Snowfield (Bryan Family)
Liberty Hall is a majestic, but mostly unnoticed, historical home located just outside of Windsor on Indian Woods Road. The house was once the home of Captain Edward Outlaw and is listed on the National Register and is being renovated. The exterior of the house is a rare example of the Italianate architecture and the interior is trimmed with Greek revival woodwork. The house was built in the 1850's by Lewis Bond. Bond and his family moved to Tennessee and the house was sold to his sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. John Peter Rascoe. They gave the house to their daughter, Lucy Rascoe, soon after her marriage in 1868 to Captain Outlaw.
Tradition maintains that a Northerner, S.L. Pennoyer, was the contractor for the house and that it took three years to complete. Pennoyer is buried in the Rascoe family graveyard that is near the house.
Outlaw was born in 1840 in Bertie Co. After the death of his parents, his uncle, Col. David Outlaw, became responsible for his care. The colonel was a member of the legislature and was a United States Congressman from 1848-1850. Capt. Outlaw attended the University of North Carolina before enlisting in the Confederate Army, serving in Company C of the 11th NC Regiment. He came through the war without a scratch although it was said that he would charge the enemy at a moments' notice. After the war, he returned to Bertie Co. to serve as a commissioner, a state representative, and a sheriff. He died in 1921 at Nags Head and was buried in his Confederate unform.
He, his wife, and two of their 10 children are buried in the cemetery of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Windsor. Liberty Hall has remained in the family through the years. The present owners are Carlton and Lucy Gillam of Windsor. She is a descendent of Captain Outlaw's wife.
Restoration of this great house is under way, and the owners have tried to keep as much of the original structure intact as possible. The house has three floors. The first is the basement floor. The floors on this level had to be torn up when the renovations started. When the floors were torn up, a layer of plaster was found underneath. Footprints of pigs and dogs could be seen in the plaster, where the animals had evidently tracked through the plaster during the original construction of the house. The walls on this level are brick and they serve to support the rest of the house. The interior of the house on the top two floors have 14' ceilings. The corner beams are all solid from the ground to the top of the house. The plastered walls in most of the rooms have been knocked out, but in the hallway and around the stairs, it is still intact. In the hall at the entrance of the house, one can see where a huge chandelier would have hung. Tradition says that dances were held in the large hallway of this house. All of the mantels on the firplaces in the house are original. There are 12 fireplaces and two chimneys. The doors on the closets are original and inside the closets there are still some of the hooks on which 19th century clothing hung. The banister on the stairway is constructed of solid walnut and is still in excellent condition. Work on the exterior is almost complete. There is a large porch on the front and one on the back.
Near Liberty Hall is Bertie's GOSPEL OAK, a silent reminder of the days when traveling preachers came through and members of the community gathered under this tree to hear religious sermons. Traditional word of mouth stories about this tree have been passed through the years. Tradition says this tree was also a meeting place for the Indians and the whites.
Liberty Hall is the last remaining house in a neighborhood of six majestic homes.(The
Bryans of "Snowfield", the Clarks, and the Pugh,and the Smallwoods all had plantation homes here in Indian Woods) The history and preservation
of this house and others like it are essential to the education and
culture of the Roanoke-Chowan area. The house is not open to the public
for viewing, but visitors can ride by and enjoy the beauty of this old
Provided by Mollie Urquhart
With the gradual migration of settlers (1658), overflowing from the Virginia Colony into the rich and fertile Albemarle region of NC, the lands along the Chowan Rivers and other waterways were the first to be taken up.
These river highways were the earliest form of transportation, and many of these river holdings were originally grants from the Lord Proprietors. As these plantations grew in size, their owners built the plantation houses. Following the Chowan River down to where it empties into the Albemarle Sound were these plantations.
An epidemic of fever broke out all along the river settlements. Many of the people died, others discouraged, moved away or farther inland. John Campbell moved to Halifax County near Weldon.
When his estate was sold it was listed as follows: "One tract of land known as "Lazy Hill" lying in Bertie County on the west side of Chowan River, containing 800 acres. It is a beautiful situation well watered, on its premises are a good dwelling house, kitchen store, warehouse, workhouse, barns milk and meat house, stables. Together with a good shad and herry fishery, a good apple and peach orchard and two vegetable gardens."
Campbell worshiped at St. Paul's Church in Edenton. It is said he was a loyal patriot, devoted heart and soul to the American cause. Sanders rates him in ability to Joseph Hewes. He was known as the leading merchant of the province. He served and represented Bertie County in the General Assembly in 1744, 1745, also 1754- 1760; again 1769-1775. He served in four provincial Congresses at New Bern in 1744- 45; Hillsborough in 1775 and Halifax in 1776.
His will was probated in Bertie County, Feb Court 1781. This will mentions his wife, Mary and the children mentioned above; also his brother, James, and sisters, Mary and Elizabeth.
A large part of the Campbell property was sold to the HOLLEYs. JOSIAH HOLLEY once owned all of what is now Colerain. The first post office in Bertie County was at Colerain and JOSIAH HOLLEY was the first Postmaster in 1818. His sister, MARY HOLLEY, married WILLIAM ETHERIDGE, a sea captain from Roanoke Island. When Mr. Holley died he left their son, EDWARD ETHERIDGE, his Colerain property.
The old HOLLEY AND ETHERIDGE Cemetery is by the side of the house and is visible from the highway. It is well kept by the Etheridge family.
Part of the Campbell and Holley plantation is now owned by MANLEY and JAMES WHITE. Their father, ESTUS WHITE, purchased the farm from JOSEPH SESSOMS in 1908.
The Old Lazy Hill Beach is owned by Perry-Wynns Fish Company and Colerain Beach and Boat Club. It is located about 3-4 miles north on
downtown Colerain driving along the Chowan River...Lazy Hill Drive
should run thru plantation area.
Thank you to Harry Thompson for information included in the above history
Locating it today:
Lazy Hill Plantation is located about 3-4 miles north of downtown Colerain. Along the Chowan River...Lazy Hill Drive should run thru plantation area. Use a street locating search for Colerain, NC and try Lazy Hill Drive...It will put you on it... Russell
A land transfer in 1812 by SARAH BROWN, Widow of BROWNRIGG of "Wingfield" for tract of land known as Point Comfort is found in the Bertie County records. The price involved was $6,000.00.
It was later sold to the HARDYs, then to Mr. THOMAS HOLLEY. His son, George M. HOLLEY owns this property. At his death, his wife, Mrs. Margaret HOLLEY and sons, Robert and Thomas, and daughter, Mrs. MOOD FARLOW became the heirs. They still own the farm and Thomas resides there.
(1998 update. Sadly, the old home is no longer there. Point Comfort is a beach on the river behind this home and is one of the prettier beaches along the Chowan.)
After his banishment we find ex-governor Sothell returning to Albermarle and his home on Salmon Creek where he died in 1692. He left no children. Among the items of his will, Governor Sothell left his plantation on Salmon Creek to his friend, Francis Harley.
