Updated June 27, 2022
Piedmont Triad Region
- $1.795 million
- 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 6,700 square feet, 0.54 acre
- Price/square foot: $268
- Built in 1909
- Listed March 8, 2022
- Last sale: $625,000, June 2016
- Neighborhood: Westerwood
- Listing: “This is a turnkey business sale with all furnishings, fixtures and equipment included.”
- NRHP nomination: “The dominant exterior feature of the Martin residence is the broad front porch with Tuscan columns and a turned balustrade which carries across the full facade and the forward bays of each side elevation. The centerpiece of the porch — and of the entire house — is the bowed, two-story portico supported by four fluted Ionic columns with large terra cotta capitals. The portico shelters a bowed, second story balcony with a turned balustrade.”
- “A handsome retaining wall of Mt. Airy granite, whose materials match those of the foundation, lines Mendenhall Street in front of the residence. An early photograph of the house does not show this wall, which was probably added during the 1920s when the grade of Mendenhall Street was lowered to meet the newly created Madison (now Friendly) Avenue to the south.”
- “Completed in early 1909, the Harden Thomas Martin House is one of a handful of early Colonial Revival style residences surviving in the city of Greensboro.
- “Designed by Greensboro architect G. Will Armfield, the house features a bowed, two-story, Ionic portico and an exceptionally generous center hall with a grand split-run stair. The house’s interior trim – including a handsome first-floor portal and eight mantels – remains completely intact.
- “The house is the only known residential design of Armfield (1848-1927), a Guilford County native who pursued a successful career as a dry goods merchant before taking up architecture in his late 50’s.
- “The house was built for Harden Thomas Martin (1857-1936) a native of Rockingham County who operated stores in the communities of Ayersville and Reidsville before moving to Greensboro in 1909, where he entered semi-retirement and engaged in small-scale real estate development.”
- The NCSU Architects and Builders directory: “When North Carolina passed an architectural practice act and began the formal registration of architects, G. Will Armfield of Greensboro was granted certificate #1 on May 15, 1915. He was one of a large number of men who were certified based on having already been in practice prior to 1915. The Armfield Family Newsletter stated that his son Joseph joined him in architectural practice, and G. Will Armfield continued in that line of work as late as 1924.
- “Armfield gained a number of substantial commissions, of which the best known is the large, classically inspired Alumni Hall (1914) at the Oak Ridge Institute in the village of Oak Ridge in Guilford County. He also undertook commercial and residential buildings in Greensboro. One of the few that have been identified as standing is the large, Southern Colonial-style residence Harden Thomas Martin House of 1909, built on Mendenhall Street in Greensboro as a retirement residence for Reidsville merchant Martin. The Manufacturers’ Record of July 23, 1908, noted that Armfield was building the house for Martin. Armfield’s blueprints for the house remained with the house and are now in the Special Collections Research Center at NCSU Libraries.”
- Note: County records shows the size of the house as 4,973 square feet, which may not reflect recent work that restored the third floor. They also show the date as 1910.
3550 Middlebrook Drive, Clemmons, Forsyth County
The Philip and Johanna Hoehns (Hanes) House
Blog post — The 1798 Philip and Johanna Hoehns House: In Forsyth County, They Don’t Come Much More Historic Than This
listing expired October 17, 2020; relisted January 6, 2021
listing withdrawn April 11, 2022; relisted April 19, 2022
listing withdrawn June 21, 2022
- $1.65 million (originally $1.95 million)
- 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2,839 square feet, 8.26 acres
- Price/square foot: $581
- Built in 1798 (per NRHP nomination)
- Listed August 12, 2020
- Last sale: $275,000, February 2014
- Note: The house was built by the Hanes family’s first ancestor in Forsyth County.
- NRHP nomination: “In the late 1940s, the interior of the house was remodeled according to plans prepared by Winston-Salem architect William Roy Wallace. When the present owners renovated the house in 2014-2015, they restored some of the original features based on physical evidence, retained some of the 1940s features when there was no evidence of earlier treatments, and made a few changes based on personal taste. … Even with the alterations of the 1940s and 2014-2015, the house still strongly projects the feeling of a substantial and sophisticated dwelling from the turn of the nineteenth century in Forsyth County.”
