Hillsborough Historical Society, Inc.
Member of the National Trust for Historical Preservation
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Vol. VIII No.37 April 1969
“It is April, and Hillsborough beckons!”
Fourth Biennial Spring Tour of the Hillsborough Historical Society
April 26 and 27, 1969
Time: Saturday, April 26, 1969 – 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M
Sunday, April 27, 2969 – 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M
Headquarters: The Old Courthouse on Court Square
Tickets: Adults $2.50
Children (Through High School) $1.00
The Planning Committee:
General Chairman: Mrs. H.W. Moore
Mrs. Erle Hill
Administrative Assistant to the General Chairman:
Mrs. Don Cox
Registration: Mrs. E.M. Lockhart
Mrs. Elmer Dowdy
Hostesses: Mrs. John Graham Webb
Floral Arrangements: Mrs. George Gilmore
Hillsborough Light Rifles: Bill Jarrell
Window Displays: Quentin Patterson
Posters: Mrs. Kay Winecoff
Guides: Dr. H.W. Moore & Mrs. Alice McBone
Tickets: E. Wilson Cole
Publicity: Mrs. William Hopewell
Mrs. D.C. Rhew
Mrs. George Gilmore
Bank Concert: John Black
Crafts: Mrs. Van Kenyon
Mrs. Hume Claytor
Mrs. Henry Walker
Parking: Remus Smith, Jr.
Food Concessions: Mrs. Quentin Patterson
Museum: Mrs. Clarence D. Jones
At the Executive Board Meeting on March 3, 1969 the following places and features were announced to be open for the 1969 Pilgrimage.
Nash Law Office
Hillsborough Light Rifles
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
GUIDES AND TOUR PLANS
Dr. H.W. Moore, as “dispatcher”, will provide each “Pilgrim” with a helpful, mimeographed town ma and tour plan and start him on his tour. Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and students from various schools will serve as guides at intersections, parking areas, etc. Some of the warmest praise heard at the 1967 Pilgrimage was for the courtesy and tireless good humor of Hillsborough’s boys and girls who met the public with poise and competence.
RED CROSS FIRST AID
A Red Cross First Aid Station will be set up at the Old Courthouse and medical aid will be available throughout the Pilgrimage.
OUR TOUR HOSTESSES
General Chairman: Mrs. John G. Webb
Greenhill Mrs. James Coman, Jr.
San Souci: Mrs. A.H. Walker, Sr.
Nash Law Office: Miss Elizabeth Collins
Moore’s Pleasure: Mrs. Hume Claytor
Heartsease Garden: Mrs. Sam Gattis
Commandant’s House: Mrs. Dalton Loftin
Burwell School: Mrs. Fred Cates
Episcopal Church: Miss Annie Cameron
Presbyterian Church: Mrs. Ed. Barnes
Methodist Church: Mrs. J.E. Latta
Baptist Church: Mrs. George Simmons
Masonic Lodge: Mr. G.A. Brown
Hillsborough hostesses are famed for their gracious charm and hospitality – and they are knowledgeable too! Each group of hostesses has met with the home owner and studied the history and furnishings of the house. Thus, when a “Pilgrim” asks about an old plate warmer or a soup tureen or “that portrait – right there – over the desk”, the hostesses has the correct information on the tip of her tongue.”
COSTUMED HOSTESSES will be scattered about here and there, according to Mrs. H.W. Moore, the General Chairman of the Pilgrimage. “We haven’t requested each and every hostess to be in costume”, she says, “but we think enough will be to add a touch of colonial atmosphere.”
