85 Main Street

The Camp & Baldwin Store resembles the L.W. Leach Store (now the Morse & Otte Market) just a few buildings to the north, on the same side of Main Street. The single outbuilding is a barn.

  • Record ID: 85
  • Address: 85 Main Street
  • Current Owner: Curtis, Marie M.
  • Name of Building: Curtis Studio Photography
  • Historic Name: Camp & Baldwin Store
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

This building originally had a post-and-beam frame. During the nineteenth century, however, the second story was apparently rebuilt, as the irregular placement of the gable-end second-story windows shows. Full-size windows are generally 2/2 sash. Multiple additions have been made to the northwest corner, and a hip-roofed sun porch has been added to the south side.

Historical or Architectural Importance

Built ca. 1820, the Camp & Baldwin Store is a simple nineteenth-century commercial structure. Its 2-story wooden frame has a gable-to-street wood-shingled roof, a clapboard exterior, and a rough, mortared sand-stone foundation. Like the Robinson-Andrews and the Asahel Strong Houses to the south, the Camp & Baldwin Store lot was originally a part of one of Durham's 'parsonage lots'. The first mention of the building was made in an 1824 deed, in which Heth Camp conveyed the store to William S. Camp and Timothy W. Baldwin, Durham merchants. As the store was in full operation at this time, it was probably built a few years earlier, when Heth Camp contracted some type of lease with the First Ecclesiastical Society of Durham. The terms of this lease, however, have not been recorded. William Camp and his partner Baldwin settled their own lease with the Ecclesiastical Society in 1826--this time for nine-hundred and ninety-nine years. By 1836, the store had passed to Asher Robinson, and was henceforth used as a residence only, until the present time. It is now the Curtis Studio. This building's architectural similarity to the L.W. Leach Store suggests the existence of a Durham building tradition for commercial structures.