Bahama

Bahama


It ain't pronounced like the Caribbean islands. Small community in northern Durham county whose name derives from an amalgamation of the last names of the early families in the area. (Ball, Harris, Mangum.)

 

The small town of Bahama evolved much as Durham did: a crossroads settlement that solidified its position as the center of (very) local commerce with the addition of a rail line.

This rail line was the Lynchburg & Durham Railroad, which was established around 1887. This line branched off from the main North Carolina railroad line through Durham just east of the core of Durham, near where Prattsburg had been located. (A small segment of this line, which runs past Golden Belt and the John O' Daniel Hosiery Mill is still in operation in Durham, I believe only as a siding for Southern States.)

(There was another railroad company founded in 1890 that was initially called the "Durham & Lynchburg Railroad," later the Durham and Northern Railroad.  It ran from O & C Junction, just north of intersection of Junction Road and Cheek Road in Durham, over the Neuse River and into the station in downtown Creedmoor.  From there it ran north into Henderson where it connected into the Seaboard Air Line's main tracks.)

The Lynchburg & Durham Railroad established small depots in Durham County at Willardville, just to the east of Orange Factory, another near a small crossroads community originally established around 1750, known as Balltown (located at the juncture of the Raleigh-to-Roxboro and the Hillsborough-to-Oxford Roads), and a third at Rougemont.

The new station at Balltown became a focal point for some additional growth, and the older crossroads community 1 mile to the south, known as both Round Hill and Hunkadora (one of my favorite lost Durham names) faded in importance.
 

1887_Hunkadora_Balltown_0.jpeg
1887 Map showing Hunkadora, and the Ball property at the crossroads.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection. Scanned by digital Durham.)

The former Balltown community became known as Bahama, pronounced Ba-Hay-Ma, a portmanteau from the surnames of three prominent area families, Ball, Harris, and Mangum. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Bahama had grown to establish a post office, the A. W. Tilley and Turner and Hill stores, a graded public school with three teachers, and the Tilley Brothers’ Roller Mill. The Lynchburg & Durham Railroad was leased by Norfolk & Western in 1892 and operated under its original name until being absorbed into the Norfolk Southern Railroad in the 1980s.


1914 Map showing 'Bahma' junction.
(Courtesy University of North Carolina)


Bahama High School, 1910s

Following World War I, the Umstead Bothers’ converted the Roller Mill into the Bahama Milling Company, which, under the ownership of Bradley Mangum, continued operations into the mid-twentieth century.

I don't know when the Lynchburg & Durham Line north of Durham was abandoned, but it has been long enough for reasonably sized trees to have grown up through the tracks. The mill has been closed a long time as well, and the depot at Bahama was torn down.

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BAHAMA DEPOT

,
Bahama
NC
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sat, 11/05/2011 - 2:41pm by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 51.2208" N, 78° 52' 44.5872" W
US

Comments

,
Bahama
NC
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
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Bahama train depot, 1950s.
(Courtesy Robby Delius)

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US POST OFFICE - BAHAMA

1420
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1966
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sat, 11/05/2011 - 11:28am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 50.7924" N, 78° 52' 42.8232" W
US

Comments

1420
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1966
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


Dedication of the then-new Bahama post office, 04.17.66.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

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Bahama has retained its small-town character and charm with a variety of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century buildings. The Parrish store evidently attained some renown in the early 1990s for hosting regular festive dances, leading to Bahama being profiled in media such as Life Magazine, National Geographic, Our State, Down Home in North Carolina, and Charles Kuralt‘s On the Road.

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1419 BAHAMA ROAD - KNAP OF REEDS MASONIC LODGE

1419
,
Bahama
NC
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

A Masonic Lodge that provided a new home for the Knap of Reeds order, the building has housed stores and post offices as well.

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 9:00am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 53.0388" N, 78° 52' 41.9124" W
US

Comments

1419
,
Bahama
NC
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Bahama Road, 1980s

Per the County Historic Inventory and the HPSD 2003 Tour booklet:

This combination lodge hall and general retail store building was constructed in 1905 for the express purpose of relocating Masonic Lodge #158 from its original site in Knap of Reeds, a small settlement near present-day Butner. The lodge had been started there in the late 1860's and grew to have immense significance in the social and political life of the male members of the agrarian community surrounding Bahama. The Masonic Order remains highly regarded in Bahama today, continuing to meet semimonthly at the new lodge hall on Bahama Road. Though the decoration of this two-story frame structure is spare, together with the A.W. Tilley Store directly across the road, it forms the commercial axis of the village.