After Hartley's death, his widow married William Duckenfield, hence it then came under the ownership of Duckenfield. In 1702 Duckenfield conveyed the plantation to John Ardene who took out a grant for the said four thousand acres in 1707. The original grant on parchment was still in existence some years ago. John Ardene in his will, probated in 1720, leaves "that plantation and tract of land called Salmon Creek to kinsman William Duckenfield". The Duckenfield family being Tories at the outbreak of the Revolution, returned to England and never came back to America. As a result their lands were confiscated.
Later, due to its location at the junction of the Albermarle Sound, Chowan River and Salmon Creek, the plantation was given the name of "Avoca", which from the Lation signified where separate waters came together. Abstracted from Biography by J.E. Tyler, II See also: Biography of Seth Sothell
HARDY PLANTATION Records tell us the Hardy Family came to Bertie County about 1690. General Douglas MacArthur is a descendant of this family, through his mother, Mary Pinckney HARDY. Hardy was a Sea Captain who established a trading post at Colerain for the barter of turpentine tar, pitch, staves, barrels and other commodities for the exchange of West Indies products. This successful business had much to do with the starting of the prsent town of Colerain where it now stands one mile from the River.
LEWIS T. SMALLWOOD who acquired the ELLA E. HARDY tract, sold it in 1900 to LEWIS LIPSITZ. MRS. FRANK WHITE purchased the tract from Mr. Lipsitz in 1910. The heirs of Mr. Frank White now own the plantation and a daughter, Mrs. Perry lives in the old home. Two beach resorts, Perry and Whites Beaches are located in this estate.
The first LEARY family came from Ireland in 1665. They settled in Perquimans County, then in Chowan and in 1778 WILLIAM LEARY of Chowan County married LEAH FREEMAN of Bertie County. He obtained a grant of land in what is now the Powellsville area.
In 1795 WILLIAM LEARY purchased from the STONE family, the present LEARY PLANTATION. Since that time members of the Leary family have owned and lived on this Estate. At one time it was said to contain 1800 acres. The old home was torn down in 1906 and a new one begun by the owner John Watson LEARY before he passed away in 1908.
In this family there has been ministers, merchants, teachers, soldiers, leaders in government and always good farmers. The plantation is owned now by the heirs of JOHN WATSON LEARY; a grandson, U.S. HASSELL lives in the old home. His mother, MRS. BETTY LEARY HASSELL lives across the highway.
A daughter, Miss HARRIET LEARY, owns the section where the slave graveyard is located. Just a few years ago a descendant of one of the slaves was buried in this graveyard.
After the Civil War most of the ex-slaves continued to live on the plantation. A grandson of a slave, WILLIAM LEARY, has recently returned to NC where he spent a few days on the farm. He also flew to Charlotte to see TED LEARY. He write, "Since I left the Leary Plantation where my parents and grandparents were born, lived and died, I have kept in touch with the Leary Family."
He left the farm to joing the US Army in 1912 where he became an officer of M Company, 24th US Infantry. He has been welcomed through the years as he visited the farm of his birth.
Mount Gould was originally called MT. GALLAND. William Maule named it in honor of his wife, PENELOPE GALLAND, step-daughter of Gov. CHARLES EDEN. It was probably builtin the late 1700's and added to at a later date in the 1800s. The old still standing was built in 1800 by George GOULD, at one time surveyor general of the Colony.
The name was changed for the GOULD FAMILY; George Gould, Surveyor General of NC. Later the plantation was purchased by THOMAS HOLLEY. Thomas Holley died in 1827 and his widow, CELIA HOLLEY, left Mt. Gould in trust to her brother-in-law, AUGUSTUS HOLLEY for her son, THOMAS, until he was 30 years old. Mr. Augustus Holley later became the owner and willed property to Mr. and Mrs. GEORGE WOMBLE.
Holley descendants lived at Mt. Gould for four generations.
The large old Mansion is still standing but has been stripped of its beautiful mantles, paneling, and molding. The JIM CULLIPHERS sold the property a few years ago to CHERRY TAYLOR.
Mt. Gould is perhaps the best known of all the plantations. The beach, used as a big shipping center has also been known for its recreational facilities. The name Mt. Gould now applies to a large rural community which through the years has been a center of religious and educational facilities.
Originally owned by George POLLOCK from Halifax, it was sold to Thomas D. HOLLEY in 1832. It was acquired by his son, Augustine HOLLEY and at that time the plantation consisted of approximately 1100 acres.
Augustus "Gus" started the present house in the early 1830's and completed it in 1840. It was constructed mainly by his own slaves and named for Henry Clay's home in Ashland, Kentucky. His wife, Martha, died 10 years before he did and he then married a widow with two children... Sallie D. Jernigan. Gus left it to his widow at his death.
The Wayland MILLER heirs now own the plantation. They inherited from their mother's (Fannie H.) father, Perry HOGGARD who purchased the property March 4, 1911. The plantation was later divided into tracts of approximately 100 acres each.
A map dated 1910, plat #7 consisting of 88 acres of the original Plantation and house is located in the Bertie County Courthouse, Book 163, pg 297.
This historic place took its name from Governor Eden who bore the title of "Governor, Captain, General and Commander-in-Chief in and over his Majesty's Colony of North Carolina and Vice Admiral of the same." He received his commission from Queen Ann who died 6 months later and then served under King George. Governor Eden was born in England in 1663; was forty years old when he came to this country.
Though Governor Eden had no children, his wife by a previous marriage was the mother of Penelope Galland, who owned Mt. Gould. Mrs. Eden died in 1716.
Her daughter Penelope was married four times(Wm Maule, John Lovick and George Phenney, Gabriel Johnston) Her second husband was John Lovick to whom Governor Eden left his plantation and home when he died. Penelope's 4th husband was Gabriel Johnston, who made his home at Eden House.
Their daughter, Penelope Johnston married Col. John Dawson, a Virginia lawyer. Their son, William Johnston Dawson (1765-16 Jan 1796) was raised at Eden House before being sent to England for his education, and was a key political figure in the Revolutionary days. Wm Dawson was influential in the choice of location of the Raleigh seat of government. He retired from politics, and lived at Eden House, now his mother's estate, dying there as a young man.
When Governor Eden died in 1722 he was buried at Eden House. In 1889 his body was moved as was Governor Gabriel Johnson's to St. Paul's Church Cemetery in Edenton.
Augustus Holley purchased the plantation and left it in his will to his niece who married Demonsthenes Bell. It has been in the Bell family since that time. The home of Governor Eden, said to have been of brick, was destroyed by fire. It was noted for its "Refined Society" and "splendid hospitality".
The Eden House Site
This site features the findings of the archaeologists i.e. pictures and descriptions of the artifacts found which reveal much about Colonial life.
If you have trouble with the URL above, try this: http://www.dot.state.nc.us/ Click on transportation on the right side of the screen. Scroll down to "Top News". Click on NCDOT Unveils Virtual Exhibit Showcasing Award-Winning Archaeological Excavation In Bertie County. Click on the URL in Paragraph 2.
