National Register Properties: 2023 Sales

204 E. Railroad Avenue, Gibsonville, Guilford County
Blog post — National Register Property For Sale: Gibsonville’s ‘Most Stylish and Impressive’ Turn-of-the Century Home, $425,000
The Francis Marion Smith House

  • Sold for $350,000 on February 28, 2023 (originally $475,000)
  • 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, 3,536 square feet, 1.12 acres (per county)
  • Price/square foot: $99
  • 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.