Cary Acquires Oldest Remaining Home – 1803 Nancy Jones House – for Preservation, Rehabilitation
- The Town of Cary has reached an agreement with the Sri Venkateswara Temple of North Carolina to purchase the historic home at 9391 Chapel Hill Road and move it to a new location.
- The National Register structure hosted a US President, operating as a stagecoach stop and tavern along the route between Chapel Hill and Raleigh.
- May is Preservation Month; Mayor Harold Weinbrecht will deliver a proclamation at Cary’s Historic Preservation Commission Meeting on Wednesday, May 8.
Cary, NC –The Town of Cary has reached an agreement with the Sri Venkateswara Temple of North Carolina to take ownership of the Nancy Jones House, the first step toward preserving and rehabilitating the community’s oldest remaining home. As part of the agreement, the Town will pay the Temple $100,000 and move the house from the Temple’s property to a new location next year. The agreement will be celebrated as part of Preservation Month, and Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht will deliver a proclamation at Cary’s Historic Preservation Commission Meeting on Wednesday, May 8.
Located on modern-day Chapel Hill Road, the house was originally situated on a 2,000-acre estate owned by Henry Jones (1766-1841) and Nancy Ann Jones (1783-1876). Henry and his wife Nancy operated a stagecoach stop and tavern out of their house. When Henry died in 1841, Nancy continued to live in the house and operate the tavern/stagecoach stop for another 30+ years. As it was the only large, white house in the area, it was a landmark on the route and received many important visitors, including numerous N.C. governors as well as President James K. Polk. It was said to be the only fit place for important visitors to stop on the Raleigh-Chapel Hill route.
“The Nancy Jones House is significant not just to Cary, but to the history of North Carolina,” said Cary Councilmember Ed Yerha. “Such a piece of history is nearly priceless, and I appreciate the Temple’s choosing to participate in this important preservation effort. It certainly isn’t something they had to do, and I hope that it will inspire others with historic structures on their property to make similar efforts.”
“This agreement will allow an important part of history to be preserved while at the same time increasing the Temple’s capacity to serve the community well into the future” said Ravi Kandukuri, Vice Chairman who led the delegation of Planning Committee and Board of Trustees of Sri Venkateswara Temple of North Carolina. “We are appreciative of our renewed partnership with the Town and look forward to finding more opportunities for working together.”
The Nancy Jones house is one of four individually-listed properties in Cary on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cary Historic Preservation Commission ranked the Nancy Jones House as one of the top five priorities deserving of landmark status in Cary.
Over the next year, the Town will stabilize and ready the structure for moving to a new location, which has not yet been determined. Then, the Town will partner with historic preservationists and interested community members on the house’s rehabilitation and future uses. As with its new location, exact costs for moving, rehabilitating, and adaptively reusing will be forthcoming.
“I think of the Nancy Jones house as a 216-year-old patient on the operating table who doctors are trying to save from dying. That’s what the agreement between the Temple and the Town accomplishes, and now we can take the time we need to work with our citizens on the next chapter Nancy Jones will play in our history,” said Cary Town Manager Sean R. Stegall.
For more on historic preservation in Cary, visit www.townofcary.org or call (919) 469-4084.
Anna Readling, AICP, Senior Planner, (919) 469-4084
Stephen McNulty, Public Information Specialist, (919) 380-4240