Robeson House Preservation Association Records, 1903-1998, undated

Manuscript Collection #813

  • Descriptive Summary
     
    Title: Robeson House Preservation Association Records
    Creator:
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Records (1903-1998, undated [Bulk: 1987-1998) of the Robeson House Preservation Association, reflecting their to preserve the historic Robeson – Whichard - Taylor house in Pitt County, North Carolina, including correspondence, reports, photographs, drawings, grant applications, etc.
    Extent: 0.25 Cubic feet, 1 archival container, 121 items, 342 p.,
  • Description
     

    This Robeson House Preservation Association Records, (1903 - 1998, undated [Bulk 1987-1998]) documents the efforts of the organization to raise funds to purchase the house, to relocate it, and to display it as a farm-life museum. The colleciton consists of records, letters, receipts, and photographs documenting the formation of the Robeson House Preservation Association. It also includes floor plans, elevations and a 3.5 inch diskette containing material pertaining to the organization. The collection is arranged in 3 series, in original order, and dates from 1903 through 1998, undated [Bulk: 1987-1998].

    Series 1 documents the significance of the house and creation of the Robeson House Preservation Association, 1903-1998, undated. This series includes folders a - e.

    Folder a contains documents pertaining to the creation of the Robeson House Preservation Association, 1992-1998; most notably, the original Articles of Incorporation signed by Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall. This folder also includes a photocopy of the New Bern Preservation Foundation by-laws, a North Carolina Nonprofit Corporation guideline booklet, and a Preservation NC flier that details the Robeson House.

    Folder b contains the Robeson House Preservation Association’s statement of significance and a proposed budget, 1995-1993. This folder also contains a MF 2 HD Maxell 3.5” diskette. In addition, there are photocopies of floor plans, an estimated project schedule, and correspondence. Representatives of the Robeson House Preservation Association wrote a proposal to Nancy Hemingway, owner of the Robeson House, requesting an opportunity to purchase the structure. There is also a letter from the Robeson House Preservation Association to Myrick Howard of Preservation NC asking them to wait for a year before making a decision about the house with the hope that the association could purchase the house within that time frame. In addition there is a letter from the association to the editor of The Daily Reflector requesting support from Pitt County residents.

    Folder c contains photocopies of Robeson House drawings by Reid Thomas of the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, undated. Included in these drawings are floor plans, details, and a map.

    Folder d consists of photographs and photocopies of photographs of the Robeson house, 1903, ca. 1950, undated. An interesting photocopy of a photograph is of Andrew Taylor and daughter Linda taken in about 1933. There is also a photocopy of a photo of the house taken in 1903, and a 1950 photocopy of a photo of the house. In addition there are detail photographs, negatives, and a photo contact sheet. There is also a copy of the house plans and floor plans by Reid Thomas in this folder.

    Folder e contains a photocopy of notes from a site visit in 1987; it also contains a dendrochronology report that was completed in 1995. These notes include detail sketches of the house. Additionally, there is a copy of a chain of title prepared by Stan Little of the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. This folder also contains an undated photocopy of an 1863 map and the 1987 application for a Preservation Services grant.

    Series 2 documents the Robeson House Preservation Association efforts April – September 1997, to rally support and potential affiliations with educational programs. This series includes folders f - h.

    Folder f contains photocopies of newspaper clippings, April – September 1997. The clippings are from The Daily Reflector (Greenville) and The Free Press (Kinston).

    Folder g contains brochures of various programs, May 1997 that would provide potential partnerships with the Robeson House project. Most of the programs are affiliated with East Carolina University.

    Folder h primarily contains correspondence, January 1997 – September 1998. It also contains meeting agendas, meeting notes and a letter from Myrick Howard, of Preservation NC, denying the request from the Robeson Historical Preservation Association for an additional year to purchase the structure. Another interesting item in this folder is a letter from the Robeson House Preservation Association soliciting support from Senator Robert L. Martin.

    Series 3 consists of administrative documents and miscellaneous papers, 1994 - 1997. This series includes folders i - j.

    Folder i contains financial records, receipts, and tax status documentation, July 1994 – May 1997. There is also a list of potential grants and grant guidelines. In addition there is an application for the North Carolina State Grants Program.