Alfred Wilkins opened a general store in the storage area of the building. After the store closed in 1950, the ground floor became the Post Office until a new Post Office was built nearby in 1959. The Masons continued using the upstairs meeting area until 1981. The building lay empty until the Roberts renovated it and opened up Bahama Hardware and Feed in 1992. Although the feed store was a popular meeting place, the Roberts sold the building after a few years. It housed a beauty shop briefly, followed by the Bahama Cycle Shop.

Plain weatherboarding covers the entire exterior except for the porch area and the lodge entrance, which consists of a single-leaf door set in the northeast (rear) comer of the building. The ground level storefront in the gable front building presents an inviting appearance to the onlooker. The recessed center entrance features double-leaf doors, which combine half-glazing above their moulded horizontal panels. The doorway, also fitted with double-leaf screen doors, incorporates a three-pane transom. The balance of the storefront consists of rectangular sheets of glass set in wooden frames. The amount of light which entered this south facing storefront, along with that, admitted by just two side windows, was sufficient for the operation of the store because the entire beaded ceiling board interior was painted light-reflecting white.

The lodge hall and its staircase entrance at the rear of the building, by contrast, exhibit handsome wainscoting throughout, as well as varnished six-panel doors having mouldedsurrounds. These interior finishes which would be overbearingly dark in the Bahama residences of the period, were not only appropriate to the formal nature of the hall, but also practical because of the large amount of sunlight allowed into the second story meeting hall by nine symmetrically placed four-over-four double-hung windows. Varnished window surrounds match the other upstairs trim, while outside the windows are trimmed with plain boards. The gable is ornamented only by a quatrefoil louvered vent. A small storage shed is appended to the north wall.

1419BahamaRd_102608.jpg

1419 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

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PARRISH'S STORE

1425
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1924
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

Bahama's most famous little store - Parrish's Store was featured in Life Magazine in 1995 for "Thursday Night Fever". 

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

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In tours

Last updated

  • Fri, 06/08/2012 - 5:30pm by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 53.514" N, 78° 52' 41.4012" W
US

Comments

1425
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1924
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Parrish's Store ~1990.
(Durham County Historic Inventory)

Bahama hit the spotlight with a story in Life Magazine's October 1995 edition about Parrish's Store. "Thursday Night Fever" described the country music sessions that brought local musicians, and dancers to the store each week. Originally built as Dr. Patrick's office and drugstore complete with soda fountain in 1924, the building became a residence briefly. It soon returned as a store operated by the Harris family. The Parrishes ran the store from 1959 until Mr. Parrish retired in 1997.

ParrishStore_Bahama.jpg

Parrish Store interior, likely 1970s. (Courtesy of and Copyright by Duncan Heron)

By 2003, it was, Picture Perfect, a custom frame shop and antique store. Sometime prior to 2008, it became Drye's Gun Shop.


The former Parrish's store at 1425 Bahama Road - now Drye's gun shop, 10.26.08. You can tell that I took these pictures in October.

 

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TILLEY / BALL / TEASLEY'S STORE

1424
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1900
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

A veritable who's who of prominent Bahama names have run this store and Amoco gas station.

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:53am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 52.344" N, 78° 52' 40.6956" W
US

Comments

1424
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1900
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


Teasley's store, 08.27.52
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

This business property was built in 1900 with distinctive bay windows for displaying goods by the enterprising AW Tilley. Postmaster, yearly parade leader, grocer, and land speculator; "Dolph" Tilley was a well known local leader. It was also a gas station. Clifton Ball bought the store in 1938 and ran it until 1959, as "Teasley's Store" in the 1950s. 


Teasley's store, late 1950s/early 1960s.
(Courtesy Bob Blake)

Ben Lacy owned it when Jeanette Roberts opened up a tearoom and craft shop in 1995. By 2003, it was occupied by "This N That, "an antique shop run by Kay O'Briant, who donates the profits to Bahama charities. As of 2009, it was owned by the Bahama Volunteer Fire Dept. (Hopefully not for one of those 'practice' burns.)


The former Teasley's Store, at 1424 Bahama Road, 10.26.08 - 

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REG TILLEY'S STORE - 1500 BAHAMA ROAD

1500
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1925-1935
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

A Tilley store and Gulf Station, this building has been a barber shop, TV service, and a church since that time. 

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:49am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 53.4204" N, 78° 52' 39.8928" W
US

Comments

1500
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1925-1935
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Bahama Road, 1980s

By the depression, Reg Tilley was running a store in this building, selling a "variety of items," including gasoline. The Gulf station remained operational into the 1980s. It later became a barber shop, Bahama TV service, and is now a church.


