Perquimans County 
Restoration Association, Inc.


Restoration Architecture

The Newbold-White House first attracted scholarly attention when the Historic American Buildings Survey photographed it about 1933.  In the 1940s, the noted architectural historians Thomas T. Waterman and Henry C. Forman included it in their books on early architecture.  Their drive-by sightings led to nothing and the house remained merely one of the many old structures scattered throughout Perquimans County.

The Perquimans County Chamber of Commerce and the Perquimans County Historical Society sponsored a public meeting on September 19, 1969 to form the Perquimans County Restoration Association.  The major goal of PCRA was to save and restore the house.  In 1971, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1973, the Association purchased 6 acres that included the house.

Restoration proceeded slowly as the house revealed the changes it had incurred over the years and offered clues to vanished features.  The discovered artifacts provided glimpses into past life, and the public records of North Carolina yielded solid information about those who had owned the property over the years.  The restoration would stretch over eight years with work occasionally halted as the young PCRA sought ways to raise funds in a county which was not wealthy.  

Guided by the North Carolina Division of Archives and History, restoration plans drawn by architects Edwards, Dove, and Knight were approved in 1976.  It was determined that the house would be restored to a late 1600s appearance suggested by the available evidence.  The physical work of restoration was entrusted to the skilled firm of Wilbert M. Kemp and Company.

There were modern features to be removed and old features to be renewed; damaged woodwork and brickwork to repair; missing bricks, shingles, woodwork, and glass to replace; mortar to repoint; plaster to apply; foundations to reinforce; and protection against damp and insects to arrange.  The difficult decision was made to remove two mantels, a wall, and a stairway that was quite old but obviously not original.  Unique materials were acquired, including bricks specially made to resemble the color and texture of the originals, hand-made glass from Germany, and shingles hand-riven at the site out of an ancient heart cypress log.

With basic restoration completed, the Newbold-White House was formally opened on July 3, 1981.

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