Woodleaf Plantation Cotton Gin
- 2,080 square feet
- Lot Size: 1.32 acres
, Regional Director
Preservation NC, Piedmont Office
Rare early 19th century cotton gin in rural setting. Great potential for residential retreat or artisan use. Five minutes to charming downtown Louisburg and 45 minutes to Raleigh!
Architectural and Historical Information
The Woodleaf Cotton Gin was built around 1838 as part of the larger complex of buildings that comprised the Massenburg (Woodleaf) Plantation. Nestled among mature trees along the old farm road, the Cotton Gin is within view of the restored Woodleaf plantation house, listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.
The Woodleaf Cotton Gin is a contributing structure in the Massenburg (Woodleaf) Plantation National Register nomination and is eligible for tax credits.
The main 2-story structure sits atop massive cut-stone piers that create a full story below. Now enclosed, this once-open space was used for oxen, mules, and horses to turn the gin. It was later used to produce sorghum. At some point in the 20th century, the lower level was enclosed by variations of board and batten and horizontal wood sheathing with various door openings and a sliding horizontal window. A shed addition is located on the northwest side.
The gable roofed, timber-framed structure above is accessed by a stair that opens into a sizable storage area and displays large hand hewn beams, wide plank floors, and vertical sliding wood shutters that enclose the window openings. A stair to the top floor is adjacent to a large batten door that opens northward with a view of the old feed barn (19th c.) and plantation house. Nicholas Massenburg purchased over 600 acres on the old road to Halifax in 1830 and after his marriage to Lucy Davis increased his holdings and expanded an earlier house. His detailed journals are a rare glimpse of plantation operations that documents the development and construction of the building landscape we see today.
Like the Walnut Hill Cotton Gin in Wake County, the Woodleaf Cotton Gin can be thoughtfully adapted into a rural residential or artisan retreat. The adjacent Perry House, built by a Massenburg descendant, is also available for sale and could be purchased together to create a larger residential complex. A large solar farm is being developed in the farm field to the north. It will be buffered from view by a substantial screen of plantings which should screen the farm from the Woodleaf property within a couple of years. Located just five minutes from charming downtown Louisburg and 45 minutes to Raleigh, this is an excellent opportunity to have your cake and eat it too!
The Woodleaf Plantation Cotton Gin is on a lot adjacent to the move-in ready, Perry House, a charming farmhouse also on NC Hwy 561 in Louisburg. Ownership of both properties would provide a unique Live/Work opportunity. Click here for more on the Perry House.
The Town of Louisburg is a charming, small town in the heart of the North Carolina piedmont. With only a 45 minute drive to Raleigh, 40 minute drive to Durham, and 50 minute drive to Chapel Hill, Louisburg has access to some of the best Healthcare, Academic, Cultural, and Entertainment resources in North Carolina and the east coast of the United States. From the beautiful Main St. corridor, full of historic churches and oak lined sidewalks, to the nations oldest private two-year college, Louisburg College, Louisburg is the quintessential small town America, from the multitude of municipal services enjoyed by citizens to the beauty of two river front parks, Louisburg offers many amenities to those wishing to enjoy the relaxed character of the small town while having short access to major city resources.
Curious about what a Cotton Gin rehab might look like? Check out a few before and after images of the Walnut Hill Cotton Gin (Wake County) below: