Forgotten folk art palace for sale, cheap

As a boy in the Depression, Q.J. Stephenson wandered into the woods out of need, trapping muskrat, mink and raccoons for their meat and their pelts, which Sears & Roebuck bought for $1.60 apiece.

But as he got older, he rambled through the wilderness of Northampton County out of pure wonder, plucking fossils and arrowheads out of prehistoric dirt, pulling petrified wood from deep holes in the mud, gathering bullets fired in the Civil War. One time, after years of scouring swamps, he found a meteorite.

Then over 50 years, Stephenson slowly built a museum out of his collection, shaping it into a house in his front yard, its walls made from soapstone, mussel shells and beaver teeth. He carved dinosaurs out of cedar, using deer hoofs for the tail spikes. He built totem poles out of cypress knees, poison ivy vines and feathers.

(News & Observer, 5/1/2016)