Woodburn Cottage

 117 Woodburn is a beautiful 1920 Arts and Crafts cottage in Raleigh’s desirable Cameron Park neighborhood.

This unique historic home was renovated in 2005 in accordance with Secretary of Interior standards for historic properties.  In that year, it began operation as Woodburn Cottage – one of Raleigh’s best B&B’s.  The B&B operation ceased in 2013 and 117 Woodburn continues as a fine single family home.

Designed to minimize the appearance of size, this home enjoys almost 3000 square feet of living area in the main house.  Also included is a legal garage apartment of 417 square feet near the alley at the rear of the property.

Simple elegance with a full front porch, 9-over-1 double hung windows, stained Arts and Crafts woodwork including the mirrored mantels, doors and newel post.  A large first floor bedroom plus 3 more bedrooms upstairs, 3 full baths and 4 fireplaces.

All this and located in perhaps Raleigh’s most walkable neighborhood – with easy access to Cameron Village, Glenwood South, Downtown Raleigh, Hillsborough Street, NC State University and Raleigh Little Theatre.

Cameron Park Book

Cameron Park, A Remote Retreat on Hillsboro Street 1910 to 2010.  

Published in Fall of 2014, this book covers a 100 year history of Cameron Park.    Written by Ruth Little with photos by David Strevel to compliment the many documentary photos.

Purchase or Sell a Cameron Park home with me and receive a free copy.

You may also purchase the book online here through Preservation North Carolina.
I’ve also seen it at Quail Ridge Books and the NC Museum of History.

Interested in more about 117 Woodburn? – Read On
Following courtesy of George and Gretchen Chapman

Earliest owner of 117 Woodburn was the William F Upshaw family.  Mr. Upshaw was married to Myrtle and managed Aetna Life Insurance agency in Raleigh.  Initially they lived in the home with children Berrien, James and Sage.

By 1932, Sage had become assistant bookkeeper for the Aetna agency.  Eldest son, Berrien K ”Red” Upshaw, played football at Georgia Tech.  After a whirlwind and notorious romance, Berrien married Margaret Mitchell in Atlanta in 1922. Neighbors report the couple lived in 117 Woodburn for a period that year after their honeymoon at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville.  They separated after a brief and torrid life together and divorced in 1924.

Shortly thereafter Margaret Mitchell began her novel, “Gone With the Wind”, finished in 1929.  Many speculate that young Berrien Upshaw was, in fact, Rhett Butler to Margaret’s Scarlett O’Hara.  Berrien and Margaret died within months of one another, in 1949.  She of a pedestrian/automobile accident in Atlanta, and he of mysterious circumstances in Galveston.  He is buried in Raleigh’s Oakwood cemetery, she in Atlanta’s Oakland cemetery.

By 1932, the Upshaw’s had moved to Blount Street and Sallie N Rees, a milliner, lived in 117 Woodburn.  Mattie F Rees also lived there, possibly in the garage apartment.

By 1942, the Upshaw family had moved to Hayes Barton where they shared a home with William Warner Upshaw of the US Navy, and Mary Bryant Upshaw, a student.

117 Woodburn became a duplex during the WWII housing shortage, and by 1942 was owned by Joseph K and Daisy B Waitt. Daisy a genealogist with the NC Department of Archives and History, and Joseph was head of real estate for Seaboard Railway.  Joseph lived there until his death in the late 1970’s.

Following the death of Joseph Waitt, the house changed ownership several times and was reclaimed as a single family home.

From the mid 1980’s until his death in 1999, 117 Woodburn was owned by Gilbert “Gib” Smith, a professor at NCSU who also taught Spanish on educational TV in Raleigh.

117 Woodburn was purchased by George and Gretchen Chapman in 2000.  George was City of Raleigh Planning Director from 1981 until his retirement in 2005.  Gretchen taught French at Ligon Middle school until her retirement in 2008.  They previously lived at 217 Hawthorne, also in Cameron Park, where they raised their three children, Jennifer, Martha and George A.

In 2005, they opened the home to the public as Woodburn Cottage, a Bed and Breakfast.

During this time the garage apartment was occupied serially by their son, George A along with Brian Bouterse and Jeremy Gould, students at NCSU.

Chronology of Residents of 117, 117A, 117B, and 117 ½ Woodburn Road
(from City Directories and Wake Co. Tax Records)

117 – William F. M. Upshaw, Manager, Aetna Life Insurance agency of Raleigh
Myrtle M Upshaw
Berrian Upshaw, student (1919); James Upshaw, student (1920,1926); Sage Upshaw, student (1929)

117 – Sallie N Rees, Milliner and Mattie F Rees, roomer

117 – Sallie N Rees,
Joseph K Waitt, property owner, head of real estate for Seaboard Railway
Daisy B Waitt—geneaologist, NC Dept. Archives and History

117 – Joseph Kendall Waitt and Daisy B Waitt
117A – Mrs. Rose O. Rogers, widow of J. B. Rogers

117A – Troy D Best – helper at Pittsburgh Plate Glass
117B – Joseph K Waitt
117 ½ – Guy H Hemrich – helper at Henry and Rye (sheet metal workers, 600 Glenwood Ave) and Virginia R Hemrich, office secretary, Northwest Mutual Insurance.