The Archaelogical ConservancyI work for a non-profit organization called The Archaeological Conservancy, and right now we're trying to protect an archaeological site in Bertie County. The Edenhouse Manor site possesses the remains of the 18th-century manor that was once home to two of North Carolina's early colonial governors, Charles Eden and Gabriel Johnston. Edenhouse was not only home to these men, it was also the seat of government during their time in office. Further study of its remains will reveal important information about colonial North Carolina's domestic life and politics, as well as on legitimate trade, smuggling, and piracy. Charles Eden is a particularly intriguing figure. He took office as the colony's Royal Governor in 1714. At the time, he lived in Bath, where he was thought to have an association with Blackbeard the pirate. He moved to what is now the town of Merry Hill when Blackbeard died. When Eden moved, he bought two houses along the Chowan River, which were excavated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation in 1996. Eden lived here while he built the manor, and these earlier homes probably became a guest house and slaves' quarters when the manor was finished. Eden lived and governed in this home until he died in 1722. Eden's stepdaughter, Penelope, then took possession of the manor, and two decades later married North Carolina governor Gabriel Johnston. She persuaded the governor to relocate from his home in Wilmington to Edenhouse. There, Governor Johnston's 18-year reign of office saw the state grow from a frontier territory to a colonial powerhouse. The current owners of the site are aware of its historical significance and have agreed to donate it to the Conservancy. However, a private road runs across the site, and the bank that owns the road has demanded $90,000 for the road frontage. The owners will pay half of this expense, but the Conservancy must raise the other $45,000. The Edenhouse manor site is located in the middle of an expensive housing development along the Chowan River, and if we are not able to raise the needed funds, the site is likely to be destroyed for the building of a new home. If you or anyone you know would be interested in making a contribution to help prevent this site's destruction, or in learning more about the project or about the Conservancy, please let me know. Thanks, Martha Mulvany Special Projects Director The Archaeological Conservancy 5301 Central Avenue NE, Suite 1218 Albuquerque, NM 87108 [email protected]
Thomas Pollock came to this country in 1683 as a deputy for Lord Carteret one of the Lord Proprietors. He was born in Glascow, Scotland, May 6, 1654, the son of Thomas Pollock of Bal-Gra. He settled in Bertie and called his plantation Ball Gra after his home in Scotland. Leslie Newsome says that Thomas Pollock of Bertie had 22000 acres of land besides 10 plantations.
When Governor Edward Hyde (cousin to Queen Anne) came to Carolina in 1710 he accepted the hospitality of Thomas Pollock and the first assembly called by Governor Hyde met at Pollock's home. During the Cary Rebellion which was then in progress, Pollock naturally gave his support to Hyde and the Crown.
To Pollock, too goes much credit for his support of the Baron von Graffenried and his establishment of the Swiss colony at New Bern. This was also during the Cary Rebellion and the Indian Wars which followed. Von Graffenried exhausted all of his own funds in his efforts and was unable to secure any aid from the company in Bern which he represented. Pollock came to his aid by furnishing both finances and good.
The Cary Rebellion was put down in 1711 to be immediately followed by war with the Tuscarora Indians and epidemics of yellow fever.
Governor Hyde fell victim of fever and died Sept 8, 1712. Pending the appointment of a successor by the Lords Proprietors, the North Carolina Council chose an acting govenor. Thus it was that Thomas Pollock was elected Governor four days after the death of Gov. Hyde. Poloock proved to be a man of force and decision. The war with the Indians lasted well into his administration as governor, but Bertie did not suffer as severely as some counties because of the friendship and influence of Governor Pollock with the Tuscarora Chief--Thomas Blunt.
Pollock remained in office until the arrival from England of Governor Eden in 1714, after which he continued most active in the affairs of the colony. He was a member of the General Court and also of the Governor's Council. Upon the death of Gov. Eden in March 1722, Col Pollock was again elected to fill the vacant post. Pollock's second administration as governor, though, lasted only a few months, for he died Aug 30, 1772.
As when he first came to Bertie he was still Lord Carteret's deputy. He was interred with his wife and other members of his family at Bal-Gra, where he lived and died. About 1850, the Vestry of St. Paul's Church in Edenton, removed his remains and placed them in the cemetery there.
Augustus Holley obtained possession of Ball Gra in 1855, and it was left in the will to Mary Isabel Woodley who sold it to Dr. Wiliam Capehart who left it to his daughter Clara C. Harney. Mr. Steve Askew purchased it from the Harneys and left it to its present oweners, the Cooper Brothers.
The Bertie Chronicle. Vol 1 No 2 Oct 1953. Used with permission from Harry Thompson
The Batts residence was located at the mouth of the Almon Creek at what is now "Avoca". The authority for this location is found in Comberford Map of 1657, which designates that spot as "Batts House". George Fox, the Quaker evangelist, in his famous journal mentions visiting in 1672 the home of Capt Nathaniel Batts whom he termed a "rude and desperate" man and who "had been Governor of Roa-noke".
Whether Batts was a self appointed governor ot bore the authority of the crown is not known, however, in one North Carolina history he is designated as the "first Governor of North Carolina". Little is actually known about Batts--he died intestate by 1679 and his widow married one Joseph Chew.   More about Nathaniel Batts
The first known owner of the Hermitage property was Thomas Brownrigg, a merchant of Chowan County. In 1777 Brownrigg deeded to his sister, Sarah Brown, 925 acres on the west bank of the Chowan River with all "houses, outhouses, edifices, building, yards, gardens, orchards. [Thos. Browning to Sarah Brown. Book R/421. 14 November 1777]
Possibly the Georgian coastal cottage forming the rear wing of the present house was one of the buildings on the property Sarah received from her brother.
The house and land remained in the Brown family until 1802 when Joseph A. Brown sold 764 acrs on the West side of the Chowan River to George Reed, a planter of perquimans County for 3,890 silver dollars.
[Joseph A. Brown to George Reed, 9 March 1902. Bk S/523]
Reed was a prosperous planter who appears to have first established the Hermatiage fishery on the Chowan River. At his death in 1809, Reed left his wife, Mary, the "plantation whereon I now live and 1/3 interest in the fishery;" A fishery was connected with the Hermitage Plantation until the 1930s.
[George Reed Will. 22 May 1809, probated Nov 1809, Bertie County. Book F pg 122]
Household good mentioned in Reed's will included three beds, a buffet with china and crockery, a set of china with a large bowl, a sideboard, two dining tables, a looking glass, one dozen setting chairs, a loom, and two pairs of andirons; the will also mentioned a plantation on Durant's Neck, a house and lot in the Bertie County village of Colerain, and ten slaves.
Reed's son, James, lived on the property and possibly built the Federal section of the house before he sold the property. In 1833 James Reed sold "all the land whereon I now live comprising the dwelling house tract...on Chowan River..containing 1,050 acreas...with all manners of improvements unto the said land and fishery" to Dr. Alexander Wood Meband.
[Bertie Co. Deed Book DD pg 70. August 1833. James Reed to Alex. W. Mebane]
Dr. Meband (1800-1947) was a native of Orange County, N.C. who was educated in Philadelphia. Mebane apparently settled in Bertie County after his marriage to Mary Howe, "a lady of ine estate" and a local resident. Dr. Mebane represented Bertie County in the House of Commons from 1829-1831, and served in the state Senate from 1833-1835. According to one source, Dr. Mebane "settled in Bertie County on the Chowan River, where he became one of the successful and enterprising men of that section. He was a man of unblemished reputation, faithful to every duty, active and energetic in every good work and enterprise.
