A historic house on a quiet street in Pittsboro and a cornucopia of cabins and a Federal-style farmhouse on 15 acres just over the Chatham County line in Randolph County come with several options for use by interested buyers.
The house at 199 West Salisbury Street in Pittsboro — also known as the Womack-Brower House — currently houses Chatham Wellness. The rooms of the home’s 1,625-square-feet allow six offices or practice rooms, a large parlor with fireplace, a waiting room, kitchen, back deck and two half-baths.
The half-baths – one up and the other on the main floor -- could be converted to a bath-and-half or two full baths, according to Weaver Street Realty listing agent, Gary Phillips.
Perched on a quarter-acre between two residential houses, the Womack-Brower House is bounded on both sides by residential properties. Across West Salisbury Street is Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church and at the back of the property is a conservation buffer of a wet/dry stream that feeds into Roberson Creek and the back of the old Chatham County Library that fronts on NC 64.
“The views from the kitchen and back ell rooms are of a lovely wooded area,” Phillips said.
The views from the front of the house are of Saint Bartholomew’s, one of the oldest churches in Pittsboro. The church parish was formed in 1770; the building consecrated in 1833. The stained glass windows and courtyard garden attest to the vibrancy of the congregation that gathers in this lovely brick edifice.
Although the Womack-Brower House is currently being used commercially, it is priced to sell at $215,000 as a residence and, according to Phillips, the Pittsboro Planning Department says there is no reason that it could not be returned to residential designation and use.
Located on lot number 40 just a few blocks from the courthouse circle in Pittsboro, the one-and-a-half-story frame house has three bays and a steep gable roof. What started out as a one-room home built by Womack for a tanner sometime after 1818, the house — one of the eight oldest homes in Pittsboro — was enlarged over the years.
Like many 19th century houses, this building began with a one-room plan that was enlarged by the addition of a second room on the chimney end. In the 1900’s, an ell addition extended the house to the east, according to The Architectural Heritage of Chatham County North Carolina by Rachel Osborn and Ruth Selden-Sturgill, edited by Marjorie Hudson, 1991, and available through the Chatham County Historical Association (www.chathamhistory.org/publications.html).
“A fire in the shed room around 1950 made a certain amount of renovation necessary, and the porch on the west elevation probably dates from that period. …In spite of the many changes made to the house over the years, it still retains a remarkable sheathed interior and the accompanying vernacular mantel.” The Architectural Heritage of Chatham County North Carolina
Children living in this home would attend Chatham County Schools. For a floorplan, more information about or a private showing of this property, call Phillips at 919-929-5658. To see more photos, log onto www.weaverstrealty.com.
In the early 1800s, a stagecoach line ran from Fayetteville to Salisbury, North Carolina. Travelers stopped mid-way to refresh themselves and rest their horses at Marley’s Mill before climbing Randolph County’s Caraway or Uwharrie mountains and crossing the Yadkin River into Salisbury.
A grist mill and dam at the site is listed as far back as 1790 in the North Carolina tax rolls. A log cabin was built in 1816 for the owner and his wife. The dam for the grist mill can still be seen in the woods east of the house.
Thomas Marley inherited his father’s grist mill and renovated and expanded the house around 1850 with lumber sawed from Marley’s Mill. The house was renovated again in the early 1900s, but the original cabin and Federal-style fireplace mantel in that room are still intact.
In the 1980s, Jean Vollrath fell in love with the pretty Federal-style, clapboard farmhouse as she drove seasonally from Pittsboro back to Indiana to visit family.
She was dating Greg Talbott at the time. One day she took him out to Tom’s Seafood, went for a drive and passed the farmhouse on U.S. 64.
“I was shouting, ‘My house is for sale, my house is for sale,’” Vollrath said. “Not long after that we married.”
Because it was a stagecoach way station, Vollrath said she and her husband, an industrial mechanic by vocation and history buff by avocation, felt they had to be as hospitable as former owners would have been.
“Anyone walking along the back road would stop and ask for a meal in exchange for work,” Vollrath explained. “We would honor them with a meal, never used their work, but enjoyed the wonderful stories folks from the community had to tell.”
Talbott loved North Carolina history and hated seeing historic buildings disappear, Vollrath said. Eventually his boundless energy, woodworking and carpentry skills combined with that love of history. The result is 13 historic buildings being moved or deconstructed, moved and rebuilt by Talbott on the Marley’s Mill site.
In addition to the farmhouse which Talbott restored and is on the National Register of Historic Places, there are 13 other buildings: a log cabin, three barns, a post office, blacksmith shop, pottery shed, saw mill shed, maintenance shop, equipment shed, office, corn crib and pack house. Short histories of the buildings can be seen at www.weaverstrealty.com.
The east property line is Brush Creek and there is a catch and release fishing hole where the kids loved to spend an afternoon, Vollrath said. The four-acre pasture along the creek was where the family kept the horses and cleared a walking trail along the perimeter of the pasture. Her son learned blacksmithing in the Blacksmithing shop (old corn crib). The flue is still there, but her son has removed the forge.
The kids loved to play with their model train layout in the upstairs of the McDuffie Barn, which was originally on Talbott’s family farm in Tramway (south of Sanford) After Talbott died in a work accident about seven years ago, Vollrath put all of their Dad’s books in the downstairs of the McDuffie Barn and the kids spent many hours reading in that quaint setting.
The couple’s goal was to have the buildings become studio space for artists and craftsmen. Vollrath ran a production handweaving studio for 20 years, and her husband, an industrial mechanic by day, was an evening woodworker. Vollrath ran the mail order business selling his creations.
Vollrath’s children are now in college. She still lives in the 2,000-plus square foot farmhouse with its wide wrap-around porch and five fireplaces (two of them gas-log). She recently began a new job as a librarian in Asheboro. She is ready to part with her dream home to be closer to her work.
The buildings are all pretty much empty now waiting for new owners to fill them with their dreams. All the structures on the 15-acre property are believed to be in good structural condition and, though inspections are welcome, the property and all of the buildings are offered in as-is condition for $249,500 by Weaver Street Realty listing agent Louise Barnum at 919-542-7122.