HOMES AND GARDENS TO BE VISITED
- THE NASH LAW OFFICE: 143 West Margaret Lane
This property was purchased in July 1966 by Judge L.J Phipps for possible purchase and restoration by the Hillsborough Historical Commission. This is one of the two best surviving examples of Old Hillsborough Law Offices. (The other: Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin’s Law Office at Burnside.) The date of its construction is uncertain but the 1770’s has been given as a possible time. Tradition says a royal governor used it temporarily. According to old deeds, Lot #10 was sold by Duncan Cameron in 1805 to Chief Justice Frederick Nash with the building there on. An earlier owner, Frances Nash, may have built the Law Office as the Nash home stood where the Farmers Exchange stands today.
After Chief Justice Frederick Nash died in 1857, his daughters, Misses Sally K. and Maria Nash with their cousin Sarah Kollock, began the famous Nash and Kollock School for Young Ladies. During this time the Law Office was used as a music studio. Two rooms to the west were added as Sarah Kollock’s living quarters and were also used as piano practice rooms.
The Law Office is a delightful room. Mr. Don Shepherd, the present occupant, has made a charming place with his use of traditional colors and furniture in shades of wine and red to enhance the rich green of the paneling, reeded mantel, and cupboards.
“Cousin Sarah’s” rooms are interesting too, with Mr. Shepherd’s deft artistry creating a place of charm. Those who have read “Ladies in the Making” will recognize the Dutch door over which the calf “Buttercup” thrust her head to listen to the young ladies’ music.
Mrs. T. E. Lloyd, the former owner, created a lovely old fashioned garden with flagged walks and gay borders of old fashioned garden flowers. Mr. Shepherd has planted hundreds of tulips and flowering bulbs to make this a spring garden worth seeing aside from its historical value.
2. THE COMMANDANT’S HOUSE OF THE HILLSBOROUGH MILITARY ACADEMY:
Mr. and Mrs. Lucius Cheshire and Mrs. Cheshire’s Mother, Mrs. Carl Davis, have recently restored this interesting house which was built by Col. Charles Courtney Tew in 1859. The square two story brick structure resembles a medieval castle or fort with its’ crenellated roof and towers or buttresses at each corner. Used as a Military School until the Civil War, at which time all the student cadets entered the army and the school was closed and never reopened.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Cheshire and Mrs. Davis are of early Orange County ancestry. Mr. Cheshire is a direct descendant of James Hogg who came to Hillsborough during the 1700’s. Consequently, this house has many beautiful pieces of old furniture of the colonial period.
A life size portrait of Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire, painted by Clem Strudwick, hangs over the living room mantel. This portrait was later copied for St. Mary’s school in Raleigh. The entire house will be open.
This is the first time the house has been opened and visitors will be delighted with this addition to the pilgrimage.
- MOORE’S PLEASURE:
Completely restored by Dr. and Mrs. H.W. Moore, this house was built in the late 1700’s by a wealthy Wilmington woman who came to Hillsborough to escape the mosquitoes, fevers and miasma of the Costal region.
This house is sometimes called a “Morris” house because it seems indebted to the famous plate 37 of Robert Morris’ “Rural Architecture” (London 1750), as is the Semple House in Williamsburg.
The house had three pedimented units: a three story central black with lower flanking wings. The mantels are handsome with reeding, the paneling and alcove treatments are unique and the entire house shows the influence of the colonial lady who built it and of the present lady who now lives in it.
Beautifully and tastefully furnished in keeping with the period to which it belongs, this house always excites visitors with its charm.
A gem of a house, beautifully restored and cherished. The grounds are landscaped with native trees and boxwood.
- SAN SOUCI:
An extremely handsome plantation house built before 1800. Mr. S. T. Latta, Jr. will open this house for the first time in over 30 years. The central block is conceded to be of an earlier date with the wings added at a later time. The beautifully proportioned rooms are of enormous dimensions. John Berry enlarged San Souci in the middle nineteenth century and added the rear staircase and some wooden detail.
Furnished with antique furniture, especially a fine old piano and a day bed said to be original with the house. An especially handsome silver tea server of English origin is a very valuable feature of the dining room with its huge table, hunt board and china press and a dutch cupboard laden with old china, glass and sliver.