Possibly Dr. Mebane was responsible for the Greek Revival changes to the house. At the doctor's death in 1847, [will Bk G pg 413] the Hermitage was inherited by his wife, Mary; after her marriage to James Raynor, the couple resided at the Hermitage until Mrs. Raynor's death in 1855.
The Hermitage was inherited by Mrs. Raynor's daughter, Mary Mebane, with the instructions that at her 21st birthday, the property would revert to her brothers William A. Mebane, Alexander W. Mebane, and John T. Mebane.[Will of Mary Raynor, 20 Oct 1854, Book H pg 20]
Mary Mebane may have resided at the Hermitage as a minor and after her marriage to John Pool. In 1867 she deeded the Hermitage property to her brother, Dr. Alexander Wood Mebane of nearby Edenton. [Bertie Deed Bk NN pg 468]
Three years later Dr. Mebane sold the property to Augustus Holley (1810-1882), one of the wealthiest men in Bertie County.[Bertie Deed Bk NN pg 508]
According to local tradition, Holley used the Hermitage as his summer residence, spending the winters at one of his several neighboring plantations. At his death in 1882, Holley left his wife, Sally Jernigan Holley, the Hermitage Plantation and fishery, along with his Mt. Gould plantation, Askew Plantation, Hills Landing Plantation, Gaskins Place, Bandon Plantation in Chowan Co, and two fisheries on the Chowan River. [Bertie will book I pg 147]
The Hermitage provides a good example of the once-common practice of expanding a house to suit the changing needs of its owners. The Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival periods are well represented in the simple but substantial woodwork of the house. The side hall plan Georgian coastal cottage and the center hall plan Federal and Greek Revival addition also represent two common regional house types, although the handsomely detailed and spacious staircase of the addition is a relatively rare feature in Bertie County architecture of the Federal period.
Above Material from Eastern Archives Branch of N. C. Divison of Archives and History.
Named for Andrew Jackson's home in Tennessee. There is a recorded deed that
Mary and John Poole sold 1450 acres to A. Wood Mebane. The old Mebane
Cemetery with its marble monuments are across the present road from the home.
The Mebanes sold Hermitage to Augustus Holley in 1869. The old mansion
where Augustus Holley lived is still standing but most of its beauty was
destroyed. It has a large basement in the rear, two stairways. Only one
beautiful old mantle remains. The paneling, and the double front potrico has
been removed. Two large magnolias cover the front yard. All together it
speaks of a gracious past. Augustus' wife Martha died 10 years before he
did. After her death he married Mrs. Sallie D. Jernigan, a widow with two
children. Mr. Holley left his second wife the Hermitage Plantation. At her
death her children inherited the plantation. It was later sold to Dr. Evans
and Frank Gilliam. In 1929 W.R. Lawrence and Lallie Farless bought it. It
is now owned by Mrs. Lawrence and Mrs. Farless."
(Contributed by Sally [email protected])
John Perry was a descendant of the Perry family of Devon, England, with his ancestor, Phillip Perry of ye Whitemarsh, coming from Glasgow, Scotland to Virginia in the early 1600s. According to Perry family documents, tobacco and cotton and rice were all grown at Perrytown. These products were eventually loaded on ships bound for the Perrys warehouses located at Chester Key (Quay) in London, England, as well as in Glasgow, Scotland and Cork, Ireland. The Perrys shipping/merchant firm was the world's largest exporter of tobacco from the American Colonies during the 1690s to the 1730s. While John Perry was living at Perrytown in Bertie County, his cousin Micajah Perry was elected the Lord Mayor of London for one term during the 1730s. The Perrys were close to other shipping/merchant/sea-captain families in America that had come over with the Perrys or had been associated with the Perrys in Great Britain, including the Arnolds, the Ballards, the Bennetts, the Bridgers, the Burwells, the Byrds, the Carters, the Hills, the Hutchinsons, the Jeffreys, the Lanes, the Morgans, the Robinsons, and the Warrens.
Perrytown was owned by the Perry family from the 1720s until the late 1700s/early 1800s, when the land was subdivided and ownership was passed to Perry family descendants. Some of these descendants included the Stones and Robinsons, as well as Perrys. Perrytown, located on the west side of Chowan River in northeast Bertie County, included land holdings around Herring Creek and Eastermost Swamp, and bounded properties owned by Cullen Pollick, Benjamin Stone, Yeats, Mizzell, Pritchard, Hendry, and Campbell. At one time Perrytown Plantation contained several thousand acres. (Perrytown info Contributed by: [email protected] Zane Perry)
Callum had inherited the property in 1816 upon the death of his father Willis Callum; Willis Callum had served as the guardian of Perry Cotten Tyler upon the death of Tyler's father in 1788. Callum had owned the property since 1754, and it is thought the Callum house stood directly behind the present house built by Perry Cotten Tyler.[Wm Roberson to Willis Callum 20 Oct 1754 Deed BK H p. 168]
Family tradition maintains that a Mr. Bazemore ws the carpenter who built Oaklana.
Perry Cotton Tyler was the son of Moses and Helen Cotton Tyler of Hertford County. He was first married to Elizabeth Sutton Harrell and at her death to Celia Creecy Rice Raby. With his children by both wives, step-children and in-laws, Tyler maintained a large household; at the time of the 1850 census eleven people were living in the house.
Tyler was a prosperous planter in a county that supported a large planter class based on cotton and corn production. The 1850 census recorded Tyler's ownership of 3,000 acres of land valued at $9,000 on which his 34 slaves raised 5,500 bushels of corn and 4 bales of ginned cotton. In 1860 Tyler owned 2,400 acres of land worth $35,000 on which his 35 slaves produced 6,000 bushels of corn and 489 bales of ginned cotton. Hogs were also raised in large numbers at Oaklana for sale at the Petersburg, VA market.
Perry Cotten Tyler died in 1866, leaving the Oaklana property as a life estate to his widow and at her death, which would occur in 1892, to his youngest child, John Edward Tyler (1850-1930). John E. Tyler was educated at a preparatory school at Franklinton, NC, before the Civil War and was a student at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He married Martha Adelia Capehart in 1873, and they spent their married life at Oaklana where they reared 5 children. In addition to his farming interests, Mr. Tyler, a scholar of Latin and Greek, taught at the Roxobel Academy. He was a published poet and auther; after his death a volume of his poems was privately printed entitled Bertie at Gettysburg and other poems. Mr. Tyler also obtained patents on his numerous inventions involving farm equipment, ordnance, and mechanical tools. Known for his legal expertise, Mr. Tyler served as a judge of the Inferior Court of Bertie County for many years.
[John E. Tyler, II, "History of Oaklana and Its Residents", 2-3, unpublished typescript in the possession of John E. Tyler, II, Toxobel. This 34 page documented history is the result of Mr. Tyler's personal research, recollections from his childhood, and interviews with older relatives. Copy in the Oaklana file, Survey and Planning Branch, Division of Archives and History, Raleigh]
Information provided by Eastern NC Archives office located in Greenville, NC.
