Sunday, August 14, 2011

Toliver Florance House

Toliver Florance (1785-1875)

This picture was taken for An Inventory of Historic Architecture: Caswell County, North Carolina, Ruth Little-Stokes and Tony P. Wrenn (1979). Litle-stokes apparently thought the structure dated from c.1895, but it was built much earlier. William Junius Florance (1859-1930) actually remodeled the house in 1896 when he added the ornate woodwork to the front of the house. A catalog from which was ordered the fancy sawnwork and turnings from a company in Ohio was found in a trunk belonging to William Junius Florance. He also ordered stained glass windows to go in the center gable. Florance also built a wing on the back of the house for a new kitchen. Before this, a log kitchen stood some twenty feet from the house.

This image and the one that follows show how the house evolved. Around 1982 the tree on the left fell onto the porch. It demolished half the porch, exposing the original structure before the porch was added. The photo was taken in 1925 when an ice storm hit Caswell County.

The second image is a 1987 pen and ink drawing by Ambrose Powell Hill. With the porch removed exact measurements could be taken of the original hip roof porch. Thus, the drawing is to scale.

William J. Florance built a complete house almost like this one for Albert Florance on Stanfield Road in the southern Caswell County. In 1888, William J. Florance built a large house for James Rascoe on what is now Rascoe Dameron Road. William J. Florance moved to Graham, Alamance County, North Carolina, where he built many homes. He was the first contractor to build at the Palmer Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina, for Charlotte Hawkins Brown. All but two of those houses burned, and were rebuilt by another contractor.

Left is the Toliver Florance house as it looked September 2011.

Second, third, and fourth photographs courtesy James Lee Florence, Jr.

1 comment:

  1. Toliver Florance is my Great Great Great Grandfather. Its a real treat for me to see this. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Richard Shepherd