Plantation office and the outside kitchen will also be shown.
- THE GARDEN AT HEARTEASE:
A quaint boxwood garden with borders of spring flowers and bulbs, centered with an interesting wellhouse. The home of Miss Rebecca Hall, the house, which will not be open, is said to have been built before 1810. Governor Thomas Burke was said to have owned the house and deeds show that his daughter, Mary H. (Polly) Burke, bought it in 1810 and owned in until 1837. She planted the Mary Burke rose which still grows and blooms in the garden.
When the Connecticut newspaper editor, Dennis Heartt, acquired the house, he named it Heartsease. The ascetic-looking, well-educated Heartt loved words, and the play upon spelling and meaning in the word probably pleased him enormously. In the early days Miss Caroline Heartt had a greenhouse behind the Heartsease where she and her friends wintered their “exotics” but this is gone now, as is the building where Miss Alice Heartt has a school for the children of Hillsborough families. Foundations of this building are incorporated in the garden.
- THE BURWELL SCHOOL:
Purchased in 1966 by the Historic Hillsborough Commission and in the process of being completely restored, this house was for 20 years (1837-1857) the Burwell “Female School”. The Rev. Robert Burwell and his wife, Margaret Anna Robertson Burwell, conducted the school and instilled in their students the staunch Presbyterian principles that made it so popular with the pre-Civil War parents of young ladies. This was a “boarding” school and the students came from the eastern Seaboard as far south as Florida. Later owned by the C.M. Parks and J.S. Spurgeon families. Schoolroom building, office and summer house are gone. The south section of this spacious house was built ca 1821, north wing by John Berry in 1848 and was remodeled in 1890. The house in now being restored to its “Burwell School” period.
The gardens have very fine trees; sugar maples, lindens and sycamores. Spring bulbs, daffodils, narcissi and lily-of-the-valley beds with flowering shrubs create a charming setting for the stately house.
There is some furniture in the house, gifts and acquisitions in keeping with the Burwell School period.
Mr. and Mrs. James H. Coman, Jr. brought Greenhill from its original setting and restored this house built about 1750 to its former glory.
The house is interesting in its entirety. The windows are all original panes, with the wavy look of poured glass. The hand carved paneling which was made in Orange County is very handsome. The cornice, mantels, baseboards and window trims are all original. The three large outside doors to the home are Christian doors, with a gross at the top and an open Bible in the bottom panel. Walls, floors and ceiling are all random-width pine. The original three rooms were built about 1750 on a land grant from the King of England to Charles Wilson Johnston, and was owned by the Johnston family until the Comans bought it. They moved it 12 miles from its former site to the lovely green hill on which it now rests.
Furnished with furniture of ;the 1730 period except in the “keeping room” or den. The Comans did extensive research with the help of Personnel of the North Carolina Department of Archives in the restoration and furnishing of “Greenhill”. One wall in the “borning room” was originally part of the back porch. This is a tyr of construction seen only twice in Williamsburg where it is dated 1680 and never seen before in the Piedmont. Mr. and Mrs. Coman used it as a well in the small room, which Mr. Coman now uses as a study, in order to preserve it. 53 members of the Johnson family were born in this room.
- PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH:
(1816) Near NW corner of Churton and W. Tryon Sts. Now 150 years old, this small simple church was built in 1816 in public Lot 98 (the town burial ground) by permission of town authorities. Designer and builder unknown (may have been Samuel Hancock assisted by John Berry). An 1835 water color owned by the late Mr. Shepperd Strudwick shows the church to have been originally a plain brick structure with hip roof and double-hung sash windows. In 1892 the Church was extensively remodeled and the present picturesque tower and spire were added. Interesting lists of early pew rents and other framed documents hang in the Church vestibule. The organizer and first pastor, the Rev. John Knox Witherspoon (1791-1853), grandson of John Witherspoon, and New Jersey Signer of the Declaration of Independence, is buried in the Nash family plot close to the west wall of the Cemetery.
