD HOUSE

,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1830-1850
/ Modified in
1880
,
1980
Construction type: 
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Individually-listed on the National Register, the 1850's (and likely earlier) Adolphus Umstead house once sat on 182 acres.

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 9:22am by gary

Location

United States
36° 11' 6.3348" N, 78° 51' 17.442" W
US

Comments

,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1830-1850
/ Modified in
1880
,
1980
Construction type: 
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

adolphusumstead_ci.jpg

From the Durham County Historic Inventory:

During his adult life, Adolphus Williamson Umstead, born in 1846 as the seventh child and fifth son of Squire D. and Martha Umstead, occupied this fine mid-nineteenth-century side-gabled I- house with modest Greek Revival details northeast of Bahama. It was vacant and deteriorating when John and Diane Bittikofer purchased it in 1978. A metal roof had protected the structure and most of the important architectural elements were intact or sufficient fragments remained to facilitate accurate replication. As the Bittikofers restored the house, they discovered an early-nineteenth-century log house within its walls.

Facing north beside a long-abandoned road that led from Oxford to Hillsborough, the weatherboarded farmhouse, a gracious dwelling once again, has an attached hip-roof porch and single-shouldered exterior gable end chimneys with fieldstone bases and offset corbelled brick stacks. Fenestration is symmetrical, and front and rear entrances have identical Greek Revival- style paneled double-leaf doors framed by sidelights. From the exterior, only a narrow four- over-four window set deep in the west wall of the first story evidences the log structure incorporated within the house. Elsewhere there are large six-over-six windows.

A heavy timber frame, rough-sawn 2" x 8” floor joists; the absence of a ridge board in the attic; and profiles of window and door architraves and window muntins that are similar to those found in mid-nineteenth-century Wake County houses suggest an approximate construction date of 1850 for the farmhouse. The presence of 2” x 4” circular-sawn rafters in the attic and corbelling on the chimneystacks, a Italianate feature, suggest that a repair or modification to these areas was made ca. 1880.

On the interior, two parlors open off a center hall on the first floor. Of these, the east is more formal; it features plastered walls now covered with wallpaper, original heart pine floors, four- panel doors, molded baseboards, and a mantel with an unusual double-arched frieze. The west parlor, once the main room of the log structure, is less elaborate; it has hand-planed wide-board sheathing, exposed hewn rafters, and replacement flooring made from trees on the property.

A central staircase, with chamfered newel posts, simple stick balusters and an applied scalloped face string, accesses a spacious, bright hallway and an east bedroom on the second floor. A plank door leading from the hall to the east bedroom is decorated with nail heads that form Umstead’s initials, A. W. U., and the autograph of Zula, his daughter, is penciled on the other side. The bedroom retains original wide, hand-planed board floors, walls, and ceiling, and a mantel with double heart-shaped arches that is similar to the one in the parlor below. The west bedroom does not open into the upstairs hall; it was once the sleeping loft of the log house and is accessed separately from an enclosed corner stair in the west parlor.

A passageway enclosed during the Bittikofers’ renovation joins the main block and a one-story wing that appears to be contemporary with the house. A long one-story rear ell, thought to have been added during the late nineteenth century, now serves as a large modern kitchen and a utility/laundry. A fireplace with a massive stone lintel has openings in both rooms.

Adolphus Umstead is listed in the Orange County Census of 1870 as a 23 year old farmer, newly married to Nancy (or Nannie) Bowling, age 20, and living with his mother, Martha, then a widow. In February 1871, Nancy received a gift of 100 acres from her parents, William and Betty Bowling. William, a miller and a descendant of the founder of the 18th-century Bowling mill, may have deeded the old mill tract to his daughter for the land was bounded on the east by Dial Creek, “along the meanders of the branch which lies at the southern end of the property” and included "all the woods, ways, water and water courses and all of the appurtenances thereto belonging...” In 1873 Adolphus bought an additional, probably adjoining, 82 acres of land on Dial Creek from Green Bobbitt.

