From The Archives
c. 1901 Victorian
Tarboro, North Carolina
The Barnhill-Carlisle House
This tastefully updated 4 Bedroom/3 Bath Turn-of-the-Century Victorian home offers gracious living, historic heritage, sweeping views of the Town Common, and a comfortable walk to Downtown shops and services, from one of the most prominent addresses in all of Tarboro's 45 block Historic District--Main Street on the Town Common.
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|Heated Sq. Ft.||3,585|
- 1st Floor Bath
- 1st Floor Bedroom
- 1st Floor Laundry Room
- Crawl Space
- Dining room
- Entry Hall
- Gourmet Kitchen
- Living room
- Utility Room
- Master bedroom downstairs
- Fresh paint
- Storage Building
- Built-in Cabinets
- Ceiling Fans
- Grand staircase
- Original wood windows
- Walk-In Closets
- Wood floors
- Shingle Roof
- Tin Roof
- Central air
- City sewer
- City water supply
- Gas heating
- Heat pump
- Water Heater - Electric
- 10-foot Ceilings
- Sleeping Porch
- Stained Glass Windows
- Updated Kitchen
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HISTORYLocated on a portion of the former David Pender Estate, a lot originally of some 1-2/3 acres, purchased from Robert R. Bridgers on the Town Common in 1860, it had been the front side yard of the Grove, built in 1808 by Thomas Blount and acquired by Wilson County's namesake, Lois Wilson, who lived in the Grove from 1830-1847, until his untimely death in the Mexican War. Blount's property originally went from the Grove (now on Bridgers Street) to the Town Common. This house, built in 1901, fronting on Main Street and cornering on the Town Common, is said to be the first house built on the former David Pender Estate.
In 1901 James I. Barnhill purchased this property for $1600 from James Pender, one of the Pender heirs. He and his wife Hattie L. Barnhill occupied the home until their deaths, in 1908 and 1909 respectively. In 1910 the home was acquired by Elena Jenkins Carlisle, foster child of the Barnhills, and then inherited two years later by Sam Q. Carlisle, a prominent local businessman, and his wife Sallie. The home would remain in the Carlisle family for the next 60 years until Norris W. Smith and his wife Katherine W. Smith, after 13 years of looking for just the right old house, moved into their "dream home" in May 1971. The Norris Smith family owned the home for some 36 years.
TOURApproaching the Barnhill-Carlisle House is a joy in itself. Situated at the intersection of Park Avenue on the Town Common and Main Street, it affords one an extraordinary opportunity to soak in the beauty of the present and the significance of the past. Two of the most cherished addresses in Tarboro's 45 block National Register Historic District--Park Avenue and Main Street converge on this one site. Step forward onto the spacious front walkway toward the welcoming center front porch or approach from the Town Common side and rest awhile on the expansive "rocking chair" side front porch with its sweeping views of the second oldest originally chartered Town Common in America, its venerable native trees, historic monuments, and recently restored iron fountain.
Beyond the magnificent setting, opportunities abound to appreciate the architectural exterior details of the Barnhill-Carlisle House as well. Its steep--pitched, peak roof flows to bold gable ends where kingpost decoration, diamond-shaped overlapping shingles and decorative trimwork under its edges, all contribute to its beauty and give this L-shaped frame Victorian a particularly striking presence. Beautiful angular bays face south toward the Town Common and west toward Main Street while a third, rectangular one looks north. On the upper floor a step back-in-time Sleeping Porch and an elaborately sculpted, interior chimney serve to further the experience.
As one opens the handsomely paneled front door with its beveled glass and enters this gracious home, the Barnhill-Carlisle House reveals an open, spacious Entry Hall, with its high ceiling, open archways flanked by Tuscan columns, an intriguing porcelain light fixture, paneled wainscot and its staircase with multiple landings.
Step through the columned archway into the light-filled Formal Parlor with its large bay windows, shuttered up and down for an optimal balance of light and privacy, period fireplace with beautiful wood mantel detailing, and matching porcelain light fixture for an inviting experience.
French doors from the Formal Parlor open to antique pine floors in the Formal Dining Room with its Tuscan columned manteled fireplace, single beaded panel wainscot, heavy molding and trim with bulls-eye corners and window surrounds. The Dining Room offers open access for entertaining with entrances via the French doors, a door to the Main Hall and another to the Kitchen.