117 ½ – Edith Barnes – bookkeeper Durham Life Insurance

117A – Humberto A Mendoza, student NCSU and Olga Isabel Mendoza – bilingual secretary, NCSU
117B – Waitt
117 ½ – Berlyn L Alexander

117 ½ – Carl Derry – parts manager, Owens Motors

117A – Bud Alexander, retired

117 – Roger D and Sophie F Farmer (acquired 2/21/78)

117A – Sophie Farmer – employed at IBM
Robert D and Rebecca K Proctor (acquired 7/09/80)


117 ½ – Mark Williams

117 – Gilbert G Smith NCSU professor and Dana A Bartelt (acqquired 3/27/84)
117 ½ – Caleb Smith

117 – Gilbert Smith

117 – Cameron Park Land Co. (acquired 7/14/2000)
117 – George B Chapman, City of Raleigh Planning Director (acquired 12/14/2000)  and Gretchen N Chapman – Ligon Middle School, French Teacher
117 ½ – George A Chapman, son

117 ½ – Brian Bouterse, student NCSU

117 – Home was opened as Woodburn Cottage Bed and Breakfast in May by George B and Gretchen Chapman, resident innkeepers.  Special Use Permit issued Nov. 14, 2005.
117 ½ – Jeremy Gould, student NCSU

117 ½ – George A Chapman, son

117 – The Bed and Breakfast was converted back to residence of George B and Gretchen Chapman, retirees
117 1/2 – George A Chapman

Heck Andrews House

Heck Andrews House photo
Heck Andrews House in 2006

The magnificent Heck Andrews House on Blount Street in Raleigh is being purchased by North Carolina Association of Realtors.  The News and Observer reports that The State of North Carolina will sell the house for $1.5 million.   Be sure to watch the video associated with the article.

It’s hard to beat Heck Andrews House description in the 1977 National Register of Historic Places nomination for Blount Street Historic District.

Here’s an excerpt.

“Post-Civil War suburban development on North Blount began at the intersection of North and North Blount Streets.  On these four corners were built four of the district’s finest and grandest houses, three of which still exist.  Like the antebellum houses, these residences were set on sizable lots and had associated outbuildings.”

“The earliest of the group, Heck-Andrews House (NR) at 309 North Blount, is an extraordinary two-story frame Second Empire style house with an imposing three-story tower.  Typical of this style, influenced by the architecture of the rebuilding of Paris under Napoleon III, is the concave, slate-shingled mansard roof with bold, pedimented dormers on the front and side elevations.  The tower projects from the center of the front elevation and is also topped by a high mansard roof, this time convex, with a tiny balustraded deck.  An elaborate, eclectic veranda stretches across the front elevation with paired, chamfered posts and a low mansard roof.  On either side elevation are pairs of highly-ornamented rectangular windows.”

Blount Street photo from 1910
1910 Photo of Blount Street with partial view of Heck Andrews House.

Tree Hug

Tree Hugging in RaleighOne stop on yesterday’s house hunting tour with friend-client Joe. The unexceptional house was overshadowed by this magnificent willow oak in the front yard. Had to give it a hug.

Little Library

Little Free Library in Cameron ParkLittle Free Libraries have been popping up around Raleigh (and around the world).  Here’s a photo of one in my neighborhood which beautifully matches the home.

Take a book – Leave a book.   As they say, it’s a happy thing.

Want to find one near you or near a friend?  Check out the map at Little Free Library website.

Boylan Heights

Boylan Heights is on the southwest side of downtown Raleigh and enjoys a wonderful view of the skyline.  This terrific neighborhood is sited on what was William Montfort Boylan plantation.  Montfort Hall, an antebellum mansion, is still part of the neighborhood.

Montfort Hall and surrounding acreage were acquired for subdivision in 1907.  The resulting neighborhood was popular from the start.  Boylan Heights saw about 60 homes built in the first 7 years.  Most date from the 1910’s and 1920’s with a chief architectural ingredient being the bungalow.  Boylan Heights was Raleigh’s first neighborhood with curvilinear streets.

Project Enlightment is now located in the old Boylan Springs Elementary School.  Right in the center of the neighborhood.

An artistic and fun loving community, Boylan Heights is a great place to live.  Check out their halloween pumpkin lineup on Boylan Avenue Bridge, the annual Art Walk in December, and don’t forget summertime’s Big Boylan Bash.

I took many of these Boylan Heights photos way back in 2002.  Enjoy.