Written by Laurie Jones; Edited and vetted by Cheri Todd Molter
Located at 1507 Morganton Rd. in Fayetteville, Fair Oaks is a large, two-story frame house with Greek Revival elements that was built in 1858. Its construction and design are attributed to brothers Christopher and Ruffin Vaughn, prominent area carpenters who were also credited with building the Edgar Allen Poe House and contributing to the construction of the U.S. Arsenal at Fayetteville. Fair Oaks was originally owned by a local merchant named Edmund Jones Lilly.
During the spring of 1865, some of General Sherman’s troops set up camp on the grounds of Fair Oaks. A silver tray that belonged to the Lilly family was reportedly used by several of those soldiers for target practice and is still in the possession of Lilly family descendants today. Fair Oaks remained in the Lilly family for over 100 hundred years and is considered to be an architectural historic landmark.