- ST. MATHEW’s EPISCOPAL CHURCH:
(1824) and Churchyard – At eastern boundary of town; near end of E. King St. The historic first St. Matthew’s Church on Lot 98, a Church of England Edifice, was built before 1768 and burned about 1793. The present St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church was organized and built in 1824 on land given by Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin (1787-1870). Possibly designed by Vestryman Francis Lister Hawks in collaboration with John Berry. A diminutive Gothic Revival structure effectively situated on a high wooded knoll. It has been frequently and extensively remodeled: 1830 tower added; 1835, gallery installed; 1850, tower rebuilt; 1868, recessed chancel with triplet window and exposed beam roof installed; 1868 or 1875, original wainscoting replaced; spire added. High pointed windows (two of which contain early Tiffany glass) and the extremely slender spire add to the charm of the Church. One frequently noted window shows the Savior wearing a flat-crowned, wide-brimmed had encircled by a crown of thorns. The Rt. Rev. William Mercer Green, first Rector, later first Bishop of Mississippi, is buried very nearly beneath the altar. The Rev. Moses Ashley Curtis (1808-1872), eminent botanist and musician, is buried behind the Church. (State marker on Churton St.) A new 2-acre memorial garden on E. King St. will honor the Reverent Curtis.
In this lovely solemn spot, deeply shadowed by massive trees and secluded by brick walls, lie Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin and many members of the Ruffin family as well as of the Cain, Cameron, Kirkland, Graham, Collins, Webb, Strudwick, Jones, and Hill families. A plat of the Churchyard hands in the vestibule of the Church.
(ca. 1859) W/ Tryon St. near intersection with Wake St. The only Hillsborough church known certainly to have been both designed and built by John Berry. Its high elevation, tall windows, tower and steeple make this a particularly graceful, attractive church. Berry’s use of white trim against red brick gives it a Georgian quality that definitely relates it to the Old Courthouse. Louvered shutters, a gallery, the original pews, and an unusual antique pulpit with fluted columns (now somewhat reduced in height) give interest to the interior. The first Methodist Church was a frame structure on E. Tryon St.
- FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH:
(1860-1870) Corner of Wake and W. King Sts. This is the second site of the First Baptist Church. Its home until about 1862 was the old courthouse building, now the A.M.E. Church on the southwest corner of Churton and E. Queen Sts. The present brick building, designed by W.M. Percival of Raleigh and built by D. Kistler, was begun in 1860 but completed only in 1870 because of the Civil War. Capt. John Berry completed the brickwork. The Church is Romanesque in design with a free-standing tower to one side. Doors leading to the gallery, possibly meant for slaves, can still be seen on the north of the tower. The rounded Romanesque arch is repeated over the interior windows and the door leading to the baptistery as well as in the exposed, hand-carved beams of the high, open ceiling. The original wooden steeple decayed about 1924 and was removed. Floodlighted at night.
- OLD ORANGE COUNTY COURTHOUSE:
(1844) SE corner of E. King and Churton Sts. on Lot 1. Designed and built, 1844-45, by Captain John Berry, native brickmason, architect, legislator, (See bronze plaque at entrance.) A singularly handsome Greek Revival building recently cited as an Historic American Building. Built of red brick with white trim. Impressive Doric Portico. Details of woodwork and stair brackets come from Asher Benjamin’s Pattern books on which Berry drew heavily. Double staircase probably occupied the space opposite the entrance door thus making the original entrance hall two stories high. Building floodlighted at night.
ORANGE COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM:
(est. 1957) Housed on the second floor in the former courtroom of the Old Courthouse. Courtroom altered in the 1880’s; originally contained a gallery. The Museum concentrates on exhibits illustrating the first hundred years of Orange County history: a Homespun Room with a 150-year old loom, an 18th-century kitchen, Indian exhibits, antique costumes, examples of the work of early Hillsborough silversmiths, and an especially fine and valuable set of brass and copper standard Weights and Measures, made in England, purchased by Orange County in 1760. Edwin M. Lynch is Keeper of the Weights and Measures. Murals illustrating the early history of the area will decorate one wall of the Museum.
