In It For The Long Haul
Greensboro Police Captain Robert Eggleston Pearce (1868-1923) and his wife Sarah (1872-1967) built this house in 1904. The Greensboro Patriot newspaper announced that “Mr. R. E. Pearce has purchased two lots on Fifth avenue and will erect a dwelling on one of them in the near future.”
Pearce served as a police officer for 26 years, and as Sergeant of Police in 1905. He was also a plaster contractor – on record as a plaster craftsman for Greensboro College and the Benbow Arcade on Elm Street.
Robert and Sarah had two sons, named Marvin and Penn (died as an infant), as well as a daughter named Eunice. The couple remained in the residence until they moved to 416 Summit Avenue in 1919. At that time the property was sold to Nina and Jack H. Blue. Blue was president and treasurer of Poole & Blue, funeral directors, embalmers, and ambulance service. The Blues owned the house into the Great Depression.
Their home is among the oldest of the Cone’s era of construction. The two-story, frame house is sited on a high lot overlooking Fifth Avenue. A tall gable features a Palladian window in a field of staggered shingles. A wrap-around porch supported by Tuscan columns set upon piers and a second-floor balcony rounds out the Queen Anne details of the façade. Interior appointments are impressive, including period mantels, and an impressive stair and newel post.
Pearce had a working relationship with J. N. Longest, a well-regarded contractor and builder remembered for erecting the Holly Inn in Pinehurst. Their relationship may signal the design of the Pearce House by Longest.