Last year when we went to the Outer Banks on vacation, one of the places we visited was the Bellamy House in Wilmington. I never got around to posting about it, so here it is. I love old architecture, and this 1859 Greek Revival and Italianate home was a delight to see.
Just look at the intricate detail under the eves, amazing. Such craftsmanship is rare today.
The detail of the front door is just as ornate.
Preservation of the home is ongoing. There was a devastating fire by arson just after the home was taken over by a preservation group. The damage was severe, and has taken years to recover, slowing the restoration and refurnishing of the rooms. This marvelous fireplace graces a front room.
The interior upstairs has amazing woodwork, wonderful original wood floors too.
The small room at the top of the house is called a belvedere. The windows were opened in warm weather with an elaborate vent system to draw hot air up and out from the lower levels, keeping the rooms more comfortable. It makes me wonder why we don’t still have vents today that would open at the top of the house to let out warm air in the summer.
I love looking at old kitchens, and this one was just as fascinating. It had an indoor sink, which was an innovation at the time. Period correct items were set out on the table and countertops to illustrate the types of foods and utensils people used over a century ago.
There was a pantry on one wall, filled with various storage containers and serving dishes.
The tools of the time would give an antique collector the vapors, like this wonderful old coffee grinder. All over the kitchen were small frames with information on the surrounding items and how they were used.
This fireplace in the kitchen was the main way of cooking.
Out in the butler’s pantry, just off the main dining room, glass fronted cabinets hold a myriad of dishes.
Outside, the fountain is on the square next to the mansion.
All around the house, magnolia trees were blooming with those gorgeous white flowers.
If you go to Wilmington, be sure to take the audio guided tour. The amount of information, tidbits and details is amazing. The tour points out things you wouldn’t ordinarily notice, like worn places on the flooring where servants walked and stepped over decades of use. This home had many new innovations of the day, including a water system for showers and toilets not seen in most homes of the day. We had a wonderful tour here, and would recommend the tour for anyone visiting Wilmington.
There are historic homes near us too, yet we haven’t been to any of them in years. Of course, there is the Biltmore House, but the Carl Sandburg house is very close too. Maybe we should go hiking there soon. The Thomas Wolfe home is in Asheville, just up the road, and the Angel statue of his Look Homeward Angel novel is in a Hendersonville cemetary.
Are there any historic homes near you?