Hillsborough, N.C. — An effort is underway to save a house George Washington may have visited while he was president. The house is in Hillsborough and it sits on land slated for development.
The old farmhouse is hemmed in.
Not just by a chain-link fence, but by chain stores and chain restaurants along Churton Street at I-85.
The house, with pale yellow paint peeling, is veiled by bulky trees and barely visible from the road, but Craig Lloyd wants to open the curtain on its history.
“And the significance of this house during George Washington’s tour,” said Lloyd.
The tour he spoke of came in 1791 when President Washington traveled through the south.
Some historical accounts say in June, he spent a night or two at what was known as the Gatewood House, then located near the Virginia line.
“I think one of the most significant things about it is it’s a classic farmhouse from the 1790s,” said Lloyd
The farmhouse was moved to Hillsborough in 1978, eventually becoming a restaurant. When the restaurant moved out a year ago, the house fell into rack and ruin.
It sits on land owned by D.R. Horton, a builder of modern homes, which plans to develop this site.
The town of Hillsborough opted not to help save the house. The planning and economic development manager told WRAL News the home has been gutted several times and the town could not verify that Washington actually slept there.
“I don’t know how much digging they’ve done, but there are a lot of websites and a lot of people that have done a lot of history about this site,” said Lloyd.
So, through a non-profit called The Meridian Community Foundation, Craig Lloyd is trying to raise $100,000 to move the house more than four miles away, to Efland, and make it a museum.
“If those walls could talk,” said Lloyd. “There’ s not going to be another home like this.”
Lloyd launched a GoFundMe page but has only raised a few hundred dollars.
“Plan B is to see if we can fix it up where it’s at,” said Lloyd.
WRAL News reached out to Horton about the possibility of saving the house on-site but has not heard back.
Lloyd said the homebuilder has been “very supportive” of his efforts.
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