|Contemporary Painting by Beaufort artist Mary Warshaw|
If this house could talk, it could bring to light much of the mystery and hauntedness that has surrounded this structure for centuries.
|1733 Moseley notes I.Taylor |
- Taylor owned 1725-1733
A building in this area was noted on the first maps as the “White House,” and stood as a landmark to guide mariners into the inlet, perhaps whitewashed to be more easily seen by ships. Built in the early 18th century, the "White House" may have not resembled what is known today as the "Hammock House." (Consider the times - the colony was in turmoil and involved in a war with the Indians.) It is more probably that the "Hammock House" was built at a later date and added to over time, on the same footprint, or in the general area. (Note oldest-known image below, taken 200 years after the legendary building date of the "Hammock House.'
An early structure would have most likely been nestled in live oak, cedar, and yaupon—and on the banks, covered with wild grape and tangled vines, of what is now Taylor’s Creek overlooking the inlet to the Atlantic Ocean. At one time a small boat could have paddled up and been tied to one of its front columns.The dredging of Taylor's Creek piled sand on either side of the creek, thus increasing the distance of the house from the water and enlarging the barrier islands
Examination and work on the Hammock House by Maurice Davis, who purchased the house in 1975, revealed it built of Scottish heart pine and cypress, joined together by hand-hewn pegs with a massive pine beam that runs the width of the house. The tall freestanding chimneys, one on each end of the house, were constructed of English paving brick on ballast-stone foundations.
|1738 Chart showing "White House"|
Today, due to centuries of build up, and dredging, what is known today as the Hammock House is now nestled in a neighborhood off of
Front and Fulford Streets, but still a stone’s throw from the waterfront .
Below image was scanned from Beaufort-by-The-Sea Journey Back in Time, The Illustrated Heritage Guide to Beaufort, NC by Rick and Marcie Carroll, published by Fish Towne Press, Beaufort, NC.
|Earliest known photo of the Hammock House circa early 1900s|
"This is the Hammock House in Beaufort as it looked early in this century. The photograph belongs to George Huntley Jr., Beaufort. According to Elizabeth Springle, Beaufort, the small house in the background was the home of Augusta 'Gus' Mason and his wife Elvira. Their two sons, Allen and Whitford Mason, were captains in the Coast Guard. They also had a daughter, Ida. The small house, believed to be located on Spring Cut leading into Taylor's Creek, burned many years ago. The spring was a source of drinking water for many residents in the area."
According to Maurice Davis' history of the house, James Mason owned the house from 1875-1891, followed by B.L. Jones from 1891-1907.
Side-by-side comparisons: Early 1900s and 1965