I had a bad feeling.
When the Welch-Nicholson House was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, it was being used for storage and in parlous condition. Already nearly 200 years old, it seemed unlikely to me that the place could still be standing, much as I hoped it might. Over the weekend, I sent a message to Ann Swallow, National Register Coordinator at the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. I wanted to know if the original application file for the house was available for perusal by researchers. First thing Monday morning, she responded. Yes to my question, but this: “We were informed in early 2014 at the end of a survey conducted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation that the house was no longer standing.” Ms. Swallow kindly attached two photos of what’s left.
So. There will no emotional return to the house in which my great-great-grandmother Harriet Nicholson spent her earliest years.