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Madison Street Home
Receives Historic Landmark Plaque

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Patricia Woodard is pictured in front of her Madison Street home, the 11th building inducted in the Reuben Brown House Preservation Society Historic Landmark Plaque Program.

Chestnutt house image1
A unique 91-year-old house on Madison Street in Whiteville is the latest home to be inducted into the Reuben Brown House Preservation Society (RBHPS) Historic Landmark Plaque Program.

Constructed by Colonel N.B. and Mabel Chestnutt, the home features distinctive arched windows, wrought iron railings and a terra cotta tile roof.

Chestnutt house image3Patricia Woodard, who bought the home earlier this year, shared its history with a group of RBHPS members who gathered earlier this month for the plaque unveiling.

She said Mabel Chestnutt, who was part of "an all-girls band that traveled up and down the eastern seacoast” before settling with her husband in Whiteville, enjoyed entertaining at the home.

"She would cook for her guests and in the early afternoons sit at the butterfly baby grand piano, which was here in front of these windows, and play with joy and abandon,” Woodard said.

She explained that the house sat empty for several years after N.B. Chestnutt passed away and Mabel moved out of town to live with her son. In the 1980s, Gill and Vivian Beresoff bought the home and renovated it, Woodard explained. Kathryn Davenport purchased the house in 2015 and continued to make updates, which Woodard has continued.

"It will be a lifelong project for me and I look forward every day to discovering what’s next,” Woodard said. "My goal is to maintain the integrity of the structure but also to add my own personal touches while recognizing the many contributions made by Mabel and Vivian.

Chestnutt house image2"They brought a certain spirit to the house which I don’t want to lose, and I want people to still laugh and grin when telling stories about these two originals who spread fairy dust over the house that became my home.”

Following her remarks about the house, Woodard — with assistance from her sister Sara Cartrette — removed a black shroud to unveil the plaque mounted next to her front door.

The Chestnutt House is the 11th RBHPS Columbus County Historic Landmark. The program is voluntary, and property owners pay for their own plaques.

To be eligible, a site must be at least 75 years old, be located in Columbus County, retain its original character, be in a good state of preservation and contribution to the historical architectural nature of the county. Details are available to www.reubenbrownhouse.com.

By Justin Smith (justinsmith@nrcolumbus.com)

Article and Images Courtesy of and as Published December 25, 2018 in The News Reporter www.NRColumbus.com

The Reuben Brown House Preservation Society is an IRS Code 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Contributions to the RBHPS are fully tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes.

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Whiteville, NC 28472