- The 2014-15 renovation included the construction of a one-story addition behind the house, connected to the original structure by a hallway. “Although large, the one-story frame addition was designed and built to be as sensitive as possible to the historic character of the original house and to have the least impact on it. Among other things, the addition housed a new kitchen and two bathrooms, so that these facilities did not interrupt the original fabric of the house.” (NRHP nomination)
- The property is subject to a historic preservation and conservation covenant held by Preservation North Carolina.
- 5 bedrooms, 5 1/2 bathrooms, 4,400 square feet, 5 acres
- Price/square foot: $135
- Built in 1838
- Listed January 19, 2022
- Last sale: $75,000, December 2021
- Note: The property is under protective easements held by the Historic Preservation Fund of North Carolina.
- Woodside had fallen into serious disrepair by the time it was nominated for the National Register. In the 1990s, it was restored as a bed and breakfast and restaurant, which operated as recently as three years ago.
- The house is about two miles southeast of Milton.
- Listing: “Thomas Day Staircase.” News & Record, April 18, 1995: “Woodside is filled with beautifully executed woodwork attributed to Thomas Day, Milton’s free black craftsman. A fine example of the workmanship is the mahogany staircase railing which ends in a nautilus-shaped swirl.”
- National Register nomination: “Woodside, the home of Caleb Hazard Richmond in northeastern Caswell County, is a splendid … example of Greek Revival residential architecture produced during the county’s ‘Boom Era’ in the middle decades of the 19th century.
- “Standing on its elevated site some 2 miles east of the small town of Milton, Woodside overlooks the surrounding countryside that produced the bright-leaf tobacco which was the mainstay of the county’s economy during that boom period. …
- “The large house was once the seat of a plantation consisting of 350 acres and was probably built in the late 1830s, shortly after Richmond married his second wife, Mary R. Dodson, and within a few years after he had made his first land purchase in the county.
- “Although only 5 of those 350 acres are now associated with the house and only one of the numerous outbuildings which supported the household survives, Woodside remains as a vivid reminder of the prosperity which characterized the county during the period from the late 1830s until the Civil War.”
- “Typical of the substantial houses constructed in the county during the period, Woodside is a large dwelling of simple vernacular form finished with well-executed pattern-book Greek Revival details.
- “The fine interior woodwork, including the distinctive scrolled staircase newel and bowed parlor mantel flanked by niches, is attributed to Thomas Day. Day was a superior craftsman and free black who operated a furniture-making shop in nearby Milton and is credited with creating many of the county’s finest interiors during the ‘Boom Era.’
- “It was at Woodside that the Confederate officer (later general) Dodson Ramseur met, courted and married (1863) Ellen Richmond, daughter of Caleb.” Dodson and the soon-to-be-widowed Ellen were cousins.
- Dodson was from Lincolnton. Although much is made of his connection to the house, he stayed there only briefly during the war, including some months while recovering from wounds. A roadside plaque on the property is devoted to him, put up by the Daughters of the Confederacy and the “Military Order of Stars and Bars.”
- A laudatory article on Dodson in America’s Civil War magazine recounts his “conspicuous gallantry,” “magnetic leadership” and victories in battle but also notes his “unaccountable lapses,” staggering numbers of his troops being “slaughtered,” poor decisions, mistakes, and rashness. He ultimately died as a prisoner of Union generals Sheridan and Custer after after attracting heavy fire as one of the conspicuously few men on horseback during an October 1864 battle in the Shenandoah Valley. His only child, Mary, had been born four days earlier.
- The Caswell County Historical Society relates the sad consequences for his family: “Ellen Ramseur never remarried and wore black mourning clothing for the rest of her life. She remained with her family in Caswell County until she died in 1900 at the age of fifty-nine. Mary Ramseur never married and died at the age of seventy-one in 1935.”