Passing through the Formal Dining Room one comes to a huge eat-in Kitchen, recently renovated with stainless steel appliances, center work island and breakfast bar, white cabinets and decorative moldings, new wood-grain flooring, and, for a link to the past, retains single beaded panel wainscot and the refinished cabinet hand-painted by the Smiths' artistic daughter Lucinda for their then newly renovated kitchen in 1971.
Off the Kitchen is the door to an extra large Laundry/Utility Room with an adjoining Full Bath. It has a separate door to the back yard and carport and years ago the whole space, with its exterior clapboard siding, likely was a rear porch entrance. It is so large that a separate Laundry Room could be created with ample space remaining for a possible screened porch, enclosed sunroom or recreation room.
Passing through the Laundry Room and former rear porch entry, a seven-paneled oak door with transom leads to the Main Hall with hardwood floors and to a gorgeous Sitting Room with side porch access and a large bay, offering views of the Town Common. Once again the windows are equipped with upper and lower interior shutters for optimum balance of light and privacy. This Sitting Room with its beautiful wood mantel details, heavy period trim with bulls-eye corner moldings and colorful side entry door with multiple stained glass panels, center shutter for privacy and interesting bar-shaped exterior door handle, all contribute to an enjoyable experience on many levels.
Step into the next room and one finds the Master Bedroom suite facing Town Common with a room-sized, walk-in, lighted, cedar closet and private full bath with tiled bathtub, double sink and vanity, and shuttered window.
Exiting back to the Main Hall, one discovers an open, turned staircase with carved newel post, paneled wainscot, elaborate multi-bead turned balusters, all leading via multiple landings to a large upstairs open hallway, with antique pine throughout the entire upstairs, and to three bedrooms and a balconied Sleeping Porch, with its relaxation view of Main Street and the Town Common.
The three bedrooms and a huge full bath with tiled counter, pedestal sink, wooden blinds and spacious linen closet all access off the open hallway. Two of the bedrooms in particular offer abundant light, having the benefit of triple bay windows, and beautiful views overlooking the Town Common and Main Street. Decorated with heavy detailed workmanship and period style fixtures, the rooms with their generous proportions and high ceilings, are naturally inviting and attractive.
Outside, the rear yard has a carport and a storage building with a porch canopy, which backs up to what is said to be the historic driveway for the original David Pender House before it was moved and turned to face Main Street, and the Main and Park sides of the original tract divided into building lots, of which the one cornering on Main Street and Park Avenue, was the most prominent and the first one to be built, namely this one--The Barnhill-Carlisle House.
RENOVATIONSMuch effort has been expended to preserve the historic heritage of this unique home while at the same time providing for modern comforts and conveniences.
Interior improvements included extensive kitchen and bath renovations and upgrades. The deluxe kitchen includes new counter-tops, stainless refrigerator and freezer, range, microwave, dishwasher and a central work island with breakfast bar. New wood-grain flooring has been added. The first floor master bath comes complete with a walk-in, cedar-lined closet. The full bath on the second floor have also been remodeled with period fixtures. Freshly painted in tasteful color schemes, the sheetrock work and painting were completed in a manner which preseved the home's architectural details.
The whole house now has central heat and air conditioning with two separate zones. Underneath the house, extensive work was completed removing old ductwork and adding updated HVAC systems. The structural aspects, including pier support work, was completed to meet local inspection standards.
On the exterior, the existing paint on windows and trim was stripped to original wood and freshly painted. The body of the house is currently covered in low-maintenance aluminum siding. Per architectural inventory records, the original siding is beaded.
COMMUNITYIn Tarboro, nestled in a bend of the Tar River with its population of less than 11,000, a front porch is more than part of a house. It symbolizes a tranquil way of life that's easy, open, and relaxed--yet casually elegant. A tranquil way of life which lends itself to a safe, relaxed and enjoyable small-town lifestyle, perfect for retirement or raising a family. A tranquil way of life which, outside of Tarboro, has become increasingly rare.
Rich in history and steeped in tradition, Tarboro is one of North Carolina’s most significant and intact Colonial towns. Chartered in 1760 with its original Town Common, a 15-acre park canopied by tall oaks, Tarboro, one of North Carolina's oldest towns, also has one of the state’s oldest and largest protected historic districts, a 45-block Historic District and renovated Downtown, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town's revitalized historic downtown has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation "Main Street Program". A Historic District National Recreation Trail guides visitors through the scenic older neighborhoods of the town. Guided walking tours of the Historic District, led by a local town historian and author, are held on Saturdays throughout late Spring through early Fall.
