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Homes

Page history last edited by Shamella Cromartie 10 years, 6 months ago

 

 

 

 

Harmony Hall

 

Harmony Hall is one of the oldest plantation sites in southeastern North Carolina with the house still on its original foundation and location.  It is important because it was built by Col. James Richardson about 1760 and the Richardson family records say, British General Charles Cornwallis commandeered the house during the Revolutionary War.

 

“This small, frame plantation house on the northeastern side of the Cape Fear presents a striking example of a regional form, which engaged double porches on land and water facades and a partially enclosed exterior stair rising between the landside porches. Here, in a rare survival, the exterior stair provides the only connection between first and second stories. The interior is simply finished and has a hall-parlor plan, later partitioned to create a center passage.”* (from A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina by Catherine W Bishir & Michael T Southern)

 

 

 

Front of the houses faces the river.

 

 

Back of the house with enclosed stair.

 

 

Beth Car Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

Beth Car Presbyterian Church was first listed in General Assembly minutes in the Fayetteville Presbytery in 1836. It is quite possible that the church was under the Church of Scotland before 1836.  The earliest written record of it appears in the diary of Elizabeth Ellis Robeson as follows:

March 25, 1858..This day 39 years ago I was married here.  Today I see only three that were with me that day at church: Col. Byrne, T. J. and B. Robeson.

This places the date referred to as March 28, 1819.

 

 

 

 

Oakland

 

Oakland is a plantation home built in the Federal period on a high bluff above the Northwest Branch of the Cape Fear River.  Oakland plantation came from land originally granted to John Baptista Ashe in 1730.  By 1760, part of the land had passed to William Bartram, Sr.  Bartram built Ashwood on his newly acquired land.   In 1776, Sarah, Bartram’s daughter inherited all Bartram land, along with her sister.  Sarah acquired the house, Ashwood through a land swap with her sister.  Sarah and husband, Major General Thomas Brown, probably occupied the house by the late 1770s.  By 1808 General Brown had begun another home, Oakland.  In 1812, he willed Oakland to his son, John Bright.  His eldest son, Thomas stood to inherit Ashwood.

 

 

Oakland 

 

“Walnut Grove”, the Robeson Homestead

 

The Robeson Homestead, known as “Walnut Grove” is located on NC Hwy 87 fifteen miles east of Elizabethtown near Tar Heel.  The first house was built by Thomas Robeson in 1735 on land granted by King George II.  Colonel Thomas Robinson, son of Thomas was a hero in the Battle of Elizabethtown. By the provisions of his father’s will, the greater part of his father’s estate was left to Col. Robeson, he being the eldest son, but he generously shared the estate equally with his brother, Peter and sister, Mary.  He occupied the homestead, “Walnut Grove” and his brother Peter, lived just across the Cape Fear River.  An avenue was cut through the trees to give full view of Peter’s house and when company arrived, a flag was raised to give notice to Peter’s family to come over.  The land of “Walnut Grove” was in three large terraces, sloping gradually to the river.  The first house, built by Thomas, father of Col. Robeson, was on the second terrace (about a quarter of a mile from the Cape Fear River) which commanded a beautiful view.  This house became uninhabitable before 1895 and the ten room house pictured was built by James Robeson, Col. Robeson’s great-grandson in 1894.

 

Walnut Grove

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Purdie Place

 

Purdie Place is a Federal style plantation house built in 1770 near Tar Heel, overlooking the Cape Fear.    It has engaged double porches front and back.  It features an exterior stair on the rear porch and  (possibly later) in the off center passage.

 

Purdie Place plantation was the home of Hugh Purdie, James S. Purdie, and Col. Thomas J. Purdie  (three generations).  It is now privately owned, but the Purdie-Richardson Cemetery on the edge of the property is open to visitors.  Col. Thomas J. Purdie, killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 8, 1863, is buried there.

 

 

 

 

 

This story comes from ANGELS IN DREAM BRING FORTUNE TO AUNT ELLEN by E. P. Holmes.  This is an abbreviated version of the story from the book.:

 

 "The Purdie Place is a mansion built in 1770 on a high hill overlooking the Cape Fear River.  The window casements and the wainscoating is said to be the finest.  The rooms are large and the ceiling high.  The fence that encloses the premises is of hand-cut cypress.  near the house is a graveyard which contains the grave of one of its descendants.  His tombstone reads"

    Col. Thomas I. Purdie

          Born

       June 22, 1830

   Killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville

      May 8, 1863

     Aged 32 years"

All of the above is true and quoted straight from the book.

 

The legend is as follows:

 

Living in the home was another ancestor, Miss Berdie Fulton.  She was a beautiful Southern lass just barely out of her teens desperately in love with a dashing neighbor's son, Basil Howard. Both were high strung, high minded and proud of their ancestry.  Because of their nature, violent quarrels often sprang up between them.  During one of these quarrels Basil rushed from the house threatening to never return.  He made his way to Richmond and joined Lee's army without telling Berdie goodbye or asking for a farewell kiss.

 

Month, then years passed with Berdie waiting for a letter and the war taking its toll.  The servants left the plantation and the fields in utter devastation.

 

After the war was over and the south surrendered, Miss Fulton did not surrender.  She took inventory of her possessions and found she has $600 in gold.  She would have one grand reception, inviting all the important people along the river from Wilmington to Fayetteville.  She hired her old servants and ordered the candlesticks taken out of hiding and polished.  When the day of the great event arrived, the house was spick and span and the tables set with the finest lines, silver and tinkling glassware.

 

Miss Berdie dressed in her finest silks waited nervously until she heard the "Southern Belle" (steamboat) whistle. She went running to meet her guests at the landing. But lo, there were no guests, only the smoking steamboat and its Captain with his smelly pipe.  Maybe there were coming by horse and carriage instead.  She waited till 7:30 p. m., and still no guests.

 

Determined not to be outdone, she seated herself at the head of the table and rang the bell for her main waiter, Jayson.  "Dinner," she said, "will now be served."

 

It was at this point that there was a faint knock on the kitchen door.  When "Old Jayson" opened the door, he dropped the cut glass water bottle he was carrying and it broke in a hundred pieces at his feet. Standing at the door was a man in gray tatters, unshaven and unkempt--a withered thing --with a wild look of defeat on his face.

 

"Mr. Basil," he cried.

 

It was only seconds until this man was sobbing on the breast of the woman he loved and she was smothering his grimy face with kisses.  Then gathering herself she stood erect and cried, "Jayson, the wine.."

  They made three toasts:   TO THE SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY

                                            TO THE LOST CAUSE

                                            TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

  Then she said, "From here we will begin again."

 

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