- Curiously, the civil-war magazine article says, one Dodson’s best friends at West Point had been the same George Armstrong Custer, who ultimately took Dodson prisoner and eventually outperformed Dodson as an author of battlefield catastrophe. “Stephen Dodson Ramseur and George Armstrong Custer were just about as unlike as any two cadets who had ever attended the U.S. Military Academy. Custer, nicknamed Fanny by his fellow cadets, was tall, blond and voluble. A poor but popular student, he chafed at the restrictions and rules at West Point.
- “Ramseur, on the other hand, was a small, darkly handsome young man whose natural reserve hid an underlying strength of purpose. While not an outstanding student, he applied himself well enough to finish in the top third of the class, and his leadership skills made him captain of cadets.
- “Deeply religious, he was also a staunch Southerner who, since a Yankee had ruined his father in a business deal, had little use for anyone from the scheming, cold-hearted North. He politely defended states’ rights and the institution of slavery, which he called the very foundation of our existence.
- “Yet the two cadets had become friends, for they did have more than a few things in common. Both were superb athletes, especially on horseback. And although Ramseur was very religious, he was not an insufferable Puritan like some of the New Englanders, and certainly was not too good to enjoy a joke, a drink or a twist of tobacco.
- “In short, he was a boon companion and as such was willing to accept Custer, Merritt [a future Union general and cavalry commander] and a few others from his general dislike of Northerners. Wes Merritt thought him one of the most universally beloved men in the class.”
204 E. Railroad Avenue, Gibsonville, Guilford County
The Francis Marion Smith House
- 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, 3,536 square feet, 1.12 acres (per county)
- Price/square foot: $134
- Built in 1898
- Listed June 9, 2022
- Last sale: $143,500, August 1989
- Note: County records show the square footage as 1,921, which looks way off.
- The property includes a storage building and a gazebo.
- NRHP nomination: “The Francis Marion Smith House, erected in 1898, is the most stylish and impressive residence in Gibsonville surviving from the 1890-1910 period that witnessed the town’s major growth.
- “The two-and-a-half-story frame house combines elements of the Colonial Revival and Queen Anne styles, including an elaborate program of classical trim and turned ornament.
- “It is one of three notable late nineteenth and early twentieth residences associated with the Whitsett Institute, a boarding secondary school and junior college in the Whitsett community near Gibsonville. The three houses (one of which has already been listed in the National Register) are among the finest houses combining Colonial Revival and Queen Anne style elements in eastern Guilford County.
- “Francis Marion Smith [1864-1910] was a farmer, businessman, and civic official in and around Gibsonville. His wife, Lizzie E. Whitsett [1869-1922], taught at the Whitsett Institute both before and after her marriage.”
- Lizzie’s brother was the renowned William Thornton Whitsett, founder of the institute. The 1883 mansion of their father, Joseph Bason Whitsett, is now under contract to be sold; the listed price is $1.3 million. The property, located on U.S. 70 just east of Whitsett, includes 11 acres of land.
- The Smith house remained in the Smith-Whitsett family until 1976. Lizzie bequeathed the house to her sister, Effie Whisett Joyner (1877-1976). After her death, the house was sold for $20,000 to Jerry Nix, who has restored several historic properties in Gibsonville. Nix sold it to the current owners in 1989.
608 Vance Street, Reidsville, Rockingham County
Villa Fortuna, aka The Jennings-Baker House
Jennings-Baker House NRHP
Blog post — Villa Fortuna: An Eclectic 1888 National Register Property in Reidsville, $99,900
listing withdrawn and relisted repeatedly since 2019
contract pending June 26-27, 2020
contract pending November 7 to December 4, 2021
listing withdrawn January 29, 2022
relisted June 27, 2022
- $200,000 (previously as low as $99,900)
- 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 2,188 square feet, 0.5 acre
- Price/square foot: $91
- Built in the late 1880s, per NRHP nomination
- Listed February 26, 2019
- Last sale: $25,000, June 2011
- Note: For sale by owner
- Listing: “the perfect blend of unpretentious elegance and a rustic urban farm.”
- “This house is for someone with vision, passion and some skills would be handy.”