The 1880 population census found Adolphus and Nancy in their own household with a daughter, Zula, age 8, and a son, Willie L., age 7, and assisted by one black farm laborer who also lived on the property. The agricultural census of that year profiled the family’s substantial farm; Adolphus owned 150 acres, 75 tilled and 75 in woodland, valued at ,000; farm machinery valued at ; and livestock that included one horse, two mules, four cows, fifteen swine, and ten chickens, valued at . During that year, dogs killed ten sheep and one cow was slaughtered, presumably for household consumption. Fifty-five black laborers were employed at a cost of 0. They sawed 100 cords of wood, raised 575 bushels of corn, 575 bushels of wheat, and 8,000 pounds of tobacco. The census also notes that Adolphus operated a grist mill (now destroyed) with one brother, and perhaps other relatives. The 1887 Johnson map of Durham County identifies "Umpstead's (sic) Mill" and the 1910 Miller Map, "Umstead Bros.", on Dial Creek.

Adolphus Umstead died in April 1909 leaving no will. Nannie and Willie, and finally Zula inherited the farm. It was surveyed in 1928 for division among Zula’s children, and a plat was prepared that delineated six new tracts and showed approximate locations of the buildings. A tract of 92.5 acres included the house, and behind it, a barn, a corncrib, a stable, five unidentified outbuildings, and four tobacco barns. Two tenant houses, one with a nearby barn and corncrib were elsewhere on the property. Of these, only the stable near the house survives; it was restored by the Bittikofers for automobile and equipment storage.

(Adapted from the National Register Nomination for the Adolphus Umstead House prepared by Pat Dickinson in 1989 and information provided by Martha Umstead, granddaughter of Alvis K. Umstead)

From the HPSD 2003 tour booklet:

A winding drive brings visitors nearly half a mile from Bahama Road to what was originally the back of this house. The old highway that passed close to the front porch in the 19th century has been long abandoned, although a trace of its path can still be seen entering the woods north of the house.

Adolphus William Umstead was one of four brothers whose homes survive in the Bahama area. He built his house around a one-room log cabin on this site, adding a parlor and two upstairs rooms around 1850. He covered the outside of the entire house with clapboards and the inside with pine paneling. The long-hidden log walls were rediscovered by the 2003 owners during renovations in the early 1980s. A center hall on the first floor divides the two main rooms and a staircase gives access to a large bedroom upstairs. The room over the original cabin is accessible only by an enclosed narrow winding staircase. This room does not connect to the upstairs hallway, and its original use is the subject of some speculation. Was it a family bedroom or perhaps servants' quarters? Later additions to the house include the present kitchen with its huge stone chimney and the den, a very warm and comfortable room entirely lined with pine panels.

The [2003] owners bought the house after it had stood empty for many years. They rebuilt the stone foundation and repaired and painted the clapboard siding and the early 20th century pressed tin roof. They replaced the entire front porch, replicating the original structure of rough-hewn lengthwise pine logs covered by wide floorboards. The owner himself also made multi-pane double hung sash windows to fit the very non-standard- size window openings.

The ceiling in the original cabin room was very low, so the owners removed the ceiling boards, and now the original hand-hewn wooden beams give the dining room added character. Colors found in traces of original paint on the interior woodwork were replicated to repaint the hall. To keep the historic feel of the house while providing modern convenience the 2003 owners installed a ball-and-claw footed tub and a pedestal sink when they converted the former dog run into a bathroom. In the kitchen, cooking is done on a new stove in the early 20th century style. One door of the rustic pine cabinetry hides the microwave oven.

This house has been carefully restored and is now a comfortable home once again. Because of its history and the integrity of its original structure, the Adolphus Umstead House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Jan Hessling 

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marcustilleyhouse_tax.jpgmarcustilleyfigure2.jpgmarcustilleyfigure1.jpg

MARCUS TILLEY HOUSE

7616
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1880
/ Modified in
1920-1930
,
1950
,
1990
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 10:07am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 20.7324" N, 78° 50' 22.218" W
US

Comments

7616
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1880
/ Modified in
1920-1930
,
1950
,
1990
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

marcustilleyhouse_tax.jpg

From the National Register Nomination for the house:

The Marcus Tilley house is an I-house, built about 1880, over an earlier one-and-a-half-story log house with a one-and-a-half-story rear shed. The house and surrounding outbuildings stand as the centerpiece of the 13.63 acre home tract ofthe Marcus Tilley Farm, adjacent to Lake Michie in the northeast section of Durham County. The property, located about two miles southeast ofthe village of Bahama, is approached by a long unpaved driveway connected with Jock Road (State Road 1625). A row of peach trees and large pecan trees stand east of the driveway, and the eastern boundary ofthe home tract is a spring branch lined with hardwoods. The front ofthe house is shaded by large oak and evergreen trees. A wood and barbed-wire fence runs along the east side of the drive then curves northeastward to outline the front and side yards. A pasture at the rear ofthe house slopes down to the shore of Lake Michie, created in the 1930s by a dam on the Flat River, which earlier had formed the northeast boundary of the farm.

