Lyon Ellis House - 1623 Bahama Road

36.167637, -78.875707

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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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