The former Gulf station at 1500 Bahama Road, now a church, 10.26.08

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UMSTEAD-ROBERTS HOUSE - 1502 BAHAMA ROAD

1502
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1914
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

An Umstead family house built in 1914, a large wrap-around porch has been removed. 

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:34am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 53.568" N, 78° 52' 38.3772" W
US

Comments

1502
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1914
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


1502 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

From the 2003 HPSD tour of Bahama:

This eight-room house was built about 1914 for the John Umstead family. John's son William Bradley Umstead was a U.S. Congressman and Governor of North Carolina in the early 1950s. [Note - my research has pointed to the John Umstead House - at least the John Umstead that was the father of Governor Umstead as standing on Hampton Road. There were several John Umsteads, and it's possible that some conflation occurred here. - GK]

The house sits well back from the road on an unusual nine-sided lot shaded by huge oak trees. The house has four rooms flanking a central hall on each floor. The 2003 owner, a relative of the Umsteads, purchased the house in 1960 from Mrs. Umstead's heirs.

The house originally had a wrap-around porch, but by the early 1950S it was in too poor condition to be renovated. The small front porch is all that remains. Inside, the horizontal six panel doors, the two-over-two light windows, and other woodwork are all original. A solidly built staircase leads from the back of the central hall straight up to the second floor (not open during tour). The back door with its two vertical beveled glass panes leads to the original wood-paneled back entry.

The uses of the downstairs rooms have changed over the years, but they retain many original features, including 11-foot ceilings and pine floors. The original dining room is now the front parlor. The door hardware and the unusual three-chained domed light fixture are original. The original front parlor is now a bedroom. The decorative original mantle features an oval beveled mirror over-mantle. The owner's brother built the tall pine wardrobe in the 1950S. The original milk glass-shaded brass light fixture has particularly beautiful detail.

At the back of the house is the dining area, connected to a new kitchen added in the 1950s. The kitchen features a '50s-era wood stove that was used for home heating. Note also the original wood panel walls in the kitchen dining area. The fourth downstairs room is another bedroom, which is not open for the tour.

Behind the house are a smokehouse where salted pork was cured and a washhouse with its original stove for heating water and boiling clothes. Next door is the small building where the owner ran her medical practice from 1951 until 1966, treating patients from Bahama and surrounding communities. [by Kimberley Miller]

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1501 BAHAMA ROAD

1501
,
Bahama
NC
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Sat, 11/05/2011 - 10:30am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 54.4392" N, 78° 52' 40.4436" W
US

Comments

1501
,
Bahama
NC
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

1501 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

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HAMP UMSTEAD HOUSE - 1505 BAHAMA ROAD

1505
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1912
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Hamp Umstead's house, built in 1912, has a large wrap-around porch and four-gabled hipped roof. It was restored in the early 2000s.

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:25am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 55.656" N, 78° 52' 39.5256" W
US

Comments

1505
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1912
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


1505 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

This house was built at the crossroads center about 1912 by Hamp Umstead and his wife Bettie Travis. They grew tobacco in the field behind the house. The square house has a pyramidal roof with a large gabled dormer on each side and two tall chimneys. The huge wrap around porch was designed to catch any available air in hot weather.

This house is known by neighbors as the Clark-Bowling House, after its [2003] residents. One owner, James Bowling, did all the restoration work on the house. They have lovingly renovated the house, undertaking major repairs such as replacing the foundation. They creatively recycled the original foundation bricks to pave the walkway leading up to the porch. Inside the beveled glass front door, the spacious central hall contains a grand piano. A "Kennedy" rocker is nearby.

The left door with six horizontal panels leads to the front parlor. The [2003] owner stripped ten coats of white paint from the mantle before refinishing it. The floors are heart pine and the windows retain their wavy glass panes. Many of the light fixtures are original, and period replacements came from Durham's Pettigrew Street.

To the left of the fireplace is the original kitchen. The walls here retain their original bead board and there is another carefully refinished fireplace mantle. An original light fixture hangs above the table and the North Carolina chairs that surround it. A glass door leads to an old pantry.

The [2003] owners believe[d] that the back hall with its rough-cut lumber walls was originally a dog run later enclosed to provide more inside space and a bath. They use the hall as their home office. The bathroom contains a period light fixture, claw foot tub, and pedestal sink.