    Folder j consists of miscellaneous items, including holograph notes of contacts who may potentially support the Robeson House Project, April 1996 – June 1997. There are also holograph notes that list various other historic sites. In addition there is a photocopied report generated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. This report relates to another structure that is situated on the same property that the Robeson House was located.

  • Biographical / Historical Note
     

    Solomon Robson, a Pitt County carpenter, received a grant for a 100 acres of land north of the Tar River in the Grindal Creek area in the mid-eighteenth century. He built a one-room, one-and-a-half-story frame structure on this land c. 1742. He deeded the property to his son, William, in 1767.

    William Robson served as a Pitt County delegate to the Provincial Congress in April 1776 (Halifax Resolves). He also served as an officer in the militia. William reportedly owned a store at the Grindal Creek Crossing. The British plundered the store during Cornwallis’ march to Yorktown.

    William’s daughter sold the house to Rueben Moore in 1806. In 1846 the Moore family sold the home to William and Mary Whichard. Their daughter, William (presumably named for her father), married John Taylor.

    The home remained in the family until 1986 when the Hemingway Family (descendants of the Taylor Family) enlisted the help of Preservation NC to preserve and sell the structure. Preservation NC identifies at-risk historic properties and resells them to buyers who are willing to rehabilitate them.

    Preservation NC reported that the Robeson – Whichard - Taylor house was determined to be the third oldest structure in the state of North Carolina. Dendrochronology dated the structure to approximately 1742. Built by Pitt County carpenter Solomon Robson, it represents a typical style of architecture constructed by the average farmer during the eighteenth century.

    The property that the Robeson - Whichard - Taylor House was located on was slated for development. The Hemingway family, with the help of Preservation NC, moved the house to a nearby tract of land, also owned by the family and began to seek a permanent owner.

    In June 1997, a local group of historians organized the Robeson House Preservation Association. The group planned to purchase the house and relocate it to a plot of land in Pitt County that belonged to the original Solomon Robson land grant. The Robeson House Preservation Association planned to develop a museum complex to educate the public on early architecture and the history of Pitt County. The North Carolina Museum of History became interested in acquiring the structure. In 1997 the Hemingway family donated the house to the North Carolina Museum of History. In March 1998, the house was moved to the Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport for storage. In 2010, the house was moved to Raleigh and reassembled inside the museum. It was opened for exhibit of April 16, 2011.

    http://www.presnc.org/about/

    http://ncmuseumofhistory.org/Exhibits/The-Story-of-North-Carolina

    http://collections.ncdcr.gov/RediscoveryProficioPublicSearch/ShowItem.aspx?74140+

    http://www.reflector.com/Look/2011/05/08/Pitt-County-house-featured-in-exhibit.html

    Sources:

    Power, Scott, and Sarah Boat. The Historic Architecture of Pitt County, North Carolina. Greenville, N.C.: Pitt County Historical Society, 1991.

    Object Text. Robson-Whichard-Taylor House. H.1998.79.1. The Story of North Carolina. North Carolina Museum of History. 2011.

    “Robson-Nelson-Lewellyn Family in Revolution.” Pitt County Genealogical Quarterly: PCGQ. Pitt County Family Researchers, February 2012. 3.

    North Carolina. Pitt County. 1900 U.S. Census, Population Schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2016.

    See additional collections:

    Davis Lee McWhorter Papers (#230), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    John Gideon Taylor Family Papers (#441), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    John Clayton Taylor Papers (#442), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

  • Related Collections
     

    Davis Lee McWhorter Papers (#230), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    John Gideon Taylor Family Papers (#441), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    John Clayton Taylor Papers (#442), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

  • Administrative Information
     
    Accessions Information

    March 7, 2001 70 items; Records (1987-1997) reflecting efforts to preserve the historic Robeson-Whichard-Taylor house in Pitt County, NC, including correspondence, reports, photographs, drawings, grant application, etc. Donor: Mrs. Drucilla H. York.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mrs. Drucilla H. York

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

    Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

    Preferred Citation

    Robeson House Preservation Association Records (#813), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Processed by HIST 5910 student Kristi Brantley, October 2016; Encoded by Apex Data Services


Preliminary Inventory

Below is material taken from a preliminary inventory and represents content from the collection that is unprocessed.

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