Recognized for the protection and restoration of Martinique, one of the oldest extant structures in Eastern North Carolina.
About the Award
The Stedman Incentive Grant assists a non-profit organization in the rescue of an endangered historically and architecturally significant property.
Initiated in 1975 by the late Marion Stedman Covington of Greensboro in memory of her father, this $10,000 grant is now funded annually by the Marion S. Covington Foundation.
The historic Martinique farm house is the ancestral home of the Winborne family, who were prominent in North Carolina politics for centuries. The property, deeded by Lord Granville in 1752, is the only proprietary land grant in Chowan County still held by descendants of the original owners.
Martinique is also important to our cultural history. It was not only the home of a
chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court (John Wallace Winborne, 1884-1966), but also to Allen Parker (1838-1906), one of the Winborne slaves, who wrote Recollections of Slavery Time, published in 1895.
Embodying years of history, the core of the two-story house was built in the 18th century, possible as early as the 1750’s – making it about the same age as Edenton’s better-known Cupola House. Yet as Martinique’s heirs sought to make way for a new house on the home’s original site, its demolition became a distinct possibility.
In response, the Edenton Historical Commission mounted a successful effort to raise $73,000.00 in loan funds to stabilize and relocate the historic home and four outbuildings. Hare Construction of Edenton moved all five structures to a nearby temporary site in 2009.
“Saving Martinique creates an opportunity for a new owner to restore an important Chowan County Plantation complex that has survived for more than two centuries,” said Judge Chris Bean, a member of the Edenton Historical Commission. “Seldom does a house of this age and distinction become available for restoration.”
Bean also noted that the house could not have been saved had it not been for the cooperation of several non-profit groups involved
Original architectural features remaining include huge double-shouldered chimneys, beaded weatherboarding, two federal mantels and wainscoting.
Now the Edenton Historical Commission has the task of preserving and finding a buyer willing and able to protect Martinique. The Stedman Incentive Grant will be used to help offset those costs for the benefit of future generations.