The "Russell House"

The "Russell House" once stood on the south side of the Josiah Bell House, 
now the front lawn of the "Beaufort Restoration."

Early photo of the "Russell House," courtesy Beaufort Historical Association.

In "Memories of Beaufort in the Nineties," Thomas Carrow wrote, "'Uncle' George Russell, who had previously run a farm on New Bern Road, came to town some time about 1890, possibly a little earlier, and set up a store and boarding house that later expanded into the 'Russell House.' The genius of that house was 'Miss Helen,' the wife of George Russell. Of all the men and women I have known in the South or the North, I can recall not a single one who was more industrious than 'Aunt' Helen Russell."

George Allen Russell (1853‒1919) was born at Russell’s Creek to John Lott Russell and Catherine Oglesby. Interestingly, George's 4th great-grandfather, Richard Rustull (abt1669‒1761), was the 2nd owner of the town of Beaufort, who purchased the town acreage from Robert Turner in 1720 for £150. The name Rustull evolved to Russell with George's grandfather, John Lott Russell (1769‒1860), who married Hannah Jones in 1794.

About 1881, George Allen Russell married Helen J. Chadwick (1862‒1945), a 3rd great-granddaughter of Samuel Chadwick, who received a whaling license in 1725, the license signed by Richard Rustull.

George Allen Russell and Helen J. Chadwick were parents of Mary Lela Russell (1882-1941) and Georgia Helen Russell (1886-1978).

Russell House was first noted on the 1898 Sanborn Map of Beaufort. On the 1900 and 1910 Beaufort censuses, George Russell was listed as “hotel proprietor” or "keeper of boarding house". 

1900 census: George A. Russell 46, Helen 37, Mary Lela 18, Georgia Helen 13, and boarders Joseph S. Waters 56, Dameron 33, James E. Dupree 27, Hermon Schur 30, and Harry Deboshey 24.

1910 census: George 54, Helen 47, Helen 23, sisters-in-law Margaret A. Russell 60, and Carrie Chadwick 50.

1920 census: Helen Russell 58, and sisters Carrie Chadwick 64, Sarah Hellen 68.

In 1901, George and Helen Russell's daughter, Mary Lela Russell married Charles Walter Thomas Sr., son of Thomas Murray Thomas and Laura Pelletier. By 1930, Charles and Lela owned what is known today as the Josiah Bell House, purchased in 1964 by the Beaufort Historical Association as part of the "Beaufort Restoration."

In the 1940s, the Everett family also operated a boarding house in what was previously known as "The Russell House.” 

During the Beaufort Historical Association’s plans for the "Beaufort Restoration" in 1964, the Russell/Everett House was removed, as was the Avery house, which stood just north of the Josiah Bell House.