The original first floor rooms are used as a living room and dining room. The rooms of the reconstructed "lean-tp" consist of a bedroom, kitchen and bath. In the living room is a handsome paneled mantel, which dates from 1801. This, plus three doors of the same period, came from an early Cooper home in Bertie County. From the living room a stair leads up to the two "under the eaves" rooms above. The first four steps of this stair project into one corner of this main room.
The main room is entered from the front door. The room has a three foot high pine wainscot; the walls and ceilings are plastered. From this room there is an entrance into the smaller room which is entirely paneled above the wainscoting, including the ceiling. Both rooms have fireplaces and rear exit doors.
The house, furnished as an overseer's home of th eperiod (circa 1800), blends well into the plantation scene. Many of the furnishings are of local and regional origin. A Chippendale, walnut, drop-leaf talbe and a set of six country, painted, ladderback chairs of the late 18th century add a note of charm to the paneled dining room.
During the early life of the house, the hooded entrance was replaced by a lean-to-porch which extended across the entire front, supported by four posts to which was attached a protective rail. Contributed by Tim Hall, Hope Plantation from materials written by John E. Tyler
The two wings were added in 1811, that date being inscribed on the chimney of the east wing. The house is of the Federal style which was popular after the the American Revolution. A beautifully porportioned example of this archetecture is the "Simple House" in Williamsburg, VA. A much more grandiose example is "Homewood" in Baltimore, the home of Charles Carroll, "the signer's",son.
Woodbourne contains some significant features such as the enclosed staircase, heart pine wainscoat and ornate ceiling plaster, (which has long since fallen). The layout is unusual in that the entrance hall is turned sideways rather than running from front to back. Woodbourne is owned and occupied by Thomas Figuers Norfleet, Jr., the great-great grandson of the builder.
After restoration 2009
Molly Urquhart [email protected]
The Rosefield Plantation was owned by William Gray, grandson of the William Gray who gave the site for the Town of Windsor. The frame house is one of the few 18th c. houses in the region whose builder is documented. It began as a small house: 3-bay section to the east, 2 storied with a single room and a passage on each floor, finished in simple Georgian style. It was built by Gilbert Leigh, who in 1786 contracted with Stevens Gray to build the 28 x 18 foot house "to be done in a good workmanlike manner what belongs to a carpenter and Joiner." Leigh, a master builder active in Edenton and the Albemarle area, may also have executed the 2-story, 2-bay addition a few years later. The house has grown with subsequent generations of the Gray family. The front porch and a 2-story rear ell were added in 1855.
It was the birthplace of William Blount(1749-1800). Blount was born while his mother was visiting his grandfather, John Gray. A family cemetery and outbuildings remain. (Contributed by Molly Urquhart)
As originally built in 1836 by John Watson, Jr.(1765-1836), a planter and long-time Justice of Peace, the house was a two-story, side-hall plan dwelling with simple vernacular Federal trim. His son, Thomas C. Watson, expanded it (between 1838-1863)to a two-story addition with Greek Revival trim was made to form a center-hall plan two rooms deep. The kitchen and the dairy, located to the rear of the house, are the only remaining outbuildings.
The land on which Elmwood stands was originally patented by Martin Gardner in 1716/17. The land was in the possession of John Watson, Sr. by 1773 when he conveyed 340 acres to his son, John Watson, Jr. [Bertie Co Deed Bk M pg 47. John Watson,Sr. to John Watson, Jr. 5 Sept 1773]. Watson, Jr. was a respected citize of the county, and served as justice of the peace for several years. The original section of the house, with a side-hall plan and Federal trim, was probably built by John Watson, Jr., before his death in 1836. At Watson's death, the plantation was inherited by his son, Thoms C. Watson. [Deed Bk MM p. 580. Thomas C. Watson to George L. Mardre, 26 Dec 1863]. Thomas C. Watson (born ca 1814) presumably built the Greek Revival addition to the house before he sold the property in 1863.
Thomas C. Watson was a planter of moderate assets. At the time of the 1850 census, when he was 36 years old, he owned 20 slaves, 788 acres of land, 200 acres being "improved", valued at $3152.00, livestock valued at $565, and his plantation produced that year 700 bushels of corn, 350 bushels of oats, 300 bushels of sweet potatoes, 150 bushels of peas, and 100 lbs of wool. [1850 Census, Population Schedule, 67; Slave Schedule, 563; Agricultural Schedule 269. Microfilm of National Archives manuscript copy, Joyner Library, East Carolina University.]
In 1862 Watson paid taxes on 780 acres of land valued at $3,20, 46 slvaes valued at $14,700.00, dividends worth $139.00 from the Bank of North Carolina, plate and jewelry woruth $125,00, a gold watch valued at $40.00, a "pleasure vehicle" worth $150, and household furniture including a piano worth $500.00.
In 1863 Watson sold 720 acres, including the "plantation and residence lately in the use and occupance of the said Thomas C. Watson," to George L. Mardre of Windsor for $12,000.00. At the time of the 1850 census, Mardre was 22 years old and a small farmer worth $127.00; by the 1860 Census he owned 500 acres of land vaulted at $800 and livestock worth $375. In 1862 Mardre paid taxes on two lots in Windsor valued at $1,000 and on 1120 acres of land worth $1,450. The Mardre family lived at Elmwood until about 1909 when they moved into Windsor. Elmwood was then used as a tenant dwelling until 1977 when a restoration project was begun.
Elmwood's significance is as a representative example of apropserous plantation home. Althouth the Watson family was wealthy by antebellum North Carolina standards, their home was a simply detailed, but spacious and substantial house. This type of dwelling housed far more southern plantation families than did the grand mansion so ingrained in Southern lore.
Information provided by Eastern NC Archives office located in Greenville, NC.
The Ben Gillam House was on the right side of Hwy #308 between Windsor
and Lewiston-Woodville. The famous artist Francis Speight painted it,
and in my opinion, it was his best work. Tom Gillam III (210 E. Gray
Street) of Windsor (27983) has the painting today, and may be able to
send you a photo.
The house was given to Historic Hope Foundation, because the owners were going to burn it up. Historic Hope took the house down and used the materials to restore Gov. David Stone's mansion. Thus, a portion still lives today. The structure was in Snakebite Community.
The Speight-Sharrock house is located on Windsor-Lewiston Rod near Windsor.
It was built about 1775 and is the bloved home place of Francis Speight, eminent artist,
of Bertie County. Mr. Speight said, "The Speight-Sharrock house was built according to
my guess around 1775-1800 and added to around 1810-1830. The older part is that part
which faces the road. It was a story and a jump, but in 1907 my father made a center ahll,
lengthened the east room and ran it up to two stories. The old part of the house had
chimney on each end and the original mantles and wainscotting are still in the house.
My father, Rev. Thomas T. Speight, moved from Gates County when he married my mother around 1886. My mother was raised here. Her father bought the place around 1856 from Sheriff John Freeman. My opinion is that he moved there from Gates or Hertford County when he married a daughter of Charles King, Senior who probably built the house. When I was a small boy there were at least 75 oak trees in the yard. Francis Speight, Nov 29, 1945
The Devereaux Plantation is exactly 2.25 miles above Hill's ferry on the road towards Woodville-- a little further east of Hwy 11 Bridge. Devereux burned about ten years ago.
