Monday - Thursday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
This house stands on a small (.39 acre) tree-shaded lot on Durham’s main residential street.
– gable-roofed, cove-ceiling portico
– doorway framed with fluted pilasters and containing a double-leaf four panel door
– large cornice molding which runs along both the facade and the gable ends
The Phineas Camp House is an unusually well-preserved 2 1/2 story, three bay, center-chimney colonial residence. Its west facing facade contains a gable-roofed, cove-ceiling portico supported by columns which probably dates from the nineteenth century. It protects a doorway framed with fluted pilasters and containing a double-leaf four panel door. The entry is symmetrically flanked by two 12×8 windows. On the second story, a central 9×6 window is flanked by two 12x8s. The original windows on the north and south sides of the house were apparently replaced in the nineteenth century with 6x6s. The most notable feature of the main block is rather heavy and large cornice molding which runs along both the facade and the gable ends. The southeast corner of the house contains a large one story addition in the Greek Revival Style. This house was built on part of a large homelot which belonged to one of Durham’s original proprietors, John Camp. In 1760, John Camp, Jr. sold one and a half acres “with a new dwelling” to his son, Elnathan Camp (1753-1807), shortly after Elnathan’s marriage to Eunice Talcott. The house was actually built in 1758 according to a date carved on its interior beams. In 1785, Elnathan sold the house “with a merchant’s shop and barn” to his brother Phineas Camp (1745- ) for 300 pounds. In 1794, Phineas sold the house and land to Phineas Squire, who sold it four years later back to Elnathan Camp. Camp left it by will in 1807 to his son, Sylvester Camp (1777- ). He Sold it a year later to Seth Seward. Seth Seward (1767-1846), a descendant of Durham’s first inhabitant, was one of the town’s most prosperous shoemakers and one of its richest men. He was a deacon of the Congregational Church from 1824 to 1846. On his death, the property was inherited by his widow, Eliza. ‘When she died in 1860 the property was left in trust to her children, including Nancy Johnson (116 Main). In that year, Dwight Seward, trustee of the Seth Seward Estate, sold the house and three acres to John Hull. ‘Ihe house remained in the Hull family until 1915. The house changed hands frequently between 1915 and 1967, when it was purchased by its
This house is one of the few three bay colonial structures in Durham. It is notable both for its fine state of preservation and for the interesting Greek Pevival addition
to its southeast corner. Historically it is notable for its connection to the Camps and the Sewards, both proprietor families, and for its association with Durham’s early nineteenth-century shoe industry, in which Seth Seward was a leading figure.