Culbreth House – ca. 1840
Built circa 1840 during the Antebellum era, the Culbreth House was originally located east of here at 609 Mumford Street (currently West Russell Street), near the corner of Robeson Street. The Culbreth House was at the Mumford Street location during the Civil War when the Union Army razed the Fayetteville Arsenal March 12-14, 1865 and remained there through the tumultuous Reconstruction period of our history. The house served as a residence into the 1960s. Development threatened the house in the early 1970s, and to save it from demolition a local individual purchased it and moved it to Carver’s Falls, north of the city. Another individual helped defray the expenses of moving and rehabilitating the house in 1995 in its Arsenal Park location.
For years it was used as a visitor services center and storage space for the Museum of the Cape Fear, and it contained a space for audio-visual presentations, a small exhibits gallery, and public restrooms. It served as an office and meeting space for the History Center when the Center was in its planning and development stages. The Museum formally donated the Culbreth House to the History Center in 2018.
Architecturally, the style of the house is known as a coastal cottage. The front and back of the house are held together in the center by two pegs. During the restoration of the house in 1997, the architect left an opening in the wall to show the pegs. The opening was retained when the house was remodeled in 2020. (See photo on page 4 of the gallery below.)
The building is one of three historic structures that establishes VanStory History Village, Phase 1 toward the development of the North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center. The building now serves as a research center for students and scholars of the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. It houses an extensive and ever-growing library of donated books on the Civil War and Reconstruction and will become the UNC Center for the Study of the Civil War and Reconstruction in North Carolina, in partnership with area universities as well as those across the state.
(Click the thumbnails below to enlarge the gallery images.)