There is a book called Plantation Sketches written by Margaret Devereux which describes plantation life when she first came there as young bride. A very lovely book with moving memoirs of "the way it was." (out of print)
See an old map of the area on the Woodville home page. Devereux plantation, though not shown, would be down Weeping Mary Road (River Road). North Carolina History and Fictional Digital Library has this entire book “Plantation Sketches”available through the ECU digital library to read online anytime and it is free of charge! Bertie County is highlighted in red on the NC map located in the upper right hand corner of this page ~ CLICK on it to view a current county map! "Plantation Sketches"
Thomas Pollock III, married Eunice Edwards (daughter of Jonathan Edwards, the New England preacher). They had a daughter, Frances, who married John Devereaux who was Irish. She inherited Runiroi and other plantation lands since her brothers all died young and without issue.
Eunice Edwards Pollock, after being widowed, made New Bern home and married Robert Hunt. They had a daughter, Eunice Hunt who married John Fanning Burgwyn from Wilmington, NC area. Eunice inherited some of her mother's estate (which also happend to be some of the Pollock lands) Eunice and John Fanning Burgwyn had a son Henry King Burgwyn who owned Thornbury Plantation in Northampton County.
Southern Historical Collection. Chapel Hill contains Letters between half-sisters Margaret Lane Mordecai,
later Mrs. John Devereux, and Ellen Mordecai (1820-1916), later
Mrs. Samuel Fox Mordecai, daughters of Moses Mordecai of Raleigh,
N.C., and scattered letters from other family members.
Margaret's and Ellen's letters were written while they were
attending schools in Philadelphia, Pa., and Petersburg, Va., and
after their respective marriages. After her marriage, Margaret
Mordecai Devereux split her time between her husband's Bertie
County, N.C., plantation, Runiroi, and her family home in
Raleigh, N.C. Ellen and her two children lived in Raleigh after
her husband's death in 1854. Letters relate to experiences at
school in Philadelphia, books the sisters were reading, social
life and daily activities at Runiroi, and other family matters
Margaret Mordecai Devereux & Ellen Mordecai Letters
The Devereux' (John and Margaret) moved here around
1850, and they used it for their winter home. Runiroi was like a small
village with many out buildings. In early years a man powered ship took
crops grown by the Devereux family to Plymouth. In later years a steam
ship took the crops to Norfolk.
Contributed by Molly Urquhart
Mrs. Edith Dunston contributed an ownership chart for the 1979 survey.
Joseph Jordan (born 1756 - d 1816) Nancy Jordan (d. 1829) [wife of Joseph] Joseph Jordan (d. after 1860) [nephew of Joseph - son of Isaac] Lora Ann Swain (Joseph's niece) John Peter Rascoe William W. Rascoe Cora Rascoe Gillam Francis Gillam (Cora's grandson)Previously contributed by Harry Thompson: (See also the JORDAN Family Cemetery) Joseph Jordan (born 1756 - d 1816) Nancy Jordan (d. 1829) [wife of Joseph] Joseph Jordan (d. after 1860) [nephew of Joseph - son of Isaac]
Found in the notes of others, but unproven. Isaac JORDAN left property to son, Joseph JORDAN (Isaac JORDAN had a daughter, Prudence, who married Standly KITTRELL...this could be correct because they had a son named Isaac Jordan Kittrell.)
Since Isaac Jordan, father of Prudence Jordan Kittrell and Joseph Jordan were brothers, it is possible that Isaac is also buried here. They appear to be sons of Joseph Jordan, Sr. Joseph Jordan Sr. died 1776. Isaac Jordan died 1790. Isaac had a son, Joseph who died in 1860.
Standly and Prudence Kittrell owned property at Speller's Ferry, which is
not far from the Jordan house and location of this cemetery. Prudence and
the children sold this property about 1841 as they were living in
Limestone Co, Alabama at that time. It is believe that Standly had died
in the 1830's.
Information provided by Eastern NC Archives office located in Greenville, NC.
This Carolina cottage with wrap-around-porch is associated with the early history of Roxobel, having served as the residence of three physicians who practiced in Roxobel in the 1800s. An 1827 deed records the sale by Benjamin Hempstead to Nathanial Fletcher of "land Hempstead bought of William Bishop and Samuel W. Granberry with all houses, outhouses, waters, water courses, underwoods, orchards, gardens, profits". The main part of the house was probably built as early as 1800. Purchased by Augustus Lambertson in 1847, the house was occupied by his family and heirs until it was sold in January 1985. The purchasers began the restoration then. Removal of a corner closet revealed marbelized baseboards and original paint. Wainscoting in the hall and prlor are original to the house as are the wide floor boards of heart pine, hand blown glass panes, and beam measuring 30 to 36 feet.
Laney Layton has done a number of sketches of historic sites in Bertie County. They are available framed or in prints from Windsor Chamber of Commerce
Memories of Horse races at Avoca
Avoca is Indian for "Meeting of the waters." Basically it is the land between Black Walnut Swamp and the mouth of Salmon Creek which is at the juncture of Salmon Creek, Chowan River, and the Albemarle Sound.
Avoca was in its earlier days owned by Seth Sothel, N.C. Governor. When he died it passed to a "kinsman Ardenne". At Ardenne's death it passed to his widow, and when she married the Tory Duckenfield, it passed into that name. Sir William Duckenfield and/or his mother, Mrs. Person lived there until her death circa 1780's.
The land 36,000 acres was sold as tory confiscated lands, and the money thus derived was used to open the University of North Carolina. Both Sothell and Duckenfield had trading posts on the mouth of Salmon Creek at Avoca prior to 1690.
Located in Merry Hill, the old Avoca Plantation was owned by the Cullen Capehart family for many years. His son, George Washington Cullen, built the nearby Scotch Hall. Avoca came from the latin word, "where separate waters come together". The Dr. W. R. Capehart is buried there in the family cemetery. He was the Assistant Surgeon General in the Civil War (Confederate).
Although George and his father, Cullen, maintained separate households, it is believed that they worked their extensive plantations in partnership. At the time of the 1850 Census, Cullen Capehart owned 4,965 acres of land valued at $48,800 on which his 203 slaves raised 8,500 bushels of corn, 200 bales of ginned cotton, and livestock worth $4,000.
In 1860 Cullen's holdings had increased to 8,000 acres valued at $100,000 on which his 258 slaves produced 17,000 bushels of corn, 3000 bushels of peas; 425 bales of ginned cotton, and livestock worth $8,500.
In addition to the plantation, the Capeharts also operated a fishery off Batchelors Bay in the Albemarle Sound.[Laura Harrel, "Capehart's Fishery Era Recalled at Spring Historical Meeting" [The Chronicle of the Bertie County Historical Association XVII (Apring, 1969) 1-2.
There are many old pecan tree's that were planted in 1800's that are still there.
The old church on Avoca Plantation was Methodist or Episcopalian. The land was donated by a Capehart and the Capehart family attended Church there for years at the beginning.
