- 1,935 square feet
- Lot Size: 20 acres / Zoning: Agricultural
, Regional Director
Preservation NC, Piedmont Office
The McCollum Farm is a remarkably intact early 19th century tobacco farm situated in the rolling foothills of Rockingham County between Madison and Wentworth. The property was part of the 18th century holdings of the Yours Family, early settlers on Jacob’s Creek, a tributary of the Dan River comprised of rich bottomland. One of the Yours daughters married James McCollum in 1807 and the land has remained in the family.
The original tall two-story log house is thought to have been built in the 1820s, but could be earlier according to some historians. It is constructed of hand hewn square-notched logs. A one and half story addition of similar construction was built in the 1840s next to the earliest section creating two rooms on the first floor separated by a center hall. A two-room rear ell was added to the back of the 1840s section around 1904 creating even more space. Additional exterior features include fieldstone chimneys with brick stacks, a later front porch, and a generous porch on the rear ell. The back porch behind the earliest section exhibits flush siding in an enclosed work space and remnant early clapboard siding that once protected the entire exterior.
The 1820s interior features an elegantly detailed Federal mantel, a primitive post and lintel mantel on the second floor, a winder staircase enclosed by a finely crafted board and batten door, and an interesting closet under the stairs with a board and batten door secured by an early intact wooden rim lock. Remnants of lime wash remain on the walls. There are two rooms on the second floor. Greek Revival-era details include hand-planed two-panel doors and simple post and lintel mantel in the parlor.
Early outbuildings, including a rare log slave house, a log smokehouse with dovecote and wooden salt trough, a granary, corn crib, curing barn, pack house, and a privy survive. The slave house and smokehouse are thought to be from the early 19th century. In May 2014 the McCollum Farm log slave house was included in The Slave Dwelling Project, an organization committed to identifying and assisting in the preservation of extant slave dwellings. http://slavedwellingproject.org/about-the-slave-dwelling-project/
The log house will require extensive rehabilitation in the 1820s section including foundation work and new flooring, ceiling repair, and the installation of mechanical systems including electrical, plumbing and HVAC. The 1840s side with rear ell is habitable, but will benefit from cosmetic updates and possibly some system upgrades. A fire in 2006, which started on the second floor of the 1840s side and spread to the attic, resulted in the replacement of the roof, and loss of much of the original clapboard siding, the flush gable ends and boxed cornice. The metal roof is new, but the house would benefit from restoration of some of these original elements including the boxed cornice and gables. The fire also damaged the original enclosed winder stair case in the 1840s section which was replaced by a standard straight staircase. The door connecting the two sections has been enclosed by drywall on one side, but can easily be re-opened as the two-panel Greek Revival door remains on the other.
The house and several of the outbuildings are available with twenty acres of land. More property is available at an additional cost. The house is currently being rented with the lease ending in March 2015. The house was added to the National Register Study List.
The quiet rural nature and charming small towns belie the dynamic cultural, historic and recreational opportunities in beautiful Rockingham County. From rolling agricultural landscapes, quaint historic villages and museums to music festivals, shopping, and exciting water sports on any one of four rivers, the area has something to offer everyone. The McCollum Farm is located between the towns of Madison to the west (just off US-220) and the county seat of Wentworth to the east. Greensboro is just 30-minutes to the south.