Save This Old House: A Free Federal Farmhouse
A 1840s farmhouse with a decorated history is well worth preserving
Price: Free (must be moved)
Location: Enfield, North Carolina
Contact: Robert Parrott, 919-832-3652, ext. 230
Known as Branch Grove, this farmhouse started as a humble Georgian cottage. In the 1840s, wealthy farmer Samuel Branch—part of a well-to-do family that included prominent tradesmen and even a three-term governor—added on the much larger front-facing Federal structure.
The farmhouse has a decorated history: It's the birthplace of Alpheus Branch, Samuel's son, who went on to found Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T), one of the nation's largest banks. The house is still part of a working farm but has been vacant since the 1970s, and now Preservation North Carolina is looking for a buyer.
Shown: The primary structure's original portico has a classic Federal-style fanlight above the front door.
This quaint cottage turned refined farmhouse features a blend of Federal and Georgian styles. The simple facade showcases a hallmark Federal portico.
Shown: The front door features a semicircular fanlight, a hallmark of Federal style.
Inside, the rooms have tall ceilings and wide-plank heart-pine floors, wide-board and paneled wainscoting, and wood trim around the nine-over-nine and six-over-nine windows.
Shown: Southern heart-pine floors line the wainscoted interior; most of the boards are ripe for restoration.
The Federal portion of the house has fared better than the older Georgian part, which has lost most of its flooring.
Shown: The staircase in the main part of the house is still in place and missing only a few balusters.
Electrical and plumbing systems need updating throughout, and you'll have to replace some windows and part of the roof.
Shown: The old Georgian cottage portion in back is experiencing some decay thanks to a growing hole in the roof.
The house must be moved within 25 miles of its current location. The good news is that suitable lots start at $2,500 per acre—and with its powerful pedigree and stately style, Branch Grove is worth the effort.
Shown: The old mantels, now stored elsewhere, boast Federal-style woodwork.
Got a House? If you know of an old house that should be saved and is for sale, write to [email protected] or This Old House, 135 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10020.