The 1839 Davie County Jail: A National Register Property in Mocksville Is For Sale in an Online Auction

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Davie County’s original jail was built in Mocksville in 1839, three years after the county was established. Now it’s the centerpiece of an online auction of five properties all on the same downtown corner. Prospective buyers can bid on the properties separately or all of them together.

The jail is the centerpiece. It housed the county’s most armed and dangerous for 70 years and then became a residence. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 2001 the current owner bought it and converted it to office use.

A brief rundown of the deal:

Update, December 17, 2019: The online auction was extended to Tuesday December 17, but the listing was taken off the auctioneer’s website before then, apparently without a sale. For comparison, the jail and other properties were listed for sale as a package in 2018 for $580,000; in 2015 it was listed for $620,000.

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As the video shows, there’s nothing left to identify the building as a jail except for the plaque. Still, it’s a substantial piece of local history. “The Davie County Jail is of considerable local significance, for its history parallels that of the county since its founding,” the National Register nomination states. “The sturdy, well maintained building with its handsome Flemish bond brickwork is an important Mocksville landmark.”

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The lot for the jail and guest house, as seen above, is a nicely wooded half acre. The jail’s address is 284 S. Main Street (online listing). It’s listed as having 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, 1,752 square feet.

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One odd detail: The kitchen appears to be upstairs.

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The guest house is being sold with the jail. It has about 858 square feet. The garden lot sits behind the guest house, well off the street.

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The entire package is 1.27 acres. The two additional houses are the “Yellow House” and the “Gray House,” 131 and 141 E. Lexington Road, respectively. The aerial view shows Lexington Road, U.S. 64, at the top and South Main Street, U.S. 158, at the right.

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131 Lexington has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 3,046 square feet. It was built in 1898.

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141 Lexington is a bungalow with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and 1,272 square feet. It was built in 1933. Both houses have vinyl siding. These are the only pictures of the two houses available.

An 1898 Train Depot Goes Up for Auction in Madison This Saturday

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Update: The depot didn’t sell at the auction. It remains for sale.

The important thing to remember about the Stokesdale railroad depot is that it isn’t in Stokesdale any more. It’s in Madison. And on Saturday at 11 a.m. it will be auctioned.

The depot was bought in 1975 and moved to its present location just south of Madison at 3766 U.S. 220. Sam Heffinger spent five years turning it into a home for him and his wife, India. Sam was a carpenter, farmer and clock smith (and a Marine during World War II). Here’s how it turned out.

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The chain reportedly was found in the legendary wreck of the old 97 (“They gave him his orders at Monroe, Virginia, / Saying, ‘Steve, you’re way behind time / This is not 38, this is old 97 / You must put her into Spencer on time‘”).

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Sam was creative in his renovation. The front door and frame, along with other interior woodwork, came from a pre-Civil War home in Madison. The sliding freight doors were replaced by windows from a church. He salvaged doors from the Monticello Hotel in Charlottesville (they have “MH” on the doorknobs). The bronze railing and gate came from a bank in Charlotte that closed during the Depression. An elevator was brought in from a building in Madison.

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The house has 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms and 1,612 square feet. The lot is 1.93 acres. The wooden floors are original, as is the German paneling in what had been the office and waiting rooms. Sam added a basement and a garage. The basement holds the living room, a fireplace, the kitchen and a bathroom.It has a tin ceiling.

The property was previously listed for sale at $199,900 before the owner decided to hold an auction. The last previous sale was for $170,000 in May 2003.

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The Stokesdale depot before it was moved