- “The 30’x32, steel frame greenhouse has a block base. There is a 8’x12′ barn used for my goats. It is Amish made with a metal roof and 2 lofts. The woodshed is 3′ deep x 13′ long. There is an addition not included in the square footage. It includes a sun room, a pantry, and mud room off the driveway.”
- Answering the most obvious question: “YES there is a urinal on the wall in the purple bedroom. The last owner put it there it is no longer hooked up.”
- Previous listing: “The facing came off the back of the second story and squirrels got in and damaged the wiring in the ceiling of the purple bed room. All 22 windows need to be replaced [Editor’s note: or, better yet, repaired].”
- NRHP nomination (1986): “… a distinctive example of a vernacular use of elements of the Gothic Revival and Italianate styles of architecture popular in the mid nineteenth century.”
- The first owner and probable builder of the house was William G. Jennings, a brick manufacturer.
- “Only six brick houses dating from the years prior to 1890 are known to survive in the city, and it is unlikely that any substantial number more were built. Of these six, five can be described as in the Italianate style or exhibiting Italianate influence. … The Jennings-Baker House is a much more vernacular and personal expression of Victorian tastes, as it combines elements of several styles. The triangular patterned brickwork above windows and doors on the facade have a vaguely Gothic flavor, while the segmental arch openings on the side and rear elevations and in the ell … are typical of masonry construction of the period. The facade’s projecting bays and porch suggest the influence of architecture predominantly found at military institutions, while the corbel table on the facade and the parapeted side elevations of the main block are reminiscent of commercial architecture in the late nineteenth century.”
- “This combination of elements strengthens the possibility that Jennings may have intended his house as a sort of advertisement for what was then a young enterprise, exhibiting the products of his brick yard and demonstrating the masonry skills of his workers.”
- If you’re a traveler from the East, the lodge meets next door.
- 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1,593 square feet (per county), 6 acres
- Price/square foot: $91
- Built in 1885
- Listed June 10, 2022
- Last sale: $82,500, July 2019. Before that, the property had been in the Shutt family since before the houses were built.
- Note: The original one-and-a-half story timber frame house was built in 1885; the larger three-bay-wide weatherboard story-and-a-half house was added in 1905. They’re connected by a breezeway, providing air circulation throughout the house.
- National Register nomination: “The J.E.B. Shutt House and outbuilding complex is an intact reminder of the emergence of a nineteenth- century, middle-class, subsistance-farm family who forged a successful business through inherent skills, careful management, and prosperous ventures. …
- “During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Davie County, the Greek Revival style was being succeeded by the Italianate style which was followed by the Queen Anne style. Rarely did the rural house reflect the full expression of an architectural style but rather builders adapted details to traditional house forms.
- “The post-bellum farmhouses in Davie County applied details of both Greek Revival and Italianate styles onto traditional house forms. The J.E.B. Shutt House form and simple stylistic details of both the 1885 block and the 1905 block are products of this post-war rebuilding era.
- “The J.E.B. Shutt House, a typically conservative dwelling, blends delayed architectural details of Greek Revival and simple Italianate in the 1885 block with simple Queen Anne detail in the 1905 block. As such, the J.E.B. Shutt house personifies the traditional farmhouses of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and relates to their characteristics in general form and detail.
- “The house is also a reflection of J.E.B. Shutt’s craft in that while the 1891 extension of the Southern Railroad allowed more access to manufactured goods, including mass-produced millwork, he elected to produce the woodwork for his new addition in his shop.
- “Although J.E.B. Shutt was not a trained architect, evidence shows he had some knowledge of the architectural fashions of the day. This is exemplified by the entrance hall staircase which reflects the craftsmanship of J.E.B. Shutt while conveying his effort to achieve style.
- “J.E.B. Shutt demonstrates his independence from the pure Greek Revival and Italianate styles through several characteristics in design. While the existence of both paired and single doors reflect the Greek Revival and the Italianate styles, five-panel doors are predominant instead of the more traditional one, two, and four panel doors of the Greek Revival style. The large panes of the front door and north side breezeway double doors express the Italianate detail. The simple door and window surrounds deviate from the typically ornate Greek Revival and Italianate houses.
