The historic Walker-Scarborough House will be open on Preservation Greensboro’s Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens on May 18-19!
Situated on one of the largest lots within Greensboro’s College Hill Historic District, the Walker-Scarborough House is among the three oldest houses in the neighborhood and represents early features of Italianate style – articulated by the low-hipped roofline, wide overhanging eaves with exposed rafter ends, and a porch supported by chamfered posts. Interior appointments are typical to the Carolina Piedmont including a center-hall plan with steep stairs flanked by two equal rooms with end chimneys.
The house is believed to have been built by Governor John Motley Morehead as a wedding gift to his daughter Letitia and her husband, William Walker. William was from Rowan County, where his family operated a ferry used to cross the Yadkin River. Letitia and her husband didn’t live in the home long – William died in 1855 and Letitia moved her family back into Blandwood.
Samuel Scarborough, a grocer, and his wife, Elizabeth, purchased the house in 1863 and lived there for more than forty years. Confederate President Jefferson Davis is rumored to have met with his Cabinet in the house in the closing days of the Civil War as the group fled Richmond, Virginia. When Elizabeth died in 1865, Samuel married his second wife, Julia, and raised their blended family in the home, including Rachel and Nanie and the younger children Etta, Archer, Clyde, Harry, Frank and Cora.
The Scarborough family made several important changes to the house, replacing the original detached kitchen with an attached wing, adding new bathrooms, and even erecting a classically designed porch. The family maintained ownership of the house through daughter Cora until 1933, when it passed through a succession of owners. By 1984 the home was severely deteriorated from its days as a rooming house and was vacant by order of condemnation. To save the house, the Greensboro Redevelopment Commission acquired it and transferred ownership to the College Hill Revolving Fund.
The Fund identified Jane and Bill Moore to purchase and restore the property in 1986. Bill was the director of the Greensboro Historical Museum. He commenced a major restoration of the home, returning its 1845 appearance by reconstructing the original porch, restoring early details and finishes, and added a new wing that serves as a kitchen and family room. Today, College Hill’s oldest residence at 168 years old appears much as it did when constructed with its soft earthen color scheme and wood-grained front door. The house was designated a Guilford County Landmark Property in 1991.
Preservation Greensboro’s Third Annual Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens will feature ten vintage homes of the College Hill neighborhood. Plan to spend the weekend touring stunning homes of the nineteenth
century that highlight interesting architecture, design ideas, and local history! Advanced tickets will be available for purchase after April 20th. Stay tuned to our website, this blog and our Facebook page for additional information!