Although it is generally agreed that the area around Tarboro was settled by 1733, Mosley's map of that year shows only Tuscarora Indians. Tarrburg, as the town was called on maps of 1770-75, was chartered November 30, 1760 as Tarborough by the General Assembly. In September of the same year, Joseph and Ester Howell deeded 150 acres of their property to the Reverend James Moir, Lawrence Toole (a merchant), Captains Aquilla Sugg and Elisha Battle, and Benjamin Hart, Esquire, for five shillings and one peppercorn. As commissioners, these men were to lay out a town with lots of not more than 1/2 acre and streets not wider than 80 feet, with 12 lots and a 50-acre "common" set aside for public use. Lots were to be sold for two pounds, with the proceeds to be turned over to the Howells.
Tarboro, the head of navigation on the Tar and a riverport town during colonial times, has been the county seat of Edgecombe County since the county was established in 1741. The North Carolina State Legislature met here once in 1787 and again in 1987, and Tarboro has continued to maintain a position of importance in eastern North Carolina. Many citizens ventured early into manufacturing, though agriculture has long been the major industry. The area prospered, and by 1850 was widely known as "Tawboro", a name attributed to "Taw", the Indian word for "river of health".
Tarboro's cultural center is the Blount-Bridgers House, the early 19th century plantation house "The Grove" of Thomas Blount, an important figure in North Carolina's history. He, along with numerous Edgecombe County residents, served as officers in the Continental Army. Blount (1759-1812), a very young officer spent time in England as a prisoner of war, but returned to participate in one of the largest merchant/shipping companies in late eighteenth century America. Here, at the Blount-Bridgers House, artifacts and antiques tell the story of Edgecombe County, while the Hobson Pittman Collection of 20th century art, located in the same building, recalls the career of one of North Carolina's most celebrated artists. Along with the Blount-Bridgers House Gallery, the Edgecombe County Military Veteran's Museum also provides cultural insight into the local historical character of the community.
The Town Common is the venue for many town activities such as an annual Spring concert held by the North Carolina Symphony, the "Happening on the Commons," a regional outdoor fair held on the commons in May, the Cantaloupe Festival held in June, and History Days in September complete with civil war reenactors camping out on the Town Common and in the yards of area historic homes. There are usually two historic home tours sponsored by the town annually - one during the summer and another at Christmas time.
Edgecombe Community College and North Carolina Wesleyan College can provide great opportunities for adult degree programs as well as a variety of engaging educational courses that are stimulating and thought provoking. Both schools have state of the art auditoriums where concerts, plays and various other programs are presented regularly.
Tarboro has a great mix of small shops, restaurants and business opportunities. On the Square Wine Bar and Restaurant, run and operated by young chef/sommelier Stephen Ribustello and his wife Inez, former Beverage Director at Windows on the World in New York City, provides an exquisite food and beverage experience. Main Street Cafe´ is a popular gathering spot along with Cotton's Grill for morning tales and enjoyable conversation. Other goods and services and quality housing of varying styles and prices provide local residents with an array of attractive options.
Residents can also enjoy the many recreational facilities the town offers its citizens: a 15-acre Town Common, three recreation Centers (including a state-of-the-art senior citizens center), a community pool complex, 10 tennis courts, three major parks and several neighborhood parks, two boat ramps accessing the Tar River, and Indian Lake, a 52-acre natural park. From golf and tennis and to hunting and fishing, there are numerous venues, including The Links at Cotton Valley, an 18-hole course, the Tarboro Softball Complex which houses five regulation fields, shad and herring fishing on the Tar River, an abundance of turkeys and deer during hunting season, and a bike trail throughout the town.
Centrally located for those who enjoy the excitement of North Carolina's cities and the relaxation of its coast, Tarboro is strategically positioned between the Piedmont and the Outer Banks. Located in the Northern Coastal Plain, only 20 miles east of I-95 and on US 64, the main route to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Tarboro is an easy drive during the summer months to the Atlantic coast with its many beaches, and a convenient drive of less than 30 miles to larger cities, such as Rocky Mount, Greenville and Wilson, each with their liberal arts universities. The state capital, Raleigh, is only an hour's drive, and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, an additional quarter hour.
Only 22 miles southeast, via a four lane highway, East Carolina University, home of East Carolina Medical School, is recognized as having one of the top cardio vascular programs in the country. The local Heritage Hospital is affiliated with the East Carolina Medical School through the University Health System of Eastern North Carolina. Locally, the Fountains at the Albemarle, a local upscale retirement complex, offers five levels of living from independent to Alzheimer's care.
Archived in February, 2013
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