Walter Curtis Hudson Farm / "Patterson Mill General Store"

35.924734, -78.988467

Year built
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Walter Curtis Hudson Farm, 1990s

From the Durham County Inventory:

Broad arches, a gabled roof, and paired box colonettes distinguish an unusual wrap-around porch that envelopes Walter Curtis Hudson’s one- and one-half story frame dwelling. Starting with a two-room plan ca. 1918 and acting as his own designer and builder, Hudson constructed the house in stages as he could afford it, using building materials that were either given to him or sold to him inexpensively. He eventually created a remarkable Craftsman-style dwelling with a high gable-front entry facade and a long ell. Multiple brick chimneys and pairs or banks of windows were organized to serve the rooms within, and rectangular louvered vents and a Queen Anne window set on end added decorative detailing. In contrast to the rest of the dwelling, Hudson kept the north-facing facade symmetrical and relatively plain. In a traditional manner, he utilized a center door sheltered by a stoop and single windows at each end of the house that he surmounted with gabled roof dormers. Outbuildings on the farm include a milk house adjacent to the house, a log playhouse behind the house, a large dairy barn, and various garages and sheds, all constructed by Hudson.

During his life, Hudson, a grandson of Richard Stanford Leigh whose antebellum farm (now a city park) is nearby, raised produce for market, ran a small dairy farm, and worked at Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company. His farm, presently owned by a daughter, Elsie, and her husband John Booker, is best known as the site of Patterson’s Country Store. Named for a general store located at Patterson’s mill in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it is built of materials salvaged from demolished historic buildings and houses the owners’ extensive antique collections.


Walter Curtis Hudson, 05.29.11


Thanks so much, Gary, for including us on your wonderful site. I had no idea when I responded to your Hope Valley School posting that you would post an item on our home and store and our ancestral home as well. I lived in this house my first nine years and returned with my wife to take care of my mom two years ago. She still sleeps each night in the same room she was born in 88 years ago. I don't know if anyone else in Durham County can match that. There's a lot of longevity here. Mom is Elsie Hudson Booker and she worked as a pharmacist in Durham and Chapel Hill and Hillsborough for forty years. She was Walter Curtis Hudson and Pearl Pope Hudson's only child and I am her only child. Dad (John Booker) worked in Durham at Liggett and Myers for forty years as well. They built Patterson's Mill in 1973 to have something to do after they retired. My wife Gail and my adult children and I now keep things going around here. My granddad Curtis Hudson, my great-grandmother and my great-great grandmother were all born at Leigh House; and Mom and I have never lived anywhere other than the Leigh Farm (although Interstate 40 split the farm in 1983 and left us on the Chapel Hill side and the antebellum structures on the Durham side). I worked for thirty years to see the Durham side of the farm put in public hands and the buildings restored and put to public use. I hope the Leigh Farm Park reaches its full potential. Thanks again for including it all.

Pretty site. Another one I look forward to visiting.

It's a wonderful place to visit.

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