Located on a high wooded lot overlooking South Mendenhall Street, the Bumpass-Troy House is one of the three oldest houses in the College Hill neighborhood. The home is also one of a small number of Greek Revival residences in Greensboro, illustrated by the use of Greek-inspired trim featuring “ears” around the main entry, boxed cornice, and a grand full-height portico of Doric columns that was apparently shifted forward during a 1911 renovation to expand the width of the front porch.
Erected in 1847, the original single-pile, center-hall brick house was constructed for Sidney and Frances Bumpass. Bumpass was an accomplished Methodist minister and trustee of the nearby Greensborough Female College (today Greensboro College) who began a Christian newspaper known as The Weekly. Though Bumpass died at the age of 42 in 1851, his wife continued publishing the newspaper from the home for twenty years. The Bumpass home was featured prominently in reports from soldiers who visited Greensboro in 1865, where the family “…entertained us in royal style…and invited us in the dining room where a nice lunch was spread, with hot coffee.”
The house remained in the family through eldest daughter Duella Bumpass’ line. She married Captain Robert Troy and raised a large family including Allah, Lota, Melvil, Nina, Eugene, Arthur, and Ethel. Ethel maintained ownership of the property until her death in 1975.
By 1989, the eleven-room house with seven fireplaces was suffering from neglect after having been used for student apartments. In 1991, Preservation Greensboro Incorporated helped save the Bumpass-Troy House from destruction by purchasing the house and placing preservation easements on the property. The easements, which preclude major alterations to the interior and exterior without consultation with the organization, continue with the deed in perpetuity.
Gwendolyn and Charles Brown bought the property and completed a major restoration, converting the home to a bed and breakfast inn. Subsequent owners Andrea and John Wimmer managed the inn through 2011, and present owners Judy and Larry Horn currently operate the 166-year-old home as the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast. The house was designated a Guilford County Landmark Property in 1992.
On May 18-19 2013, Preservation Greensboro’s Third Annual Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens featured this home and nine others in the College Hill neighborhood.
Written by Benjamin Briggs
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