Hidden inside the right (east) bay of the house is the original one-and-a-half-story log section. Below this section is a root cellar with a rock floor, brick walls, a small brick fireplace that may have helped to keep vegetables dry, and outside entrance on the east gable end . The main log room is entered through a wide, short batten door and has a lower floor level. The room features wide plain trim, heart pine wood floors, wide window sills, and an original large brick fireplace with a Federal style mantel consisting of a flat rectangular panel with a molded cornice. The upstairs log room also has a floor level lower than that of the rest of the house. Original features here include a batten door and wide horizontal sheathing on the walls. The Greek Revival style mantel with curvilinear frieze was probably installed when the house was enlarged. The original log rear shed section does not retain any visible early fabric.

The main block of the house is a frame, two-story, side gable, single-pile, three-bay wide dwelling with a wide center hall and flanking rooms (Figures 1 and 2). Exterior features include wide eave returns, molded capped corner boards, and exterior end single-shouldered chimneys of one-to-five common bond with minor variations in banding and corbeling. Original weatherboard sheathes the exterior. Other features include an attached one-story hipped roof porch with turned supports and bead board ceiling and original front and rear entrances with wide doors with four raised panels flanked by sidelights. A one-story concrete block addition with flat roof is attached to the rear of the original log shed.

marcustilleyfigure2.jpg

marcustilleyfigure1.jpg

(Figures 1-2. Marcus Tilley House, first floor plan, second floor plan. Drawn roughly to scale by owner.)

Interior finish of the I-house rooms built ca. 1880 feature intact, modest Greek Revival trim. The original finish includes heart pine floors, high baseboards, plaster walls, molded trim, and Greek Revival style two-panel doors. An open-string stair rises from the rear of the center hall. It features a chamfered newel with molded cap, plain posts, a square handrail, and a front stair closet. The parlor on the first floor and left (west) second floor bedroom contain simple, handsome Greek Revival mantels with pilasters, friezes, and shelves.

The only surviving historic outbuilding, a log smokehouse, stands behind the house. The half-dovetailed, hand-hewn log smokehouse has a projecting, front-gabled roof, a hinged batten door, and has lost its original chinking. Four noncontributing outbuildings stand to the rear and west side. A gabled spring house with concrete block walls, built about 1950, stands east ofthe house on the branch. A circa 1950 frame, four-bay vehicle shed, built from old lumber from nearby Camp Butner, has a side-gable roof, square posts, exposed rafters and a tin roof Behind this building is a 1970s tobacco/storage building built of corrugated metal. The frame well house with weatherboard siding and gable roofwas built in the 1970s. South ofthe vehicle shed stands a sizeable grape arbor.

Alterations were made to the house over time. The original one-story hipped roof porch with slender posts, visible in an old family photo (a copy is located in the nomination file) was replaced in the 1920s-30s with a wider, one- story hipped roof porch with square Doric posts. These posts were replaced with turned porch posts in recent years. All ofthe six-over-six sash windows are vinyl replacements added about 1990. Ceilings in most ofthe main rooms have acoustical tile. The back porch or breezeway which led from the rear entrance of the I-house to the detached kitchen (now demolished) was enclosed as a dining room in the early twentieth century, and a back shed porch attached to the log shed was enclosed. After the original kitchen was demolished, Adolphus Tilley built a concrete block family room on its site a.bout 1950. About the same time, Adolphus converted the rear log shed room, which had served as a bedroom, to the kitchen. An upstairs bathroom was added by converting the center window to a doorway and adding a small shed addition above the dining room (see Figs. 1-2).

The main block of the Marcus Tilley House retains sufficient integrity of materials and workmanship to meet the integrity threshold for National Register eligibility. Although windows and porch posts are replacements, all other exterior fabric is original or early, creating an overall historic character. The rear elevation, with its farge ca. 1950 one-story family room, has changed greatly from its ca. 1880 appearance; however the scale and materials ofthis addition characterize it as a distinctly mid-twentieth century phase of construction. Its location behind the house minimizes its disruption of the overall architectural integrity. On the interior, the Tilley House retains most of its original finish, both in the original log core and the I-house enlargement.

