Orange You GladThursday, July 30, 2015
On a classic (sweltering) Carolina summer day, I stopped by the oldest building in the little city of Jacksonville, North Carolina: the Pelletier House.
One hundred and sixty some years after its construction as a home and office for the Pelletier's turpentine operation, this little white Greek Revival building still stands right where it always has: on the banks of the New River, atop Wantland Spring.
Sitting here on the Pelletier porch, I found myself imagining all that this little house has seen-- the wars, the fires, the hurricanes, the march of progress-- and marveling at the fact that it still stands. It's hard to tell from the photographs, but just beyond the Pelletier house lies the once-bustling heart of Jacksonville. From the front porch you can see the courthouse, the cobbled streets and the many brick buildings of what was once the busiest part of town.
In its time here, looking over the river, the Pelletier house has witnessed the replacement of the very ferry that spawned this little community with not one, but two bridges. It has seen the days of horse and wagon come and go and seen every incarnation of the automobile. And, while modern life bustles around it, here it sits just as it always has.
Most amazingly though, through most of the changes it has witnessed, the Pelletier house was actually inhabited by a Pelletier. While vacant for the last sixty years, up until the mid-1950s the house was lived in by the daughter of the man that built it. After her death, the house passed into the hands of her son and eventually the county historical society. And for that I am glad.
I am glad to have taken the time to stop and visit the Pelletier house, glad to sit think about all that it has seen, all that came before it, and glad to imagine all that is yet to come.
I am glad, too, that places like this still exist and are being preserved.
Blouse-- antique shop
Straw handbag-- antique shop near Lake Placid, NY