The CSX Depot was built in 1906 to serve as both a freight and commercial depot for citizens of Monroe as the city's importance in the railroad line was growing. In 1988 the building was designated a historical property. In 1998 through the efforts of the city and the NC Department of Archives and History, the structure was restored to its original appearance by Dvorak Construction.
This ageless beauty features a rock-faced brownstone water table that runs the length of the building. The window and door openings are of jack arches and have soldier and rowlock brick. It was repainted its original colors of red, white, and dark green. Today the depot continues to operate as a connecting point for two of CSX’s busiest lines.
The private homes on this year’s tour include:
1.The Snyder-Beasley House. Built in 1912 this Neo-Classical Revival gem is now owned by Lisa and Randy Carroll. The home was built for D.B. Snyder who was the secretary and treasurer of Henderson Motor Company. In the 1930s it was purchased by Roland F. Beasley Jr. who along with G.M. Beasley published the Monroe Journal.
This two-story beauty has undergone very little changes since it was first built. It has a one-story hip roofed porch that boasts Corinthian columns as well as two-story portico which is framed by the columns. The tall brick chimneys have corbelled caps. The building has a three-bay facade and a two-story semi-hexagonal bay as well as a two-story bay on the north side of the home. The original 10-foot bifold doors that enclose the living room are still part of the homes interior as well as 6 original mantels and the tiles on the mantles in the office and living room. It also has the original light fixtures and stain glass in the dining room.
2. Redfearn-Horne House . This gorgeous Queen Anne is now owned by John and Tamora Nobiliski. Randolph Redfearn built a series of rental houses in the 19th and 20th century. George F. Horne, who was the VP of Davis-Williams, purchased the residence from Redfearn.
The L-shaped structure still has many of its decorative details. It has the ornaments at the gable ends of the roof, molded vergeboards which has bull’s eye bosses, sawn and pierced gable ornaments, sawn brackets, louved attic vents with hoods and decorative cutouts. There are classic corner cupboards as well as an exterior end chimney on the north end. The front porch maintains its earliest woodwork. There is original molding in the sitting room, beadboards on the ceiling, and hardwood floors.
3. Redfearn-Stevens House. Brenda and Marshall Lemmonds are lucky enough to be the owners of yet another one of Redfearns dwellings. The 1905 Queen Anne was rented to Redfearn’s sister, Alpha Stevens. The home remained in the family up until 1970. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The mishmash appearance of the exterior of the domicile may have something to do with the reported use of materials that were savaged from Redfearns other building projects. The hipped-roof projects a two-story, three-sided, garble-roofed bay. On the west side of the home visitors will spot a hipped-dormer with tin-shingled sides as well as hipped-wings on the east and rear of the home.
The front door features original diamond pattern glazed panels. When doing restoration work, the couple left the original tub, chain-pull toilet, and pedestal sink. After removing the carpet they discovered all pine flooring with a cherry mahogany finish. The couple restored the floors and have brought them back to their beauty.
4. The Thomas C. Lee House. This 1914 stunner was built for Thomas Collins and was designed after the J.H. Lee home on Church St. Lee, who was the manager of Southern Cotton Oil Company, had this neo-classical Revival structure built for him and his family on Franklin St.
One of the homes best features is wraparound one story porch. It is supported by fluted Doric columns and has a dentilled cornice. The 3 chimneys have 9 fireplaces in the home. Inside the home guests can still see the original woodwork in the foyer and 3 sets of pocket doors. There are twin parlors in the home. The back hall has built in cupboards as well as icebox owners Paul Gotwald and Linda McWhorter purchased at an auction.
5. The D.F. Hayden House . This tiny yet lovely structure built in 1855 now belongs to the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The building was started out as part of the property of the city’s first mayor, D.F. Hayden.
The building has a hipped tin roof. The two-room structure has two exterior four-paneled doors which are under a recessed porch with square columns. The walls are German sides and there is a 6 foot window. The railings with sawn balusters are replicas of the originals. The building is now used by the church as meeting space.
Their homes tour was a delight and I am very glad I discovered it. When here, take the time to walk around and just stroll past the historic homes that line the quaint streets. When walking around I came across an amazing Queen Anne which featured unusual and immaculate gardens. I wish it had been on this year’s tour. But hey there is always next year. There was also a quilt show at the Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center. There was supposed to be a trolley that took visitors out to the homes, but I never did see it. Most of the homes were in walking distance of the courthouse. Two of the homes were about 5 minutes out but were in close approximation of each other. Driving directions were provided. This year the tour lasted from 10-5 and tickets were $12.
Now the only thing I didn’t understand was the fact that they are trying to get people into the downtown area. Like many other cities around, Monroe has revitalized its downtown area to feature chic shops and trendy restaurants. Yet on this day nothing was open. People do come to downtown areas on the weekends and you would think places would open up for this event which drew quite a crowd. I, and several other people I was talking to while on the tour, was looking for a place to go eat after the tour. We couldn’t even find a place to get a drink. Hopefully next year they will do some planning and have places open to the public. Or at least have a vendor selling drinks.
Here are a few websites for Monroe you might want to visit are:
To find about historic tours in your area and to purchase tickets (I purchased mine here) please go to www.historichometours.com.
This marvelous tour should not be missed. When it comes around next year make sure to mark it on your calendar.