1899 Hamill-Thompson-Kessler House
Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 6, 2013
In 1899, prosperous saloon owner J. W. Hamill moved a small, one-story weatherboard house (constructed in 1891) from the front to the rear of this lot where it still stands today.
In its place he built a much larger, Italianate home with steep front and side gables and a wrap-around front porch. The two buildings were connected by a porch until sometime in the 1920s.
In 1907, the house was occupied by Ella and J.C. Black, owner of the J.C. Black Livestock Company. From 1909 to 1943, Ida and Eugene Thompson lived in the house.
He was the owner of Thompson Brothers Auto Dealership. The larger home was divided into apartments in 1967 with seven small rooms located one after the other in the central hall.
Historic Salisbury Foundation purchased the property and in 2008, commissioned a complete rehabilitation of this house.
The home’s original heart pine floors were saved except for the hall which is 200-year old cypress from a house demolished in New Orleans.
The decorative front doors were salvaged from a house that was located on the lot next door, but lost in a fire in 1992.
The house is located in the middle of what would have been at the time of the Salisbury Prison, a plaza, framed by ten buildings.
Most of these buildings served as barracks or for hospital functions.