Monday - Thursday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Set on a pleasant wood lot, the Combs-Chalker House faces east onto Pisgah Road. The surrounding neighborhood, which developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the industrial activity along Malt Brook, is experiencing some modern residential development.
The five-bay facade features an overhang. The central facade door is set in a simple decorative frame topped by a thin projecting cornice. A brick chimney rises from the
center of the roof. Original six~over-nine sash are exhibited throughout. Attached to the single-story, gable-roofed ell which projects from the north elevation are an open
breezeway and a gable-roofed garage.
The early history of this house is obscure. Architecturally it is similar to other colonial-period dwellings in the area built between 1745 and 1755. Capped with a wood-shingled, ridge-to-street gable roof, the 1 1/2 story, clapboarded, post-and-beam timbers rest on a sandstone block foundation.
The first deed reference to this building is in 1794 when Captain Jabez Chalker, Jr. received a parcel of land with dwelling house from John Combs. Although the conditions
under which Combs received the house are unclear, there is a dwelling situated upon this property on the 1760 map of Durham. There is little historical information available concerning Combs, but we do know he moved to Bristol, New York, between 1798 and 1805. Chalker (1768-1841), whose ancestors came from Old Saybrook, married Hannah Pickett, the daughter of Benjamin Pickett. The eldest son of Jabez and Sarah Chalker (who lived on Sand Hill Road), Jabez, Jr. operated a clothier’s shop and fulling mill along Malt Brook. The father of ten children, he took his oath of fidelity in 1781 and his freeman’s oath in 1795. A captain in the Revolutionary War, Chalker served as a local representative to the State Legislature in 1827. In 1842 Ozias Chalker (b. 1805), Jabez’s eldest living son, received his father’s home. Ozias, a farmer, never married and resided there until his death in 1872.
An interesting example of the colonial-period Cape style, the Combs-Chalker House derives its significance from its association with the industrial development that
occurred along Malt Brook in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.