John Douglas House
Local tradition holds that
Douglas was mindful of the local strife when he decided, ca.
1867, to purchase land and erect his home immediately behind
Steele Creek Presbyterian church in Christie Lane in the Steele Creek Community or southwestern portion of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
Rev John Douglas was the minister of Steele Creek
Following John and Susannah's
death, the property was inherited by James P. Walker and Fannie
Walker , children of John Douglas's nephew, William A. Walker.
The new owners resided in Chester SC, and, consequently, rented
the John Douglas House to tenants. They sold the property in
December 1921. The house passed through several hands until
September 27, 1950, when Sterling J. Foster, Jr., and his wife,
Alma K. Foster purchased the property and established their
residence there. After the death of her husband, the former Mrs.
Foster married William Staiger. Again the John Douglas House
became rental property. In the mid-1960's James Marshall
Stallings and his wife, Nancy Brigmon Stallings, lived there. On
September 3. 1969, Mr. and Mrs. Stallings purchased the John
Douglas House, where they continue to maintain their residence.
The John Douglas House is located on Christie Lane in the Steele
Creek Community of Mecklenburg County. Although at one end of the long
lane leading to the house there is a large subdivision of houses, the
Douglas House itself is set on a rise in the land in the center of
fields and wooded areas so that it retains its rural atmosphere.
The Douglas House is a simple, one and a half story frame cottage in the
late Greek Revival style. It is three bays wide and two bays deep and
has a one-story ell on the left rear. There is a one-bay wide entrance
porch on the front (south side) and screened porches across the rear of
the house and along the inside (east side) of the ell. The house is
covered with weatherboarding, except for the small area of the front
porch, which is covered with flush boarding. The corners of the house
are accented by plain vertical stiles. The gable roof is of medium pitch
and the cornice is boxed. Two interior brick chimneys with corbelled
caps are symmetrically placed within the main body of the house, while
an exterior, single stepped shoulder brick chimney is positioned at the
rear of the ell. Most windows, including those in the gable ends, are
9/9 sash, while others are 6/6. The batten shutters appear to be
replacements. The house is set on a brick pier foundation, the
interstices of which have now been in-filled with brick.
steps with ironwork balustrade of recent vintage lead to the front
entrance porch, which covers only slightly more area than the doorway
itself. The porch is covered by a hipped roof which is supported by
plain wood Doric posts at each corner. Plain balustrades connect these
posts to the front wall of the house. Resting directly on the posts is a
rather crude, though vaguely classical, tripartite architrave formed by
weatherboarding. The double leaf front door has octagonal panels in the
upper halves and is surrounded by sidelights and transom.
screened porches on the rear of the house appear to have been built at
two different times. The porch along the east side of the ell has a
hipped roof, while the one along the rear of the main body of the house
has a shed roof and may date from a later period. Both porches have a
plain Doric post at each corner and both have a solid wood balustrade.
However, the two are joined in a rather awkward manner.
interior of the Douglas House displays a center hall plan with two rooms
on either side and auxiliary rooms in the rear ell. The upstairs half
story contains one room on either side of the stair landing.
stairway to the second floor is located at the rear of the wide center
hall. In order to fit the available space, it runs seven risers from the
front, then turns on a straight landing and returns on a fourteen-riser
run to the center of the story above. The balustrade is somewhat
unusual, in that it combines rather Victorian bulbous (though not
especially heavy) newel posts with a delicate rounded handrail
reminiscent of the Federal period. The balusters are plain and square in
Four-panel doors open from the center hall to the rooms
on either side. On the right side are the dining room and kitchen with
back-to-back fireplaces. On the left side are the parlor and sitting
room, again with back-to-back fireplaces. The mantels in the downstairs
rooms, except for in the kitchen, are transitional between the Greek
Revival and Italianate styles. The molding on door and window surrounds
and baseboards is all very simple. Paneled aprons below the 9/9 windows
add a decorative element. The walls in the four major rooms of the house
are plastered, and picture molding is positioned about one foot down
from the ceiling. The floors are composed of floor boards approximately
five inches in width.
The ell on the left rear of the house is
made up of a short hall with bathroom and closet on either side and a
rear bedroom. The walls of this bedroom are covered with flush boarding
rather than plaster.
In the upstairs half story, the walls and
ceilings of the two bedrooms are also covered with flush boarding. To
accommodate the available space, the upper front and back walls of these
rooms slant inward to meet the ceiling. The large 9/9 sash windows in
the gable ends run almost floor to ceiling in the loft rooms, providing
an unexpected amount of light. As in the downstairs rooms, the doors
leading to each room have four flat panels. The interior chimneys pass
through the center of these rooms, breaking up the space. Here there are
no fireplaces, and instead, the chimneys are covered with plaster.
Any contributions will be
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