Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Wooding Place (Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina)

Wooding Place
The Weekly Review (Reidsville, Rockingham County, North Carolina) April 10, 1889 - Col. John E. Wooding, a native of Halifax county, Va., but who had for at least thirty years made his home in Milton, died quietly at the home of his son, Mr. R. S. Wooding, last Friday evening at the age of seventy-nine years. Col. Wooding was a quite remarkable man, he possessed a fine intellect, had an almost perfect memory, kept well posted on all topics of current interest, was well read, and we think one of the most interesting conversationalists to whom we ever listened.

Wooding Place (Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina). Built around 1840. One of a group of raised-basement houses built in the mid-19th century in Milton. Built by John Wooding who operated the Milton brickyard. Flemish bond brick basement, exterior end brick chimneys, pedimented gable ends, Greek Revival trim and Italianate bracketed porch which may be a replacement. At the rear are two unusual square brick dairies with pyramidal roofs which recall the outbuildings of 18th century Williamsburg.

Source: Little-Stokes, Ruth and Wrenn, Tony P., An Inventory of Historic Architecture: Caswell County North Carolina -- The built environment of a burley and bright-leaf tobacco economy. Waynesville (North Carolina): Don Mills, Inc., 1979, p. 216.

Hyco Lake — Vol 2, 2013

The Wooding Place

The Past Meets the Present in a Serene Country Setting

Residents, visitors, and preservationists alike cherish the rich historical heritage of Milton. The quiet town of around 130 people, located along the Dan River in northern Caswell County, holds fast to its motto: "the museum without walls, where preserving the past is our future". This motto rings loud and true, displayed in the number of National Historic Landmarks throughout Milton, along with charming antique shops, a general store, and stately 19th-century homes. The town's history is deeply rooted in the prosperity of the tobacco warehouses and mills that dotted the Dan River during the 1800's, when most of the town's buildings and homes were constructed. Many of the homes also exhibit the exquisitely detailed millwork of Thomas Day, the Milton-native and well known African-American craftsman whose signature work can be found throughout the Tar Heel State.

One such example of the classic 19th-century homes of Milton is located at 81 Bridge Street, formerly known as "The Wooding Place". Built in 1840, the home is part of The Milton Walking Tour of Historical Homes and recently underwent renovation with preservation back to its original appearance. The Wooding Place was originally built for local brick maker John Wooding and comprises one of four raised-basement style homes constructed in Milton between 1840 and 1850. Another feature characteristic of this time period is the home's eye-catching brick work, with the basement level in the style of Flemish bond and two brick chimneys flanking each side of the house. Behind the house stand two square brick outbuildings with pyramidal roofs which are similar to the outbuildings of 18th-century Williamsburg.

One of the home's original features remaining intact is the large, flat stone at the front of the house, known as a "carriage step". Carriage steps functioned in assisting passengers exiting from horse-drawn carriages. Leading to the home's front porch are open-arms style steps, designed with care to welcome visitors to the home. Original double-doors grace the front entrance of the house, and the lock and key continue to be fully functional.

Originally, the home consisted of four rooms, two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs. Once inside the home, a central hall feeds into two of the original downstairs rooms with a stairwell leading upstairs. The upstairs of the home contains two large rooms: a parlor, still in use, and a master bedroom, which now serves as a guest bedroom. Unusual for the time-period in which the home was built, the upstairs bedroom boasts a large walk-in closet. The two downstairs rooms once contained a small family room and bedroom. Now they function as the master bedroom and a library with built-ins. Each of the original downstairs rooms has been updated with closets. The four rooms original to the house still contain 1840 time-period authentic wide-plank wood floors, wood doors, and trim work. In addition, four fireplaces adorn the home's interior with three of the mantles unchanged from when the home was built. All ceilings throughout the home are 12 feet high with nine pane over nine pane windows with aligned doors. This configuration was used in the era which the house was built to help facilitate the flow of air to cool the home.

In 1991, an addition was completed to the rear of the home, consisting of two guest bedrooms, a modern eat-in kitchen with pantry, a living room, and a full bath and half-bath. A mudroom/laundry room, an additional full bath, and a two-vehicle carport with a large screened-in porch were added in 2010. In the process of these renovations, every measure was taken to avoid straying from the original 1840 home design.

A large patio containing each type of brick made by the home's original owner, John Wooding, decorates the home's back lawn. Unfortunately some of these bricks cracked and had to be extracted during the renovation, but a number of the original bricks were salvaged. The patio affords a pastoral view of the 19 acres upon which the home sits. In the past, the land was occupied by cows and goats, but two horses currently make their home here. Other exterior features across the street from the house include a carriage house, a three-story barn with electricity and water, a tack room, and a two-story tobacco barn: all original to the property and functional today. A small pond is also found on the property which once was used as a baptismal pool for the local Baptist church, and the County Line Creek runs at the southern border of the property.

The Wooding Place is currently on the market for purchase. If you are interested in becoming part of Milton's rich history and making this majestic property your home, please contact listing agent Denise Wrenn of Keller Williams Realty at 336-504-3599, or email her at denise@roxboro.net.

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