Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chippy Old Farm House Discovery

Deserted, Beautiful Farmhouse Facade Near Greenville, NC
A picture is worth a thousand words, you've heard that saying probably what, a thousand times right? Today I present a picture to you that I took just a few hours ago. This sort of thing happens to Susan and I all of the time here in Eastern North Carolina. And it's one of the reasons we moved here from Chicago. Often times we'll be driving along on a country farm road trying to make good time by cutting through an unknown area and we will stumble upon an old house like this one. When we do, we just have to stop the car, take it all in for a moment and then take a picture.

I'm always dumbfounded by empty old houses like this. Isn't it just gorgeous? Doesn't it kind of remind you of Gone With the Wind? A house like this would not sit long in Oak Part or Wilmet or even in the Bucktown area of Chicago. Are you kidding? Don't you just wonder who lived here? What story would this house tell you if it could talk? Wouldn't you just love to step inside and see it? Wouldn't it look great with a new coat of paint and possibly a new roof? Not to mention central heat and air?

Sprawling additions added over the years are very common in NC homes.
There are hundreds, if not, thousands of old homes like this all over Eastern North Carolina. They are tucked away between farm fields, forests, creeks and streams. Many of them come with barns, pack houses and tenant houses. Many of them inhabited by bats, raccoons, mice not to mention ghosts. A few of them even have men that live in them who pay no rent and do not own them but are just allowed to live on the property to keep looters away and to just be there for what ever reason. Others come complete with their own family grave yard and even other may have a slave grave yard too.
Preserved filling station near Maury, NC

This is the Coastal Plains of Eastern North Carolina. If you look on a map, it's the part of NC that is jetting out into the Atlantic Ocean. It's mostly flat with occasional hills. There are a lot of farm fields, streams, creeks and an occasional river. It's warm most of the year. It's farm country and has been for hundreds of years. The family who once lived here, who I know nothing about, are long gone. The descendants from the original farmer who worked this land have multiplied and scattered to the four corners of this country to pursue their dreams and careers in the trades, technology and liberal arts.

I've always had a passion for history. Houses like this are one of the things that inspire me to create things that look old, distressed and weathered. Pieces like my Large Wooden Letters have been sanded and distressed to look great sitting in a freshly painted living room. Especially in newer homes because it gives you a historic accent item in your space. It makes you ask similar questions about the piece like I did about the house above. Where did you get that? What was it used for? And it links our lifestyle to the lifestyles of the past.

There is a society of folks, like Susan and I who are interested in saving this little bit of American History. They are folks that purchase properties like this to  restore and preserve these great old structures. Here in our state, Preservation North Carolina is a great resource if you are interested in seeing more homes like this that are actually on the market.

If anyone reading this blog happens to know the history of this particular house I'd love to hear about it, please leave a comment or contact me.