Perquimans County Restoration Association, Inc.

Newbold White House History

Hertford - From its location on the Perquimans River, the Newbold-White House tells the story of Abraham and Judith Sanders, a colonial Quaker family. Dating to 1730, the house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is recognized as the oldest brick house in the state of North Carolina. The house is authentically restored and features enormous fireplaces, pine woodwork and a winding corner stair. Period furnishings help recapture the flavor of early 18th-century life.

Standing back from the banks of the Perquimans River, the brick house was the centerpiece of the plantation purchased by Abraham and Judith Sanders in 1726 from the heirs of Henry Clayton. Originally thought to have been built as early as 1685, dendrochronology (dating of structures through analysis of wood) has pinpointed its construction to 1730, four years after the Sanders’ purchased the property. In its day, its size and high quality construction materials would have given it near mansion status in a time when one-room homes constructed on wooden poles driven into the ground were common. Its four rooms were home to Abraham and Judith; their children Sarah, Abraham, Elizabeth, Judith, Benjamin, and John; as well as four enslaved persons – Sambo, Bess, Blind Mingo, and Lame Mingo.

In his 1750 will, probated in 1751, Abraham left the house and approximately four hundred acres on which it stood to his son Benjamin. At Benjamin’s death in 1795 he in turn left the house to his son, Benjamin Sanders, Jr. The younger Benjamin died without children in 1799, and for the next half century the house passed back and forth between various members of the Sanders family, until being sold in 1868 to Joseph Underhill. The house and a certain amount of land was later owned by Mary J. Tucker, Thomas G. Skinner, and T.E. White before being sold in 1903 to John Henry Newbold. The Newbold family from whom the house gets its current name sold it in 1973 to the Perquimans County Restoration Association.

Between 1973 and 1981 the house underwent study and restoration, and now stands as a museum focused mainly on the 1730-1750 period of Abraham and Judith Sanders’ residence. Its grounds include a colonial Quaker graveyard, a period kitchen garden, and a nature trail leading from the house to the river, where a pier allows visitors to enjoy the beautiful Perquimans River. The Periauger, a reproduction of a type of colonial workboat listed among Sanders’ possessions, is housed on the grounds when it is not actually sailing the Perquimans and other waters of the Albemarle area.