Mansions can be tricky to sell. How many people need a 9,000 square-foot house? Six bedrooms? Five and a half bathrooms? Belmont, the Robert Payne Richardson Jr. House, is as grand a mansion as you’ll find, and it took more than six years to sell it (the sale closed in May).
The price was $950,000, just $106 per square foot. It was listed originally for $1.495 million more than six years ago. The seller lived there and rented it out as a wedding and event venue, and that’s likely to be its use going forward. The buyer is a Delaware corporation that owns a wedding venue called the Bella Collina Mansion in Stokesdale (“Tuscany’s version of Cinderella’s Castle!!!”), so the Richardson house appears to have a sustainable future, always a big question for a grand estate like this.
Note: The listing gives the square footage as 4,700.
District NRHP nomination: “Large, impressive two-story brick late Victorian style house with granite trim, dominated by a two-and-one-half story polygonal projecting bay and one-story wrap-around porch with spindle frieze.
“The virtually unaltered house also features decorative, tall, corbelled and recessed panel interior chimneys, one-over-one windows with granite lintels and sills, granite string course extending around the house above the second story windows, decorative sawn brackets supporting wide overhanging eaves and Colonial Revival interior features.
“Built in 1901 by contractor J.A. Tesh for W.E. Merritt, who owned a hardware store and brickyard, and was the founder of the Renfro Textile Company and one of the founders of the Mount Airy Furniture Company.”
William Edward “Ed” Merritt (1867-1946) was born in Chatham, Virginia. His wife, Caroline Octavia “Carrie” Kochtitzky Merritt (1868-1960), was a native of Oakland, Missouri. After they came to Mount Airy, Ed’s parents and five of his six siblings also moved to the town.
From the Mount Airy News: “As is often the case, this new blood energized and benefited the community, as they established or led several major businesses: Merritt Hardware, Renfro Hosiery, Mount Airy Furniture Company, Merritt Machine Shop, Piedmont Manufacturing Company, and Floyd Pike Electrical, the North Carolina Granite Corp., and others. Several family members have served as town commissioners, the city engineer, the Surry County Draft Board, the county Board of Commissioners, and in the US Navy and Army.”
The W.T. Cheatham House is as impressive as it is rare, an International-style mansion built in 1923 in Burlington. There are relatively few International houses in the Triad, and this one in the West Davis Street-Fountain Place Historic District is brilliant inside and out.
“Its elegant design, which might best be described as ‘Classical-Mediterranean,’ renders the structure one of the most unusual houses in Burlington,” the historic district’s NRHP nomination states. “Salient features of the house are its flat roofs, stuccoed elevations, and two-story core bracketed by one-story wings with turned balustrades. Tuscan columns support the porch recessed between the wings.”
“Because of both its historical associations and its architectural distinction, the William Lindsey House is a pivotal building in the Reidsville Historic District.”
— National Register nomination for the Reidsville Historic District
The Lindsey House is as impressive inside as it is from the street. And, being in one of the Triad’s smaller cities, the $434,900 price ($83 per square foot) is probably, say, a third of what it might be in Greensboro or Winston-Salem.
Interestingly, the towering columns out front weren’t an original feature. “Early in the 20th century, a new porch was constructed across this facade, in the Neo-Classical Revival style,” the NRHP nomination says. “It consists of a one-story, full-facade porch supported by corinthian columns which are repeated in monumental fashion in the central projecting two-story pedimented portico.” The original porch was apparently wide enough only to span the entrance.
Glencoe Mill Village is a beautifully isolated, surprisingly intact little community north of Burlington on N.C. 62 at the Haw River. “It is a typical but remarkably well-preserved example of nineteenth century industrial villages that once flourished in North Carolina’s Piedmont region,” Glencoe’s National Register nomination states.
It’s not as remote as it was when it was established in 1880, but if you’re looking for a neighborhood that’s quiet, out-of-the way and a historic treasure, Glencoe is it. There are two beautifully restored homes for sale in the village (another is under contract). One is priced at $250,000; the other, $159,000.
NRHP nomination: “Its irregular massing, variety of surface materials, and rich ornamentation create a sophisticated late Victorian house of the Queen Anne style. Located at the south comer of McNeill and Barrett streets only two blocks from the county courthouse, the J.C. Black House is set back from McNeill Street on an L-shaped, flat lot. The facade of the house is sheltered from the street by a row of trees composed of hollys, pines, oaks, and one large magnolia. Other trees and shrubs are scattered around the property, but in no formal pattern. A low stone wall dating from 1937 borders the yard on the front and northeast sides.”
“While the interior of the house has seen modest alterations through the years, the exterior remains largely intact with only a few minor changes. As a whole, the J.C. Black House retains a high degree of integrity in terms of location, setting, design, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association.”
“J. C. Black (1850-1902), who had broad political and commercial commitments in Moore County, was one of the most prominent men of his day in Carthage. A lawyer by profession, he served for years as Moore County attorney. Black was a strong promoter of economic growth in Carthage. Not only was he the leading spirit in the building of the Carthage Railroad in the mid 1880s, serving as its first president, but he was also one of the organizers and first stockholders of the Bank of Carthage.”
“Having been built during the pinnacle of Black’s career, his house survives as the consummate physical expression of his productive life and, in particular, his significance in the areas of commerce and politics/government. During the decade between the ca. 1893 construction of the house and Black’s death in 1902, J. C. Black represented Moore and Randolph counties in the state senate, served as mayor of Carthage, and was president of the Bank of Carthage. No other property attesting to his local importance survives.”
“After Black’s death, the house remained in family ownership and occupancy for nearly a century.”
Note: Henry H. Sherrill (1886-1973) was president of Sherrill Paving Company. He bought the property in 1922. He and his wife, Vera (1892-1976) sold the house to their daughter, Annie Louise, in 1957 but continued to live there at least into the early 1960s.
The 1940 Census showed Henry and Vera at the address with their seven children: Frank, 27 years old; George, 25, Annie Louise, 22; Ralph, 20; Henry Jr., 18; James, 15; and Leon, 13. Two lodgers also were listed at the house.
Son James Nelson Sherrill (1926-2012) graduated from the NCSU School of Design and became a noted architect. He lived his adult life in Hickory and outlived his sister and all five brothers.