Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Island Farm: Part I

Have you ever wanted to experience life in the mid-19th century as it really was? I mean, truly experience it? You can at a coastal living history farm on Roanoke Island: feel what it's like to spend time in the restored farmhouse (without air-conditioning) during the humid summer of North Carolina, touch the furniture and linens, feel the breezes through the open windows, smell the herbs drying from the ceiling of the detached kitchen while the historic interpreters cook over the hearth (and then sample the fruits of their labor), and of course, play with the farm animals! 

 Last year I enjoyed working on a consulting project preparing a historic furnishings plan for Island Farm.  Island Farm is the site of the Etheridge Homeplace, on which stands a two-story heavy timber-frame farmhouse built between 1845 and 1852. Also are a number of reconstructed outbuildings: a kitchen, smokehouse, slave quarters, dairy, privy, corn crib, barn and chicken house, and a livestock barn. Each building is fully functional and used daily by the historical interpreters that operate the farm and live according to the mid-19th century period. The furnishings report was a first for me, as I am more familiar with preparing architectural histories. But I must say, it was SO much fun and I would love to do it again someday.

Slave Quarters

Stay tuned for Part II to see photos of the completed farmhouse and outbuildings fully furnished! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

RIP Marge

One of my chickens, Marjoram, aka "Marge" was tragically attacked and killed by a bird of prey this past week. We came home from work and after searching for about an hour finally found her remains that were half-eaten in our yard. Poor Mr. Rue suffered some minor wounds and is missing a chunk of his tail feathers from defending the rest of the girls. I was so upset....even though you would never think one can get attached to a chicken, when they become your pets, you definitely can. I think the guilt I felt for letting them out to free-range that day was the most overwhelming part of it. I guess it's the price we pay, for they are happiest and healthiest when out free-ranging. The worst part is that I think the other three chickens have been traumatized by the experience and are still very scared. Everyone told us it was bound to happen and to expect it, but I guess I never thought it would happen to me.
Marge is in the foreground, eating out of my hand

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Murphey School: Before & After

One of my consulting projects involved preparing a National Register nomination for the Murphey School, which was being rehabilitated while utilizing historic preservation tax credits.  The Classical Revival style school with Spanish Revival influences dates to 1923 with a 1936 auditorium addition and also possesses a rare surviving Teacherage at the rear of the school, along with a well house and original water tower.  This past summer the work was completed and seeing Murphey School restored back to its original splendor was extremely rewarding!




Teacherage: Before

Teacherage: After

Auditorium Interior: Before

Auditorium Interior: After

Classroom Interior: Before

Classroom Interior: After

To learn more about Murphey School, you can access read the National Register Nomination by accessing it from the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office website: 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day Trip of the Month: Southern Pines, NC

Today we visited the town of Southern Pines: a small, charming town established with the coming of the railroad and boosted by the timber and turpentine industries. Developed primarily during the late 19th through the 20th century, Southern Pines quickly became a resort town known for its healthy pine-filled air and warm climate for northerners. Its proximity to luxurious golf resorts like Pinehurst and Weymouth and its active equestrian community made it a prime location for tourists and natives alike seeking recreational activities.

The downtown area of Southern Pines is remarkably intact and I give it a thumbs-up for preserving so much of its original streetscape.  The surrounding historic district with its quaint cottages, late Victorians, and mid-century homes is equally charming and retains a high degree of integrity.  Architecturally, Southern Pines is a 20th century small-town gem in the Sandhills region of North Carolina. 

I LOVE these cool reflector light fixtures with the large bulbs and cage guards (I even spotted some in the form of streetlights): 

However, I must say that in the area of antiquing, Southern Pines left much to be desired. I was pretty disappointed.  I guess I just didn't realize how few real antique stores there were in relation to the vast amount of retail shopping located downtown.  Additionally, even though one afternoon is probably not enough time for me to develop an accurate impression, I left without a strong desire to visit again.  Perhaps I am focusing too much on the negative, I really wanted to fall in love this community, but it didn't happen for me. 

Even still, it was a fun day getting away from home for a bit and seeing a new part of NC!