• 70°

Columns return to the Blackmer House

SALISBURY — Four two-story columns, long absent from the front of the 1820 Fulton-Mock-Blackmer House at 112 S. Fulton St., are back.
Contractor Al Wilson and his crew set and braced the columns into their places on brick pedestals and concrete plinths Monday as restoration continues on the historic house, now owned by Glenn and Beth Dixon.
It’s not known exactly when the columns were added to the front of the house, but they were dominant features to a once grand front porch/portico documented in photographs and still remembered by many longtime Salisbury residents.
The columns survived a 1984 fire that severely damaged the structure. They ended up in storage for almost 30 years.
At various times, Wilson says, the columns were stashed away in Grimes Mill, the vacant house, the garage in back and most recently in his shop, where they had to be restored.
Even when they were in place, the pine columns had begun to split open from age. They are constructed much like the staves of a barrel. Wilson had to glue, clamp and fasten the column staves and relied on ratchet straps to squeeze things together.
The columns themselves are 20 feet tall, not counting the bases or caps, which have yet to be added. The new capitals will be made of a cast epoxy resin — actually one of the few manufactured pieces of millwork going into the restoration.
Wilson praised Rowan County craftsmen such as Gary Curlee and Butch Hollifield and Salisbury companies such as Goodman Millwork who are or will be replicating much of the woodwork for the project.
In mid February, the Dixons bought the house from Historic Salisbury Foundation for $150,000 and almost immediately began the restoration. The Dixon family plans to live here when the renovations and new construction are complete.
The house is maybe best known as the home of film and stage actor Sidney Blackmer and his wife, Suzanne. They purchased the house in 1931, and Suzanne was still living in the house when the 1984 fire occurred.
The couple’s oldest son, Jonathan Blackmer, sold the house to the foundation in 2012, and the foundation cleaned up the property prior to the sale to the Dixons.
John Fulton built the house in 1820 as his residence and a boarding house for girls attending the female academy at the Hall House. The A.J. Mock family bought the home later, followed by the Blackmers.
Wilson guessed that the columns might have been added to the house in the early 1900s, but he acknowledged they could be much older.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

Comments

Comments closed.

BREAKING NEWS

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in 1992 murder of Tutterow couple

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team