Remainder of the NR nomination.

From the 2003 HPSD tour booklet:

The Tilley family farm is in an idyllic location overlooking Lake Michie. At the end of a long winding lane, the house is shaded by massive live oak trees. Between huge brick chimneys, the front porch beckons visitors to come in and be welcome. This is the oldest house on today's tour. The original part of the house including the main floor bedroom and kitchen and bedrooms above, is of log construction. The house has been expanded over the years by succeeding generations of the Tilley family. In the 1880s the central hall, a parlor, and an upstairs bedroom were added. In the mid 20th century, a porch was enclosed to create the dining room and a large family room was added at the back of the house. A bedroom was converted into the kitchen, and indoor plumbing and electricity were added at the same time. The family's love for this home is evident everywhere. Original mantles, wide pine board floors, and woodwork remain throughout the house. Although energy efficient modern windows have been installed, the original wooden windows have been carefully stored away. The bookcase in the living room is an early family piece made of boards up to an inch or more thick. Crocheted bedspreads and embroidery made by various family members are lovingly displayed in the rooms. The kitchen is a combination of old and new with an heirloom wooden dresser displaying family china beside newly tiled countertops. The family room was constructed of concrete block, but the interior is now lined with antique boards taken from a Durham tobacco warehouse. More family pieces are displayed here, including a dining table placed over the original well. Upstairs, the bedroom over the living room was the childhood room of the present owner. A wooden checkerboard and other heirlooms displayed here belonged to family members. Across the hall, the bedrooms are two steps down since the ceiling in the newer part of the house is much higher than that in the original cabin. The floor in this room is patched over the opening where the original staircase came up before the central hall was added. The larger bedroom is furnished with early 20th century pieces from the owner's mother-in-law. The cradle was used by her father as an infant. The small bedroom at the back is now a playroom for the owner's grandchildren. A built-in cupboard across one wall emphasizes the eccentric angles of this the oldest part of the house, where nothing is quite square. The window here gives a splendid view to the lake. Home to generations of the Tilley family, the Marcus Tilley House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Jan Hessling 

The house and land were sold by Judith and Charles Crabtree to Ira and Julia Curl on 09.27.11 for 5,000.  Parcel ID: 192297

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amedtilley_1_ci.jpgamedtilley_2_ci.jpgamedtilley_3_ci.jpg

AMED TILLEY HOUSE

6404
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1918
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

From tobacco farm to architectural tree farm. 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 10:12am by gary

Location

United States
36° 8' 10.266" N, 78° 49' 3.1764" W
US

Comments

6404
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1918
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

amedtilley_1_ci.jpg

Similar to a number of fine residences constructed by wealthy Durhamites around 1900, Amed Tilley’s handsome tri-gable I-house has a projecting two-story entry bay in the center of the front facade. Tilley, a prosperous tobacco farmer, embellished the traditional I-house form with deep overhanging eaves, full gable returns, sawn work decoration on gables around the house, patterned metal shingles on the roof, and interior brick chimneys with corbelled stacks. The wrap-around hip-roof porch has tapered box posts and matchstick rails of the later Craftsman style.

On the inside, an exceptionally wide central hall has a brick Craftsman fireplace surround and an ornate staircase that boasts a square newel with carved trim and bracketed stair treads. Here horizontal flush-board paneling surmounts vertical beaded-board wainscoting on the walls, and doors leading to various rooms have six horizontal panels and are set in molded post and lintel surrounds. In each room, mantels are ornamented with pilasters and sawn brackets, and, in the rear ell, an unusual mantel has a double frieze and stylized Doric columns.

amedtilley_2_ci.jpg

A one-story nineteenth-century structure, perhaps an earlier family home, was moved to the site and attached to the house as a wing on the northwest facade. It has a hewn-timber frame and wide plank sheathing on the interior. A small one-story ell, attached at the rear, is thought to have been constructed at the same time as the main block.

Outbuildings constructed during the late nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth centuries around the house, include a horse or mule barn, several log tobacco barns, a log ordering pit, a log corn crib, a smokehouse, a tractor shed, a generator house, a lath house, storage buildings, and a potato shed. Haywood and Luetti Vaughan Tilley gave several of their children unusual names.

