The James Davis House circa 1829

James Davis and Elizabeth Adams were married in 1803 and had 12 children.

About 1829 James Davis built this saltbox-style home at 215 Moore Street across from St. Paul's Cemetery. It remains unique in Beaufort with its center chimney, five fireplaces, and full above-ground basement that Davis used as his workshop.
 
During his lifetime James Davis built many homes in Beaufort’s historic district. James was an excellent carpenter and often referred to himself as an “arch-chi-tect.”
 
Even though the floors are 12-inch pine, the house was built as a practical, utilitarian one with few, if any, frills. It was built with no mantles. The original oyster-plaster walls were probably whitewashed.
Davis’ workshop in the above-ground basement has a truly interesting history. During and following the Civil War, it served as home to some of the Davis family, who lived in the one-room kitchen with its oyster shell floor and large fireplace. During the 1980’s Dr. Paul Getty, owner of the house at the time, hired a local shipwright excavate the basement. The shipwright was reportedly seen taking dirt out of the basement one bucket at a time. The basement area next to the kitchen was filled to the ceiling with dirt. The shipwright, using hand-made tools, paneled the walls and made cabinets with Carteret County heart of pine. The doors and trim are similar to what you would see in some of the wooden boats in Beaufort. See Summer 2011 Field Study