Warning: History Content (but real estate related).
Raleigh still has a house from colonial times. The Joel Lane House was built in the early 1770’s. Keep in mind that was prior to the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), prior to the Declaration of Independence (1776) and prior to the founding of Raleigh (1792). By today’s McMansion standards this is a very modest home. In the 1700’s it was one of the finest homes around.
Joel Lane was instrumental in the founding of Wake County. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Revolutionary War and served in several public offices, including a decade or so as State Senator. In 1792, he sold 1000 acres of land to the State of North Carolina for the purpose of establishing the City of Raleigh. One of Raleigh’s main streets bears his name.
Amazingly his house has survived. In 1927 it was moved a short distance from its original location to where it stands now on the corner of St. Marys and Hargett Streets. The Joel Lane House is preserved as a museum and is open to the public. The tour is short but interesting. If you visit, ask the curator to point out evidence that it once served a dual purpose as both tavern and home – The Ultimate Multi-Family House.
As you can imagine, it is now surrounded by modern residential development such as St Mary’s Townhomes and the presently unfinished Bloomsbury Estates condos.
There’s an interesting connection between the Joel Lane House and Boylan Heights which I’ll save for a future post.