There was also a Capehart's School House there at one time. [The Capeharts Baptist Church, was organized in 1824, initially as Capehart's Meeting House.]
Sally Koestler's homepage has a photo of Scotch Hall and a drawing of Avoca.
Laney Layton has done a number of sketches of historic sites in Bertie County. They are available framed or in prints from Windsor Chamber of Commerce
William Maule called the land Scotch Hall about 1738. He was a member of the Colonial Assembly and the Surveyor-general for Colonial Governer Charles Eden. A portion of Maule's house stand southeast of the present house. Mr. Maule left his wife the plantation, called Scots Hall, at his death in 1726. [Grimes. NC Wills and Inventories p. 303]. The property was next owned by James Lockhart (1699-1753); it is thought Lockhart built the small Flemish bond brick house which stood into the 20th century in the front yard of the present Scotch Hall.[Marilu Burch Smallwood.Some Colonial and Revolutionary Families of North Carolina, Vol II pp 398-99.]
The house was held by various other families until 1811, when Cullen Capehart purchased it and other land. [Deed Book V, p 545. William H. Green to Cullen Capehart, 6 Aug 1811.]
Scotch Hall is dramatically situated on a bluff overlooking Batchelors Bay and the Albemarle Sound. It stands in a large yard with many shade trees and a boxwood alley leading from the house to the water. The house is a large 2 1/2 story frame structure---5 bays wide and 4 deep, beneath a gable roof. The plan of the house was a center hall flanked on either side by two rooms, but the hall is offset to the east allowing the rooms on the west to be slightly larger than the other two rooms.
According to family traition, George Washington Capehart made a visit to Louisiana to see hiw Martin and Pugh relatives, while the house was being built. Upon his return, he found that the workmen had placed the two large doors on hinges rather than on tracks to slide between the walls. The doors were so large that in order to open or close them, the dining table could not be kept in the center of the room. Consequently, an open frame was built on either side of the doorway in the dining room; the doors now slide into this frame. [Historic Architecture Research measured drawings of the house by John Hitch may be found at the School of Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh]
On George Capeharts' (son of Cullen Capehart) golden wedding anniversary in 1883, all the family and children gathered. The son wrote with a diamond ring the names of his parents, and his sisters on a pane of glass in the front room windowpane. Later generations have added their names, and they remain visible today.
The unbroken Capehart lineage is proven by Jefferson Davis' letter to Sue Martin Capehart which hung by the window.
Sue Capehart, daughter, was especially interested in the War. She wrote a letter to a woman whose husband was the doctor of Jefferson Davis, while he was confined to Ft. Monroe. She asked the woman for a relic from Jefferson Davis by which to remember him. In reply to her letter, Davis wrote a personal note.
Fortress Monroe, Virginia October 26, 1866 My dear friend, Please accept my cordial best wishes and earnest prayer for your welfare and happiness. Jefferson Davis
Scotch Hall was also known for the peacocks that paraded along the lawn of an afternoon.
Although George and his father, Cullen, maintained separate households, it is believed that they worked their extensive plantations in partnership.
The 1850 Census shows George Washington Capehart as owning 421 acres valued at $15,000 on which his 29 slaves raised 150 bushels of corn, 500 bushels of peas, 400 bushels of sweet potatoes, and livestock worth $1,450. A decade later, he possessed 1,200 acres of land, valuted at $16,600 and 39 slaves, but raised only livestock worth $2,700. According to county tax records, in 1862 George Washington Capehart paid taxes on 1,302 acres valued at $11,580, 39 slaves orth $13,309, a pleasure vehicle valued at $400 and furniture worth $400.
Scotch Hall formed the setting of the 1851 humorous novel, Bertie:Life in the Old Field, written by George Higby Throop,(Capt Gergory Seaworthy) a former tutor of the Capehart children. Mr. Throop had been hired in late 1840 as a tutor for the Capehart children at Scotch Hall. Returning north after his stay there, he recorded his experiences in this autobiographical novel published under the pseudonym Capt. Gregory Seaworth. In his novel, Throop gives descriptions of not only the house, but also the activities of its inhabitant.
During the Civil War, the Capeharts left the house in the care of a local family, the Smith, in order to escape from Union Army activities in the Albemarle Sound area; Union troops visited the plantation several times during the war. [Capehart Interview: letters written between the Smiths and the Capeharts documenting this are available on microfilm from Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.]Information provided by Eastern NC Archives office located in Greenville, NC. "Elizabeth Jacocks Capehart talked of the Civil War in her interview at the time of the article published in The News and Observer. This area was the scene of one of the big naval battles during the war and the stories are many. Her favorite concerns the period when George Washington Capehart temporarily moved his wife and daughters to safer quarters. "He left a caretaker," she said. "One morning, there was a knock at the door. She peeked out. Yankees were lined up around the picket fence. They were ready to burn the place. But she told them she had a sick child, and he couldn't be moved. And the Yankees left." There are more stories, including one about the time the Yankees came back and burned the fish house.....In this article is a picture of the window and a picture of the portrait of George Washington Capehart (builder of the country Georgian residence) with his great grandson George Washington Capehart in the foreground showing the resemblance. [October 30, 1966, newspaper, The News and Observer, Raleigh, NC]
Sally Koestler's homepage has a photo of Scotch Hall and a drawing of Avoca.
Apple Tree Plantation
Apple Tree Plantation was in Village Swamp about a mile south of Woodville.
Thomas Barker, a very influential farmer who is buried at Hayes
Plantation in Edenton, built a home at "Apple Tree" there [Apple Tree Swamp
near Village Gate or Village Swamp near bridge over Hwy 11] in 1742, and married
Pherebee Savage, ggrandaughter of Thomas Savage and
formerly married to
Francis Pugh III. Their daughter, Betsy,was courted by Thomas Jefferson! (Holley Mack Bell has written
extensively about Thomas Savage in the Bertie Ledger[newspaper])
250th Anniversary Edition - Bertie Ledger - Sept 1972. Used with permission of Harry Thompson
The Cotton House is located between Lewiston and Kelford. This colonial house was built of hard pine, painted yellow with green blinds and large colonial posts on the porch. It had eight rooms, four upstairs and four downstairs, four large halls and two porches. Under the house was a cellar where supplies were kept.
The Cottons’ land extended from gravel pit lane to the house of a lady named Mrs. Johnnie Jordan. At that time the main highway was a dirt road.
Lewis Cotton’s slaves lived in little log houses beside the Cotton house. The only slave that was remembered was Ned Cotton, whose last name was taken from his owner.
The Cottons entertained frequently. Letters, mostly invitations, have been found describing these occasions.
At one party, a man was killed while gambling and bloodstains were left on the walls and the floor on an upstairs room. Boards were nailed across the door, preventing anyone from entering the cursed room.
Lewis Cotton’s farm implements consisted of plows made of stone or rock with handles made of wood. Oxen were used to pull the plows.
Cotton’s main crops were cotton and corn; however, he also raised tobacco, peanuts, hogs, chickens and horses.
Cooking for the family was done in a little red log house fifty yards back of the Cotton House.