The two bedrooms both have original fireplace mantles. The back room is dominated by a white iron bedstead and the front room is furnished with many antiques. The sleeping loft in the gables above is accessed from a ladder in the front bedroom closet! The [2003] owners of this house have worked hard to bring it back to life, turning a "diamond in the rough" into a true gem. This property is truly an inspiration for everyone who dreams of renovating an older house. [by Kimberley Miller]

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1519 BAHAMA ROAD

1519
,
Bahama
NC
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sat, 11/05/2011 - 11:24am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 59.0328" N, 78° 52' 38.55" W
US

Comments

1519
,
Bahama
NC
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


1519 Bahama Road

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1523 BAHAMA ROAD

1523
,
Bahama
NC
Cross street: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Sat, 11/05/2011 - 11:18am by gary

Location

United States
36° 9' 59.5404" N, 78° 52' 36.894" W
US

Comments

1523
,
Bahama
NC
Cross street: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


1523 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

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LYON ELLIS HOUSE - 1623 BAHAMA ROAD

1623
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1918
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

The first house constructed in Bahama with a bathroom, the Lyon-Ellis house was built as a physician's home and office.

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 12/18/2011 - 8:18am by gary

Location

United States
36° 10' 3.4932" N, 78° 52' 32.5452" W
US

Comments

1623
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1918
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

1623 Bahama Road, 10.26.08

Dr. Euel Lyon and his wife Maynie built this house next to the Mt. Bethel Methodist Church around 1918. Dr. Lyon had a successful practice that afforded a gracious two-story house with a wide wrap-around porch. The doctor ordered all the latest conveniences: the Lyon House was the first house in Bahama to be built with an indoor bathroom! Mrs. Lyon remarried after her husband's death in 1924, and remained in the house until the death of her second husband David Roberts in 1937. She moved into Durham in 1938.

The house is a classic four-square topped by a pyramidal roof with attic dormers. The exposed beams under the roof are rough hewn; some still have bark on them.

The side entry hall features a stairwell with the original newel posts and banisters, now uncovered from more than a dozen layers of paint. The paneling hiding the stair risers is of particular note. Other original woodwork remains throughout the house, including horizontally paneled doors with ceramic knobs, windows, and fireplace mantles. Original lighting fixtures also remain, as well as a triple push button switch in the front hall. The style of the ceiling fixtures here is similar to those in the Marcus Mangum house around the corner: both houses were wired for electricity in the mid-1920s. Modern wallboard painted in bright colors covers original bead board paneling that was badly stained by tacks used to hold the underpinnings of early wallpaper.

The wide front porch wraps around the right side of the house, where a door admitted patients directly into Dr. Lyon's office. Today, the homeowner uses the room as a convenient home office.

Upstairs are three bedrooms. In the master bedroom, the mantle of the long-closed fireplace is now used as a dramatic headboard for the bed. An original closet extends back behind the chimney for truly deep storage. In the baby's room, the homeowners commissioned a local artist to paint a colorful mural. From the door to the enclosed attic stairway, visitors can see the beam construction of the roof. [by Jan Hessling]

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SPRUCE PINE LODGE

2235
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1930
/ Modified in
1950
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

The summer house for the widow of Mary WL Stagg, of Greystone; now a lovely city park near Bahama. THIS IS NOT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR SPRUCE PINE LODGE. I regret that I can't help you set up your wedding; please call the city for assistance.

Comments

  • Submitted by Lori Hall on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 9:43pm

    I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

    Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 06/17/2013 - 12:58pm by gary

Location

36° 10' 30.306" N, 78° 51' 55.8036" W

Comments

2235
,
Bahama
NC
Built in
1930
/ Modified in
1950
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Spruce Pine Lodge, 02.07.09 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

[THIS IS NOT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR SPRUCE PINE LODGE. I regret that I can't help you set up your wedding; please call the city.]

Spruce Pine Lodge was constructed as a 'summer house' in approximately 1930 by Mary Washington Lyon Stagg, widow of James E. Stagg. In 1926, the City of Durham had built a dam on the Flat River to improve the city's water supply, creating Lake Michie. The bluff upon which the Spruce Pine Lodge would soon sit thereby acquired a beautiful view overlooking the new lake.

Mary Stagg lived at Greystone after her husband's death; I have no information about how she used Spruce Pine Lodge. Mrs. Stagg died in 1945; the house and the land were either acquired by or donated to the city of Durham in 1950.

Spruce Pine Lodge is currently a city park - a gem unknown by many folks in the city - and the lodge itself is available for events.

 

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Comments

I have created a FB page called Proud to be from Bahama if you are interested in looking.  I enjoyed your link.  Thanks,

Lori Hall -decendant of the Mangum Family