06 March 2016

Two 18th-century houses in Beaufort, N.C.

So as an official "elder blogger" I thought I'd post a few pictures of things that are older than I am. Specifically, I'm talking about houses in Beaufort, North Carolina. It's not my home town, but I'm sure some of my ancestors lived there. I drove and walked around in Beaufort three or four times in late February 2016.

The Rustell house (or Russell house in some accounts) was built in the early 1700s in Beaufort, North Carolina, making it the oldest existing house in the town.

You can see the floor plan of the first floor of the Rustell House here.

I wonder if they had rocking chairs on porches in the 18th century.

The town of Beaufort [BOH-furt] was founded in 1709. It's one of the three or four oldest towns in North Carolina, along with Bath, Edenton, and New Bern. The town I was born and grew up in is Morehead City, which was not founded until 1857. Beaufort and Morehead are separated by just three miles, including two bridges and a causeway built in 1927. Earlier, a railroad bridge, built in 1907, gave residents and tourists a way to get to Beaufort from Morehead and points west without having to go by boat.

Samuel Leffers' house, a rustic or "primitive" cottage, was built in Beaufort, N.C., in 1778.

I liked seeing collard greens growing in the Leffers House garden.

Samuel Leffers was a schoolmaster and merchant who also served as the clerk of the local court.

North Carolina was also the site of the first English attempt at establishing a colony in North America, in 1585. That attempt was a failure — all the colonists vanished while a ship made the return crossing to England to bring back supplies. The first successful colony was established in 1607 just to the north at Jamestown, in Virginia. People from Jamestown starting moving south into North Carolina in the mid-1600s.


  1. Interesting history of the town but it is very toung comparing to my city which is 763,

  2. The houses don't look particularly old, perhaps because of their clean lines and them being well maintained.

    1. I doubt that the houses ever looked like this in the past. I wouldn't be surprised if they were never painted, or whitewashed, back in the 18th or 19th century. My father, born in 1926, grew up in a house of this style and it was never painted -- just raw boards. Modern paints make the white look possible.

  3. I love the Samuel Leffers house - I always liked the style of the old homes in the South...porches for sitting outside when it is so hot and humid .. ceiling fans and lots of windows.

  4. I agree that the wonderful upkeep, and the fresh white paint, make these some very nice looking houses -- their history is very interesting, of course, too :)
    I wrote a blog post about some big, beautiful historic homes in New Bern, that were built from plans and lumber supplied by Sears.

  5. I'm surprised by the age of these houses, because they look like the typical house in my neighborhood (actually newer looking), and many others I had visited in the USA. I'm currently touring a lot of houses too because I'm looking for a free standing house to rent.


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