After Lewis Cotton’s death, one-third of the land was sold and two-thirds rented to tenants. When Cotton’s grandson, Doctors Skinner died, the home and land were sold.
G. A. Parker bought the land. They stayed there for a number of years but later moved away.
Next to move to the Cotton house were Mrs. Ellen Harrell and her daughter, Sadie Harrell, who later married G. C. Vaughan.
Mrs. Vaughan had ten children. After all the children were married, Mr. And Mrs. Vaughan moved away.
Charles Griffin bought the land from the Vaughans and now the Griffin brothers own the land.
Mr. And Mrs. Willie Basnight rented the farm for seven years. They moved in 1957 and were the last people to live in the house.
The house has been neglected for 15 years. The porches and parts of the house are falling in, windows have been broken, and grass has over grown the place, but everyone still remembers the old colonial house that has been standing for so long.
[Postscript: House no longer exists. Its location was where the parking lot of Perdue Chicken Company is today-2000]
Remembrances by Pete Austin [email protected]
You can find the property if you travel approximately 2-1/2 mile from Lewiston and/or Kelford going in each direction toward either of these towns you would find was the Cotton Place Plantation. This once stately house was built here at in this location and until it was demolished sometimes around the late 1950's o 60's. It was situated in the curve of the road in late 1700's or early 1800's by the Cotton family who at that time owned a large plantation in the area. However if you would look to your left while traveling from the south you will see the present Purdue Processing Plant and their large paved parking lot that now occupies this same spot where the Cotton House once stood.
As a practical joke on Jack Butler (Williamston's High School Band Director and his wife Emily who was the business teacher at WHS )I briefly stopped at the then deteriorating Cotton House and announced we had arrived at my parents home who had invited the four of us for a Sunday meal and visit. At that time in 1951 the structure was in very bad shape with window blinds hanging sideways, and paint pealing from the structure and weeds knee high throughout the front yard. After I had pulled into the drive way at front of the house, I stopped the cars engine and announced that had arrived. There was No comment from either Jack or Emily but the expression on there face showed real disappointment and concern. The truth was not revealed until Dot and I broke out laughing and could not keep it a secrete any longer. The day had been planned so that we could spend it with my mother and father and have dinner (noon meal) at their house in Kelford. At that time the Butlers had become friends with my folks while lived in an apartment in the Williamston teacherage at the same time the Dot and I stayed there. It was a big prank to play on them but we had lots of laughs about the event many years later. At that time a tenant family lived in the Cotton Place House but were not at home at the time. Good thing because it would have been difficult to explain my new adopted next of kin.
Bryan Family Edward Bryan came over from England on the "Bona Nova", in 1620. A blank period between 1624 and about 1665, when an Edward Bryan (possibly a son, or maybe a grandson of the first Edward), married Christian Council, d/o Hodges Council and Lucy Hardy. In the meantime, the first Edward Bryan, married a daughter of John Needham, one of the "servants" of the famous Sanbys (sp), treasurer of the Colony. Edward Bryan who married Christian Council was either a son or grandson of Edward the first and his wife, Miss Needham. Edward Bryan married Christian Council....Issue: Needham Bryan, died young William, had sons Needham, John, William Richard John, had sons Edward and William Lewis, had issue: Simon, Edward, Elizabeth and Ann Hardy Descendents of William, s/o Edward Bryan and Christian Council: Needham Bryan, b ca 1690, married Annie Rambeau Nov 11, 1711, settled in Snowfield, Bertie Co., NC. Their issue Rachel, married William Whitfield, 1741, William, married Elizabeth Smith, 1744 Needham married Nancy Smith Feraby, married Jacob Jernigan Hardy Bryan married Mrs. Sarah (Bonner) Mosely, widow of John Mosley (Primary documents to prove the above are needed)
The Garrett-White house was probably constructed around 1780 by Jesse Garrett, a prosperous farmer of Bertie County. At the time of the 1790 census, Garrett was the head of a ten-member household and owner of twenty slaves. When he died in 1797, Garrett seems to have left his family in comfortable circumstances. Garrett's will mentioined sixteen slaves by name and instructed his executors to provide for the education of his children. He left his wife "my manor plantation and my grist mill with 400 acres of adjoining land.....whereon I now live," with the provision that it would eventually belong to his son Jesse. (Bertie Co. Will Bk E pg 18. 13 Oct 1796. May Ct 1797)
Garrett's grist mill appears to have been located on Barbecue Swamp, which formed the western boundary of his land. (east of Powellsville)
The younger Jesse Garrett seems to have been a prosperous farmer and small slaveholder as in the 1800 census he is shown owning 15 slaves; in 1810 he owned 11 slaveas and in 1830 he owned 10 slaves. Jesse Garrett had died by Nov, 1841 when the Bertie Co Court ordered his property of 940 acres divided among his heirs. Garrett's son, Richard drew lot No 2 of the land divisions containing 170 acres and the house and millpond on Barbecue Swamp.
In 1848 Richard Garrett sold the 170 acres and house to Willie D. Hays. Willie D. Hays then sold the same 170 acres and house to Jacob White in March of 1849. White immediately took up residence on the property as in Sept 1849, he sold back to Hays a piece of land "in the northwest corner of the Garden where I, the said White now reside, it being the land I purchased of the said W.D. Hays containing one hundred square yards including the Grave yard situated in said Garden.
Jacob White later purchased two other parcels of land adjoining his property from Garrett heirs. In 1854 White deeded one acre of his land to the trustees of the Church of Christ at Philadelphia"....this is now known as Mars Hill Baptist Church at Trap.
At the time of the 1850 census, White's 170 acres were valued at $700, and he produced 425 bushels of corn, 100 bushels of sweet potatoes, and 50 pounds of wool on his farm. In the 1860 census White's real estate was valued at $684, and his personal estate at $1,200. Listed in White's household was 70 year old Elizabeth White, possibly his mother; her personal estate worth $9,000 probably represented the value of her 15 slaves. On the map of Bertie County made in 1863 by a Confederate Army engineer, the house is identified as the home of "Mrs. White.".
Jacob White resided in the house until his death in 1872 when his property was divided among his eight children. His son, Joseph J. White, received a 41 acres tract which included the house. Joseph J. White eventually purchased the shares of his brothers, adding 173 acres to his property. After the death of Joseph J. White and his wife, their son, Mayburn Hill White received the farm and house, residing in it until his death. His widow was the occupant in 1979.
The Garrett-White house is a late-Georgian structure, relatively rare in Bertie County, where Federal and Greek Revival period buildings predominated. It is presently being restored (1999). Information provided by Eastern NC Archives office located in Greenville, NC.
Luke Mizell, (b 1683-d 1756), deeded land in 1737 to Mary Mizell, his daughter, and Edward Collins, her husband. It is wonderful that the house has been kept in such good condition, even if not by a family member. "Thunderbolt Plantation" is most likely the original gift even though Luke deeded them additional land. One of the Collin's sons deeded the property later and the deed contained provisions for the gravesite of his mother, Mary Collins.
There was also a landing there known as Thunderbolt Landing and later,
during the Civil War as Mizelle's.
Contributed by: [email protected] Barbara Parrish
Return to Historic Woodville's Main Page