Tankersly-Tatum House

  • Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 12:01 a.m.

217 S. Ellis St.

The Tankersley-Tatum House is an asymmetrical Queen Anne style structure that features a broad porch with Doric columns, handsome windows with ornamental bracketed lintels, its original double door and six gables offering a dramatic roofline.

It was constructed around 1902 for the Tankersley Family.

It was later owned by Edna and Walter Tatum. Mr. Tatum was at the time, a travelling salesman for Victor Wallace and Sons clothier.

By 1919, he was still a travelling salesman for Wallace and Sons, but was also the vice-president of Salisbury Bank and Trust Company.

The 1928 Salisbury City Directory lists Walter Tatum as president of the Caro Dry Goods Company. After Walter died in the early 1930s, Edna Tatum moved to the Fulton Heights.

City directories show a string of young couples living at this address throughout the mid-20th century, lending to the belief that it was by then a duplex.

These included Elsie and Alf Eskridge, who was an agent at the Sinclair Refining Company (1938); Ethel and Thomas C. Fisher Jr., who was a buyer at Fisher & Thompson Hardware Company (1938); and Grace and Harry Buford, who was a conductor at the Southern Railyard (1942).

By 1949, Homer Lucas, city editor for Post Publishing Company, and his wife, Doris, were living in the house. The other half of the duplex was occupied by Homer’s co-workers at the Salisbury Evening Post: George Raynor (managing editor) and his wife, Amis (1949); and Linville Young (reporter) and his wife, Marian (1953).

The house was converted back to a single-family residence in the mid-1980s, by David Frame of Old Carolina Brick Company.

An impressive basement was added at this time which features a skylight and decorative masonry elements.

The house features six coal burning fireplaces and ornate mantles, including a 12-piece Victorian heart pine mantle in the living room.

The house now showcases the current owners’ collection of antique pottery, photographs, radios, toys and memorabilia from the 1915 Pan Pacific Exhibition.

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