Two Historic Houses located in Eagletown, Northampton Co, NC.
[That's 3 miles east of Rich Square.]
Contributed by Al Ward

Elias Elliott and Sarah Copeland moved from the Old Neck area in Perquimans Co, NC, to Eagletown, two miles east of Rich Square, Northampton Co, NC, in 1851. They had been Quakers meeting at the Wells Monthly Meeting which had been laid down, and were probably members of Piney Woods Monthly Meeting in Perquimans County before coming to Rich Square where they subsequently transferred to the Rich Square Monthly Meeting. There last two children were born in Northampton Co, NC.

They bought the old Lawrence home and land in Eagletown from Amos Peele. This Georgian house was purchased by the Murfreesboro Historical Association and sold in the 1970-80's to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Regan to be restored under guidelines of the Association. The house is listed in the National Register of historic places as the "Duke-Lawrence House," or is being considered for that list. It was known in the 1950s as the "Brick House," the "Elliot House," and the "Shoulars House." It is, according to legend, said to be haunted.

The original interior paneled woodwork, a walnut cabinet, pine flooring, several doors, the stairway and two fireplaces (all in mint condition) were removed in 1937 and sold by R. A. Chappell to the Willow Oaks Country Club in Richmond, Virginia. (The house was then sold to Dr. Q. H. Cooke.) The front entrance to the Country Club is a brick Georgian residence, a copy of a 1700s Colonial House that uses the original interior, fire places, windows, doors and stairway of the Duke-Lawrence House. It is used by the country club as a historic meeting and relaxing place of an older style than the rest of the clubhouse in back. The upstairs of the Colonial House is used as the club office. The restoration of the original "Duke-Lawrence House" in Eagletown has not been able to duplicate this valuable and treasured interior. [Parts from "Footprints in Northampton, 1741-1776-1976," by the Northampton County Bicentennial Committee, 1976, 128 & 129. Herein cited as Footprints.]

Manning Cooke in a Rich Square brochure states that the frame portion of the "Duke-Lawrence House" was built in 1716 by William Maule, Esquire, who was granted a patent for the land. His daughter married William Cathcart and she sold it to John Duke in 1749, who added the exterior brick imported from England and the interior of hewed virgin heart-pine. John Duke's daughter married John Lawrence. They were married in 1768 and had eleven children. Additions to the house, making it a split level, were probably made because they needed more room. Perhaps it was the first split level in the Colonies. [Ibid., 129.]

Originally the house had a porch on the back, or south, side which faced the old Cornwallis Road, which no longer exists. According to an Elliott Family historian, Lucy Elliott Hollowell, a cannon ball was found and kept in the home of her ancestor Thomas P. Elliott that was from the Cornwallis Revolutionary march to Yorktown near the end of the Revolution. Today one is looking at the North side or back of the house via the main road from Rich Square or Hwy 305.

The family cemetery is located on the South side or today's back of the house. Presumedly it was located there after it became the back of the house. Elias and Sarah are probably buried there. Elias's daughter-in-law, Julia Ann  Taylor, the first wife of his son Elias Saunders Elliott is buried there. Elias Saunders Elliott and his second wife Josie Copeland are buried at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Rich Square.

Other Eagletown treasures have helped in the restoration of Williamsburg and other restorations of 18th century Virginia. The Maggette house, built in 1730, and later the home of Henry Thomas Outland, Sr., was dismantled and moved to the Country Club of Richmond as part of a historic house project. This  house looked like the "King-Bazemore House," one of the historic houses at Hope Plantation. This apparently was the style of upper middle class houses in the mid 1700s. [Footprints, 128.]

The Duke-Lawrence House was added to the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORICAL PLACES of Northampton County, NC in 1980. It is located E of Rich Square off NC 305/561 and is privately owned. For more information please visit the National Register of Historic Places.  If anyone has a photo of any of the places mentioned, please send it along for posting.

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