December Preservation News

Saving Wilson’s future by preserving its past
December 2019

The National Trust for Historic Preservation & Preservation of Wilson invites you to celebrate THIS PLACE MATTERS

Moses Rountree House

Meet Michael & Robbin Watkins, owners of the Moses Rountree House on Rountree Street in the Old Wilson Historic District and one of Wilson’s oldest houses. This house is a local landmark and also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1869 for Moses Rountree (1822-1887) who was the most prominent merchant in Wilson during the mid-nineteenth century.

A Message From The Owners
“This place matters because it’s our escape from the city life we came from. Wilson is actually the midway point from family members in both directions (North and South). We came across the Rountree Home after our original closing fell through due to a flooding issue.

After looking at several homes in the Wilson Historic Area and not finding anything that sparked our interest we decided to call it quits for the day. We were heading back to the realtor’s office to retrieve our vehicle when we noticed a realtor sign in the yard and that was basically how we found the Rountree House. The architectural work that went into this home was phenomenal. Once we crossed the threshold there was no turning back. We knew on sight that this would be our home and here we are!

Preservation North Carolina
Preservation North Carolina has protective covenants on this Gothic Revival Style Cottage. We asked Maggie Gregg, Regional Director for the Eastern Office her thoughts on the Protective Covenants: “Protective Covenants are currently the only preservation tool that protects the architecturally significant details of a Historic Property from insensitive alterations or removal. The Protective Covenants also prevent demolition of a protected property, ensuring it will stand for generation to come. To date, Preservation North Carolina has protected more than 800 properties across the state.”

The Nadal House
1007 Nash Street, NW

Front Row: Dave Sheppard, Ned and Valerie Roebuck. Back Row: Buck Yelverton and Stephanie Batten

Welcome to Valerie & Ned Roebuck

The Nadal House keys have been turned over to Ned and Valerie Roebuck by Dave Sheppard, Preservation of Wilson’s 2019 Properties Chair. Allyson Moye, Womble Real Estate represented Preservation of Wilson during the sale.

With the Roebuck’s vision, strong work ethic instilled by their parents, and encouragement from Preservation of Wilson, Ned and Valerie’s adventure begins. Ned and Valerie Roebuck are currently living in Wake Forest. They are retired educators from New York where Ned taught Science and Valerie taught English. Both attended and met at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. They have three children and two granddaughters. Their passion for barns and older homes has been a major part of their life together.

Ned has been involved in residential construction throughout his years as a teacher, from renovating a decrepit 1890’s house in Vermont to building a new home in New York. Now upon retirement, Ned fills his time with renovating and remodeling broken-down mill houses in North Carolina and other historic buildings in New York. Valerie is an artist and creates original paper based pet portraits.

Restoration Of Five Shotgun Homes

By Business Partners, Monica Davis & Antonio M. Jenkins
This summer Monica & Antonio purchased five shotgun houses and two vacant lots in the East Wilson Historic District – 132 Ash St. E., 134 Ash St. E., 146 Narrow Way, 148 Narrow Way, 113 Narrow Way, and 133 Narrow Way. In the process, they discovered 146 and 148 Narrow Way had been slated for demolition with permits signed and ready to go. Thanks to Monica & Antonio these two shotgun homes have been saved and all five will see a complete restoration. The work will be done in accordance to the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation taking advantage of the NC Historic Tax Credits.

Tracing Changes and Revealing Culture:
A Study on Shotgun Homes in the
East Wilson Historic District
The East Wilson Historic District has the largest collection of shotgun houses in a single neighborhood in the state. However, 200 shotgun houses have been demolished in the East Wilson Historic District since 1988 and there are only 88 left standing. Monica Davis, a native of Wilson & a graduate student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Master of Fine Arts degree in Interior Architecture & a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Historic Preservation will be conducting this study as her thesis.

Changes In 2020

After almost 12 years as the Executive Director of Preservation of Wilson, Kathryn Ferrari Bethune will be retiring at the end of the year. “I have been Barton BOLD for preservation since I arrived in Wilson in 2000. I hope my work has encouraged and fostered pride in the historic districts. Thank you most sincerely for this honor and opportunity.”

Celebrate Our Volunteers With Us!

It is with great pride that we at Preservation of Wilson are able to recognize and share with you a little about the folks who give their time and talents to Preservation of Wilson. Each month we highlight a different individual as a way to introduce you to the hardworking Preservation of Wilson team!

Volunteer of the Month

Brent Flowers

Brent Flowers will take on the role as Interim Executive Director for an unnamed period while the selection committee completes its work. Flowers’s appointment as interim was a unanimous and popular decision of the Board of Trustees because, among other reasons, his career includes 20 years of corporate accounting, he has experienced first-hand the process of owning a historic home, and has made an investment in downtown with a commercial property he is currently stabilizing.

How long have you been in Wilson?
We have lived here for approximately five years.

How long have you been with Preservation of Wilson?
Involved with Preservation of Wilson since 2015

What capacity do you work with Preservation of Wilson?
2017 to present – Member of the Board of Trustees
2017 to 2019 – Treasurer and Member of the Ex. Committee
2017 to 2019 – Chair of the Finance Committee
Multi-year volunteer with the Garden Party

Quote about the importance of Preservation of Wilson:
“Preservation of Wilson plays a vital role in the renovation and preservation of historic and vintage homes in Wilson. Without the energy and influence of this organization, the progress towards preserving the architectural heritage of Wilson would be severely hampered.”

Fun Fact
The purchase of our home in Wilson was the subject of an episode of House Hunters on HGTV​. ​It is my understanding that another house in Wilson was sold as a result of the new homeowner watching that episode. Also, my son and I restore and collect classic British sports cars.

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