For a long time after I had cancer, I suffered with a horrible depression. I really believe my age and some of the medicine I was taking made it worse. My husband would try to get me to get out of the house and go places with him. So many times, I refused, and just sat home in my misery.
Then one day on April 27, 1992, he insisted that I go with him. I told him I had a terrible headache. He said we'll stop at a store and get you something. So I finally said yes and got in the car. He was going to buy a piece of equipment for his tractor and it was at Keansville, N.C.
On that day I had the opportunity to go through an old house in Duplin County off Hwy 11. This house was on the Chambers old homeplace. Frank Chambers, a nephew of the man who owned the house showed it to us.
The house sat well off the ground. Originally it was on cedar posts but several of these had been replaced with cement blocks to level the house. Around the foundation of the house (not the porch and kitchen) there were brick walls with small windows with bars. Inside this enclosure underneath the house there were two rooms with dirt floors. We were told that this was where slaves were kept. They were locked underneath the house in these small rooms.
Inside the house there were four rooms (I think)on the first floor. There was one large room upstairs that in previous years had a partition that made too rooms. The kitchen was off to the side of the front of the house. There had been a separation between the kitchen and the house before, but now these had been connected.
There were three back doors. Double doors led out from the hall to the back and another door just behind the stairs to the outside. Frank's uncle was redoing the house in the hopes of living in it.
The Historical Society had wanted to restore the house, but the uncle would not have had control of the house so he turned them down. Frank's great uncle had acquired the home place during the depression. He had no children but left all he had to 23 neices and nephews and four churches named in his will. Frank's uncle was able to buy the homeplace and a few acres around it. Frank's mother and father were both Chambers.
So this was one time I pushed the depression away and took this ride with my husband. And eventually with GOD's help I got passed that time in my life.
A news story on a local channel brought this memory to my mind tonight...
The house has 43 hundred square feet of charm and history, and it's all free. The catch is whoever takes it has to move it, which can be expensive.
"What we're looking for is a taker that owns some property, preferably in Pitt County of possibly in Beaufort County that's financially capable of taking on a project of this magnitude," said Claudia Deviney with Preservation North Carolina.
The house was built around 1910 and is located in Grimesland. In addition to paying to move the house, the new home owners would have to agree to preserve it.
"It's very important to save these buildings, especially buildings that have gotten to the point where there's really nothing else but to move them for them to survive," Deviney said.
The house has 6 bedrooms and two and half bathrooms, and has attracted potential takers from as far as Texas and New Hampshire.
Deviney says finding a historic house like this for free is extremely rare, and she hopes it can be saved before it's too late.
"It's just a beautiful house that's in good condition and really needs to be preserved," said Deviney. "It's part of Pitt County's history, and we like to say Pitt County built history and so that's why we, this is what we do."
If you're interested in the house, you can contact Claudia Deviney at 252-482-7455.