Amed and his brother, Cassum Tilley, a former Durham County commissioner for whom a nearby road is named, honored characters in the book, Arabian Nights. The Tilley family owned the house and farm until Dr. John Monroe purchased them in 1981.

amedtilley_3_ci.jpg

From the 2003 HPSD Home Tour:

Originally the home and tobacco farm of the Amed and Becky Tilley family, this property was built around 1914. The "I" house with its large front porch and tin roof has been beautifully renovated by the current owner, a local land preservationist.

The house now lies amid the extensive gardens of an architectural tree farm. The front porch with its unusual asymmetrically tapered porch pillars offers a view of swans skimming a pond with a small sloping hill, tobacco barns, and trees beyond.

The front door leads into a large ll-foot high front hall with huge fireplace and wood stove. Pine floors and deep white-painted baseboards are visible throughout the house. The carved staircase leads up from the door to a loft-like hall. A small cupboard above the downstairs fireplace may have been a clothes-drying cupboard, efficiently using the heat from below. A beautifully renovated bedroom retains its original mantle and hand painted light fixture.

Downstairs, a bedroom retains its original mantle and hand painted electric light fixture. The entire 1918 Home Delco electrical system was powered by huge glass batteries kept in a powerhouse behind the kitchen. The little room off the front bedroom was added sometime after the house was built by moving an outbuilding alongside the house. The original owner later divided the original dining room in half to create a hallway from the front bedroom to the kitchen. The dining room has been recently transformed into a spacious modern bathroom with tile surrounds.

The house has two back porches: one opens to the garden and the other allows access from the front hall to the modern kitchen and family room, bypassing the front bedroom.

Extensive outbuildings still surround the house. A bi-level stable stands alongside the well originally used to water the animals. The building to the left of the well held the feed; the floors were lined with tin to keep out rodents. The garage at the back of the farmhouse once housed Amed Tilley's Model T Ford. A chicken coop, smoke house, and wood shed stand nearby. A long line of work rooms were once used for stripping tobacco. At the far side of the property near the road is one of only two remaining Durham County tobacco re-hydrating sheds. The low-lying structure allowed overly dry tobacco leaves to absorb moisture from the ground before shipping. These outbuildings have all been incorporated into the extensive landscaping that features many unusual trees and plants.

The owner has applied to list the farmhouse on the National Register of Historic Places. It is included in Durham's Local Historic Landmarks register. 

The house and land have housed a nursery since sometime in the early 2000s: Architectural Trees. Their website describes their business as follow:

We are a small rare tree and shrub nursery located in the piedmont of NC, not far from Durham NC. We propagate, grow and sell our trees at the nursery, which  once was a former tobacco farm. Many of the buildings date back to 1914. We specialize in conifers and Japanese maples. Plants with weeping,  upright, globe, contorted, prostrate  habit or have variagated leaves are well represented at our nursery, as well as good hard to find native trees. If you come to the nursery armed with photos and dimensions of an area to be landscaped, we are happy to offer design recommendations at no charge.

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/sites/default/files/images/2009_3/SprucePineLodge_020709.jpg

SPRUCE PINE LODGE

2235
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1930
/ Modified in
1950
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

The summer house for the widow of Mary WL Stagg, of Greystone; now a lovely city park near Bahama. THIS IS NOT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR SPRUCE PINE LODGE. I regret that I can't help you set up your wedding; please call the city for assistance.

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In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 06/17/2013 - 12:58pm by gary

Location

36° 10' 30.306" N, 78° 51' 55.8036" W

Comments

2235
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1930
/ Modified in
1950
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Spruce Pine Lodge, 02.07.09 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

[THIS IS NOT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR SPRUCE PINE LODGE. I regret that I can't help you set up your wedding; please call the city.]

Spruce Pine Lodge was constructed as a 'summer house' in approximately 1930 by Mary Washington Lyon Stagg, widow of James E. Stagg. In 1926, the City of Durham had built a dam on the Flat River to improve the city's water supply, creating Lake Michie. The bluff upon which the Spruce Pine Lodge would soon sit thereby acquired a beautiful view overlooking the new lake.

Mary Stagg lived at Greystone after her husband's death; I have no information about how she used Spruce Pine Lodge. Mrs. Stagg died in 1945; the house and the land were either acquired by or donated to the city of Durham in 1950.

Spruce Pine Lodge is currently a city park - a gem unknown by many folks in the city - and the lodge itself is available for events.

 

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