THE OLD TOWN CLOCK (IN THE CUPOLA)
One of the most famous clocks in North Carolina. History uncertain. Made in Birmingham, England, and said to have been a royal gift to the town about 1769. Tradition says it hung in the first St. Matthew’s Church of England, then in the tower of the Market-House. Since late 1846 it has hung in the octagonal cupola of the Old Courthouse. Allen A. Lloyd is keeper of the Clock.
- MASONIC HALL:
142 W. King St. A simple, square Greek Revival building of red brick with white portico of four Ionic columns. Designed by Captain William Nichols, state architect. Home of Eagle Lodge, No.19, A.F. & A.M., chartered in 1791. The building, almost a perfect cube, 40 feet in length, breadth, and height, three bays to a side, was originally surmounted by a gallery with windows and an observatory with telescope. Called “the King Street Opera House” for years, the building long functioned virtually as a town auditorium. Now floodlighted at night. Masonic Halls stands on Lot 23, on or very near the spot where Col. Edmond Fanning’s House stood before the Regulators cut it from its sills, Sept 25, 1770.
THE HILLSBOROUGH LIGHT RIFLES will set up a colonial military encampment on the site of;the prospective Moses Ashley Curtis Garden. The camp will be complete with men and officers, tents, corrals for the mounts, Ladies Pavilion, guns and cannon. A military museum will be of great interest. All weapons on display will be of the Colonial Period and of the vintage of the first organization of the Hillsborough Light Rifles Regiment 200 years ago.
A group interested in promoting quality crafts in Orange County is making plans for Hillsborough Crafts Fair to be held during the tour, April 26 & 27. This has the approval of the tour committee and the group is sponsored by numerous organizations throughout the county. The group will arrange workshops of a variety of crafts to be determined by interests and needs within the county. Presently workshops in decoupage are being conducted. Selected handcrafted articles will be offered for sale in the Colonial Inn Gift Shop, Which will open in the near future.
At the Fair (to be hold in a downtown building) items will be for0 sale in: The Garden Store; The Needle Arts Nook, showing quilts, afghans, crewel embroidery, needlepoint, etc.; The Bakery, featuring colonial cookies, candies and recipes; The Hobby Shop carrying items of mental, wood, pottery, etc.; and the very special corner for Pot purri.
Also: Authentic replicas and original colonial craft items will be displayed.
TOTAL MEMBERSHIP 517
Lt. & Mrs. Gregory G. Brown, Fayetteville
Mr. Luther R. Fruit, Borger, Texas
Mr. B. S. Tillinghast, Dillon, S.C.
Mr. Hugh Burch, Hillsborough, N.C.
Mr. Lucius M. Cheshire, Jr. “
Mr. & Mrs. James Rae Freeland “
Mr. & Mrs. C. A. Hutchins “
Mr. Jack Jurney, NCNB “
Mr. S. T. Latta “
Mr. Carl Ramsey “
Mr. & Mrs. E. Clifton Robinson “
Mr. Robert J. Weirich “
Mr. & Mrs. A. Leon Waters “
Mrs. R. L. Satterfield “
Mrs. C. T. Davis “
Mr. & Mrs. William F. Clements “
Mr. John R. Black “
Miss Amy Rhew, Jr. Member “
Mr. & Mrs. D. A. Murphy, Chapel Hill, N. C.
Mr. Spotswood Boyd, Raleigh N. C.
Mrs. Bayard Carter, Durham, N. C.
Mrs. Lawrence Flinn, Long Island, New York
Mr. Joseph P. Hughes, Hillsborough, N. C.