Friday, June 24, 2011

Proud to work like a Norfleet

Isaac and Christiana Norfleet were well respected members of the town of Tarboro, North Carolina in the early 1800s. Owning over 1700 acres of land, Isaac had a small house built around 1810 that would fill up with children quickly as he and Christiana expanded their family. An addition was added to the back of the house around 1830 by their son Robert, the fourth of ten children. The addition was most likely a dining room for the large family and was thought to be connected to the main house by a large covered breezeway.

After standing empty for many years, the structure was used in the 1950s to house the warden of a prison system built nearby on property formerly owned by the Norfleet family. In 1999, long after the prison was shut down, the house was moved north of Tarboro where it sat as a rental unit for eleven years. In 2009, Edgecombe Community College purchased the house and had it moved to its campus. Coincidentally, the campus is located on the remains of the old prison system that was once part of Isaac Norfleet’s land. The house is now located less than one quarter mile from its original location in the early 1800s.

The Norfleet house is the center piece for Edgecombe Community College’s Historic Preservation Program. The program is very “hands on” and many classes use the house as a classroom. The goal of the college is to have the house restored to its original state within the next 3 years.

I’m one of 3 people working on this house this summer and I feel really accomplished with the work we have done so far. I’ve also learned so much more than just a classroom experience could ever relay. Using the secrets found in the historic lumber; secrets revealed by tool marks, shadows, and joinery, we are quickly making progress on a project that will be the pride of the college and the community of Tarboro. I’m proud to be a part of that.

If you are interested on following my progress on this project on a daily basis, feel free to connect to my facebook ( or twitter (@kenderc) accounts where I post progress pictures frequently.