Who can ever affirm, or deny that the houses which have sheltered us as children, or as adults, and our predecessors too, do not have embedded in their walls, one with the dust and cobwebs, one with the overlay of fresh wallpaper and paint, the imprint of what-has-been, the suffering, the joy?”
Daphne du Maurier, Myself When Young
There has never been any doubt in my mind that this quotation written by du Maurier is true. I continue to dream about the house I grew up in. I know that some part my parents and their only child, Stepheny, remain in the dust motes that are captured in the sunlight on the staircase.
One of the great homes in Rocky Mount, built by DJ Rose, sits on the corner of 800 Tarboro St. Many of you have been guests in this home of Jean Bailey. Perhaps you attended one of the outside Courtyard Parties or the wedding reception of Jean’s daughter that must have been magical. This past weekend, friends helped with an estate sale at the house. During my shift, I did my best to hide the emotional roller coaster I was riding knowing that the chapters Jean and her family have added to the story of this home, are winding down. I can tell the house is reluctant to have Jean finally close the door behind her, as are her neighbors, but it’s time now; this magnificent home and garden have a life to be getting on with.
You know how fairy tales start…once upon a time…the iconic Edgemont neighborhood had two-parent families, fathers walking to work, washing cars in the driveway on Saturday, ballgames on the radio, children safely riding bikes all over the neighborhood. Moms took their aprons off and had dinner on the table at the same time every day. Each newly built home was a marvel. I will admit to you that some of the neighborhood is in various states of disrepair, but I guarantee you that the residents want the same things we all want: Safe neighborhoods, good neighbors, reasonable taxes, decent education, adequate healthcare. Investors recognize the beauty of the architecture, the proximity to downtown, and best of all, they bring no baggage to the dreams of a happily-ever-after restoration of this neighborhood.
I want your word that you will think nothing but positive thoughts about the future of Edgemont, which must include an up to date inventory of properties along with accountability from the City Government that should be enforcing the rules on the books that effect neglected properties. You may not be able to buy this beautiful DJ Rose home on Tarboro, but you could start insisting that preserving our neighborhoods is more important than some parade that costs us $60,000-$80,000 and more important than hiring more city employees that we don’t need. If we have that kind of money to do these kinds of things, let’s put those dollars towards stabilizing the facades along Main Street and saving the homes in our neighborhoods.
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CLICK HERE for an earlier post featuring interiors of Jean Bailey’s home.
CLICK HERE for an earlier post on Edgemont -A Jewel in Rocky Mount’s Crown #1`
10 thoughts on “The Magnificent Piece of Property and Home in the Edgemont Historic District is a Source of Pride for a Reemerging Neighborhood – 800 Tarboro Street”
We lived across the street from this beautiful old home. Mrs. Lee lived here in the early 70’s. I remember going to her home on Halloween nights where she would fill here back screened porch full of goodies for the children. Fond memories. Later Jimmy Clack (Pittsburg Stealers football player) purchased the home.
What a wonderful home! I’m so glad you wrote about it.
Was the estate sale opened to the public? Will there be another one?
Hi Cheryl: The sale was open to the public and there will be another one late October after things cool down. When I know the date, I will TRY to remember to let you know. Thanks for joining me on Main Street.
Can you check addresses on Eastern Ave for being in the historic district? I have derelict houses on both sides of me that need to have owners notified to clean them us. I put up a new fence and the overgrowing weeds and vines are tearing it up. I need to know how to check on this. ❤ Love your blog too –
If you leave the addresses on Eastern Ave, I can check if they are considered part of the historic district. Regardless, these derelict homes must be attended too. Thank you for keeping me company on Main Street.
The amazing thing about Rocky Mount is that it contains many notable examples of important architectural styles. Thus, it stands to reason there must be some accountability for an inventory, restoration of each and PROPER stewardship of the neighborhoods and commercial sectors. I find it very interesting that out of town people, northern Yankees, retiring professionals, a FEW locals and the young are SCREAMING for this to happen–yet our elected city council and city managers sit on their collective hands and make it difficult for those of us who are trying to FIX the mess that has become downtown Rocky Mount and its historic neighborhoods. Everywhere you look there are homes and commercial buildings with broken windows, missing doors and leaking or missing roofs. This is not NORMAL! And, there are codes on the books to correct and prevent these situations that endanger the public. One must ask why the city codes are not enforced? Is it a lack of funding? Or is it an agenda moved forward by a greedy and self interested city council and city management? I choose the latter. Perhaps you do also–if so rattle some cages, shake your finger and yell you want change. It is our tax dollars that pay these incompetent people. If you like this please pass it on.
Thank you for this well-written addition to the blog concerning the state of affairs on Main Street and adjoining areas. Your assessment of the situation is dead on!
I’m always astounded by the architectural depth of Rocky Mount. Stephany you are the Indiana Jones of our historic architectural heritage. God Bless You!!!!
Wilson NC has just completed their architectural inventory of 750 properties. I’ve been invited to a meeting about how they did it. Hold the thought. Thanks, John for reading the blog and your fun comment about Indiana Jones.