- “Although the characteristics of the mantels deviate from the more ornate Greek Revival and Italianate styles, the basic post and lintel mantelpieces are indicative of that style. Similar to many houses in the area … the hip-roofed porch extends over most of the front elevation with four posts linked by a balustrade support. The turned post and balustrades feature J.E.B. Shutt’s artistry in decorative detailing which are typical in the Queen Anne houses.”
- “Wood products, such as furniture, grain cradles, coffins, and building materials, were the domain of the Shutt family who operated wood shops for nearly a century. John Edward Belle Shutt [1860-1932], son of John Wesley Shutt (1823-1888) and Mahala (Mahaley) Jane Sidden (1827-1870), in addition to maintaining a subsistence and cash crop farm, continued the family craftsman tradition with the 1898 establishment of his woodworking shop in an outbuilding adjacent to his house. He expanded his business into a separate commercial building on an adjacent lot to the north around 1905. …
- “He furthered his enterprise by combining his blacksmith skills with woodworking to repair farm equipment and build wagon wheels, and later added to his expertise that of a licensed undertaker and coffin and casket dealer.”
Not Too Far Away
- $1.7 million
- 16 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, 6,276 square feet, 11.32 acres
- Price/square foot: $271
- Some of the cabins were built in the early 20th century; the rest are ca. 1920.
- Listed November 29, 2021
- Note: The number of buildings isn’t specified in the listing. The county’s GIS website appears to show six.
- Listing: “The historic Healing Spring was discovered in 1884 and was originally called Thompson’s Bromine and Arsenic Springs. The property was then known as Healing Springs Resort in later years and now simply called The Cabins at Healing Springs.
- Many of the cabins are the original cabins that were built in the early 1900’s. … [While the cabins] may look rustic on the outside, they have sympathetically been remodeled each cabin to highlight the original historical features. … There is a range of cabin sizes to choose from.”
- NRHP nomination: “The discovery of the mineral waters in Ashe County, which tradition holds to have been in 1885 by Willie Barker, opened the way for Captain H.V. Thompson of Washington County, Virginia, to develop this into a widely advertised and highly popular resort.
- “The mineral spring spas of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were not only centers for rejuvenating health, but were the most popular social centers. Thompson’s Bromine and Arsenic Springs is a good representative of a segment of our social heritage, of which only a few survive.”
- 8 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 5,869 square feet, 1.4 acres
- Price/square foot: $136
- Built in 1874 (see note below)
- Listed November 9, 2019
- Last sale: $37,000, April 1984
- Note: The current real-estate listings for the house show 1840 as its date. The National Register nomination says 1874; county records show 1900, which seems the least likely.
- The house has been in the Hull-Daniel family for 115 years.
- NRHP nomination: “The James Heyward Hull House [is] an excellent example of a 1907 Neoclassical Revival style dwelling in Shelby, one of several built at the turn of the century by some of Shelby’s most prominent residents. The large two-story house was originally built ca. 1874 in the Italianate style for Methodist minister Hilary T. Hudson. James Heyward Hull, a cotton broker, bought the house in 1907 and had it transformed into a Neoclassical Revival style house by adding a monumental portico, flanking wings, an ornate deck-on-hip roof, and completely redoing the interior.”
- “The residential Neoclassical Revival style was a monumental version of classical elements that became very popular among wealthy industrialists in North Carolina during the bustling “New South” era of the early twentieth century. Also known as ‘Southern Colonial,’ the principal feature was a colossal central portico with one-story porches extending out to the sides. Other characteristic elements of the style were the two-story massing and richly detailed classical columns, entrances, and eaves. The popularity of the style caused it to be chosen as the form for the North Carolina Building at the 1907 Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition in Norfolk, Virginia. The style came to be associated with the ‘new’ southern aristocracy, the cotton mill owners, cotton brokers, and cotton planters.” (footnote in original: “Bishir, Catherine W. North Carolina Architecture. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 1990, pp. 420-423″)