Manney House - 200 Craven Street

Early Domestic Architecture in Beaufort, North Carolina - Summer Field Study 2011 - College of William and Mary & Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Dept. of Architectural and Archaeological Research (Klee and Lounsbury) Click images to enlarge.

"The Manney House at 200 Craven Street is a two-story wood frame dwelling that has had been altered and expanded several times since it was first constructed in the early nineteenth century. It was twice extended to the west and north–first around 1830 and then again in the 1880s. The house also has some modern additions.

"The original house sits on pier foundations whose gaps have since been infilled and the brickwork stuccoed. The two-story porch faces Craven Street while the weather board covered frame extension continues eastward down Ann Street. The jigsaw work of the porch balustrade, brackets, and cornice brackets are exemplary of sash-and-blind factory additions made at the end of the nineteenth or beginning of the twentieth century. The wide six-panel front door is flanked by sidelights, with a transom overhead.

"The original core of the house is said to date from around 1812, which seems quite plausible given the evidence of the surviving fabric. That two-story structure measured 26 feet in length and approximately 17 feet in depth and contained a side passage and a single heated chamber on each floor as well as an integral two-story front porch. The plan is similar to the Carraway House (c. 1805) in the rural community of Merrimon north of Beaufort in Carteret County, though the city version with its wider passage is a number of feet longer than the farmhouse. Subsequent alterations have obscured much of the original plan and finishes. The Manney House had an interior chimney on the north gable end away from Ann Street.

"The original winder staircase stood at the back southeast corner of the passage, a position quite common in Beaufort houses during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The passage windows and doors have single architraves composed of Roman ovolos with a half bead. Based on the alterations in the rafters, the original roofline was about eleven inches lower with an integral two-story front porch. This framing consists of pit sawn rafters, a board false plate, and was secured by mature cut nails. The circular sawn-lath and plaster that form the current knee walls and ceiling of the attic space is a later upgrade, probably from the 1880s when the building was expanded substantially. Perhaps the gingerbread jigsaw work of the porch itself dates from this period.

"While the fireplace in the ground-floor room is a reconstruction and the mantel comes from another house, there is evidence for the earlier fireplace in the remains of the foundation and in the patched flooring on the second floor. The molding in this room is the same as in the passage but because it has been stripped and repainted by a recent owner, it appears newer.

"Around 1830, the owners of the house extended it twelve feet to the east or rear, which created a double-pile plan with a smaller heated room behind the front one. The old chimney was removed and a new one constructed in the center of the house to heat both rooms. The mantel with Roman moldings in this addition is said to have been moved from the original fireplace. The Greek moldings with quirked ovolos in the addition indicate it was added around 1830. While there are now no windows in this back room, cracks in the plaster in the east wall indicate that there were once apertures there. The addition was two full stories in height and also had hewn and pit sawn rafters. The roof was raised about eleven inches.

"In the early 1880s, the house was more than doubled in size with a rear addition. In the older section, the staircase was moved and enlarged to create a single straight flight to the second floor. It has a large turned newel post, turned balusters, a handrail that were produced in a sash and blind factory. There are many reused elements in this house including door and window moldings, so there is a mix of styles even between adjacent openings.

"The second floor shows ghostmarks of the original stair location in the flooring of the upstairs passage. Under the threshold of the front west room are signs that the door opening was cut through the partition wall. The doors and windows have a variety of moldings including Roman cymas, Greek ovolos, and simple beaded architraves with no backbands. The west room’s flooring has marks that could be from a previous partition which would explain the presence of two doors into that room. There is also a winder stair to the attic on the west end of the second floor passage that was probably constructed with the 1880s expansion and upgrade of the attic space." - Carolyn Quenstedt (field school participant) Photos and drawings by Carl Lounbury or participating student.