Shook-Smathers House restoration planned
Descendent of Jacob Shook plans Museum at landmark Clyde
Clyde – Perhaps the oldest
structure in North Carolina will be preserved in perpetuity, thanks to
Joseph S. Hall, of Washington, D.C., the great, great, great-grandson of
Although he now resides
in the nation’s capital where he lives in a 1910 Capital Hill townhouse,
Hall is intensely interested in restoring the Shook-Smathers House to its
original condition and opening it as a house museum.
Built by Jacob Shook in
1795 and known as the Shook House, it was originally a three-story,
sawn-board structure, the third floor containing a chapel where the family
It was here that Bishop
Francis Asbury organized the first Methodist church in Haywood County in
1810. The property also was the site of Methodist camp meetings held on
Shook’s Camp Ground. Long vacant, the house still holds its precious chapel
with its original sawn-board walls.
In the late 19th
century, the house was substantially enlarged. Wrapped around the original
sawn-board siding was a structure of clap-board siding, creating twice the
space of the former dwelling and elaborated with a two—tiered gallery porch.
Hall plans to create a
museum of American architecture featuring two distinct eras: One, the 1795
federal period with its exposed beams and timbers, and two, the 1895
Victorian period. To be opened some after the restoration is complete, the
house museum will enable the public to see the structure as it was
Hall learned that the
Shook-Smathers House was available when he saw Preservation North Carolina’s
advertisement in “Preservation,” a publication of the National Register of
Historic Properties, featuring a photograph of the house. He recognized it
immediately. Preservation North Carolina, a non-profit organization,
acquired the Shook-Smathers House and sold it to Hall with protective
covenants to ensure the house’s long term preservation.
For more information
about historic properties available for restoration and an introductory copy
of the magazine, contact Preservation North Carolina at P.O. Box 27644,
Raleigh, NC 27611-7644, by phone at 918/832-3652, or visit the web site at
Since 1939, Preservation
North Carolina has protected and reserved hundreds of buildings and
landscapes important to the heritage of North Carolina.
As North Carolina’s only
statewide nonprofit preservation organization, PNC protects historic
properties by identifying, purchasing and reselling them through its highly
effective Endangered Properties Program.
It also promotes
preservation through its stewardship properties, educational programs,
public recognition program, videos and publications. PNC is supported
through the generosity of over 5,000 members. Members receive a bi-annual
magazine, which features properties for sale and articles of interest.
Note: Hall remembers how
the resident owner, Mary Smathers Morgan, loved the home as he grew up, went
to high school, and left Asheville. He eventually retired as a college
professor with a doctorate in European history.