c. 1880 – Cedar Grove, NC

Off Market / Archived
National Register
Posted February 2015. This home has been archived on OHD. The sold status is unknown.
Added to OHD on 2/26/15   -   Last OHD Update: 10/26/19   -   22 Comments

5132 Efland-Cedar Grove Rd., Cedar Grove, NC 27231

  • $64,000
  • 3 Bed
  • 1 Bath
  • 1766 Sq Ft
  • 1 Ac.
This "ugly duckling" could once again become a beautiful swan. A careful removal of some of the artificial siding on the front facade revealed the presence of crosseted window and door surrounds, a popular 19th century decorative woodwork treatment that, once repaired, will restore the elegance of this dignified house. This one-story, late-period Greek Revival cottage located in the picturesque rural crossroads community of Cedar Grove in Orange County. Located just a few miles north of the acclaimed literary community of Hillsborough, the Ellis House is the best of both worlds, surrounded by lovely countryside with farms that source local restaurants, while being close to shopping, dining, area universities, and employment centers. The house has an inviting porch with intricate decorative woodwork that leads into a wide center hall, four rooms in the main section of the house, a kitchen wing, rear enclosed porch with old well, and a side addition wing with two rooms and a bath. Interesting woodwork throughout includes crossetted exterior door moldings, three-part door molding with corner block, a split panel front door with decorative hardware, faux-grained two-panel doors throughout, large six-over-six windows, and four interesting vernacular mantels. The house is situated on a large lot with mature trees and flowering shrubs. Outbuildings include an octagonal lattice shed, a board-and-batten shed, metal shed, and sizable metal garage/workshop with two-over-two windows and track-hung, sliding carriage doors. The Allen A. Ellis House will need a new roof on the main section, HVAC systems, new electrical system, the removal of the artificial siding, and cosmetic updates. It is located in the Cedar Grove National Register Historic District. Rehab plans and estimates are available!

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22 Comments on c. 1880 – Cedar Grove, NC

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11807 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    If there was ever a house that had “Kelly” written all over it, this would be the one! Wowzers!

  2. TracyTracy says: 101 comments

    Do my eyes deceive me, or are those made-by-hand doors? (And not cheesy ones…) OMG! I’m agog.

  3. Laurie W. says: 1770 comments

    Oh yeah, this is a honey of a house. Love the wood-grained doors! It has so much potential & gives a cozy, family kind of vibe. Even the old store building is very cool!

  4. evers310evers310 says: 110 comments

    Judging by the Greek Revival details (two panel doors, shouldered window trim, wide plank floor boards), I’d say the 1880 date is wrong. It’s more likely that it’s 1850’s to early 1860’s.

    • John Shiflet says: 5495 comments

      I concur, suggesting even extending the early period to the 1830’s when such faux graining of woodwork and simple fireplace mantels and surrounds were very popular. By 1880, this house could have been almost 50 years old. Some of the floorboards look to be of the wide variety another indication of great age. The original cottage was likely in the Greek Revival style with perhaps a simple pedimented portico with four square columns. Looks like the porch was “modernized” with some generic Victorian trim from perhaps around 1880’s. Such a folk/vernacular style house can be rehabbed in many ways from a museum house quality restoration to a more creative approach to suit the tastes of the owner. Above all, I think it would be worthwhile to preserve those things that link the house to the distant past while making it comfortable for modern living. It comes with an acre of land and is inside a local historic district. (which may make it eligible for restoration tax credits or perhaps minor post restoration preservation grants) It’s obvious from the exterior view that the early house was added onto and enlarged over the years but that shouldn’t make tying it all together too difficult.

  5. Elaine says: 134 comments

    What is the round thing in picture 19? (OK, take it back–third from the bottom picture!) What kind of doorknob contraption is that? And in the plans, what is that room between the kitchen and the bedroom?

    This is a VERY fun one, and very intriguing! LOVE all the outbuildings; hadn’t realized they were all part of this package; thought they were neighbors! COOL! Those side shots of the house are really pretty, and I LOVE having the plans on there! Looks like someone added on a nice sized master suite!

  6. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11807 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I don’t believe the old Ellis store at the corner of the street is included, at least I do not see any where in the description it’s included.

    • Laurie W. says: 1770 comments

      I didn’t either but hoped, Kelly. Such a neat building — don’t know what on earth anyone would do with it except turn it into store or museum, but I still like it.

      Even though the house plan isn’t to scale, it looks like there is enough space to squeeze in a 2nd bathroom if someone wanted to, which should make it more appealing maybe?

  7. RossRoss says: 2525 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    This is a house with a highly distinctive character.

    A true restoration would make the house really shine.

  8. tiffaney jewel says: 83 comments

    I don’t think I’ve ever loved a single-storey house this much. The paneling and stopped-up fireplaces make me very sad. I hope some great comes along and restores this beauty.

  9. KarenB says: 227 comments

    Be still my fluttery heart! I WOULD love to get in there and start ripping out paneling, stripping floors, etc. In the proper hands this could be a little show stopper.

  10. AnnM says: 41 comments

    What a lovely setting for a charming house!!!!!

  11. JimHJimH says: 4919 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Great little house with a handmade quality to it and lots of old patina. It looks tiny outside but ample with high ceilings, a classic center hall layout expanded in the back that would work well today. Lots of restoration to do but it would be well worth it, starting by ripping the aluminum siding off.
    Allen A. Ellis, the man associated with the house, was born in 1873. Was he famous? Did he build the house when he was just a child? More likely that’s the earliest name they came up with and didn’t bother to research it further, which may explain the given build date that seems way off.
    I thought the “wishing well” out front was a sweet touch until I saw it in a 75 year old photo – seems it was the “Public Well”. Cedar Grove is a cute backroad place not far from the real world. Kelly, maybe you could buy the store buildings on the corner too and restore the crossroads – it looks almost the same as in the ’30’s photo here:

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11807 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Thanks Jim! I thought the well might be the one referenced in the National Register form but wasn’t sure. The old photo is awesome, I’d make it my mission to eventually buy at least the Ellis Store. Not sure what I’d do with it but just to stabilize and restore it, maybe a museum?

      • RosewaterRosewater says: 5723 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1875 Italianate cottage
        Noblesville, IN

        That store seems to be in really great shape, and it sure adds a lot of character to the property. As to use; here in Noblesville, just round the way from me, a retired postal worker bought an old church which had languished on the market for a good long time and turned it into a small event space. I believe he is running it as a not for profit. They have all sorts of arts events, plus he rents the space very inexpensively for private events, weddings, etc.. I’d be the last one to encourage anyone to open a B&B, but if you could acquire the store for similar purposes, and then have the house available for additional facilities, one might make a go of it. Probably lots of folks in the surrounding area who have fond memories of Cedar Grove, and since there doesn’t seem to be many other options close by, a space for reunions, weddings, small events, etc. might just be a hit. For the money, I’d say it’s worth looking into for the right person; especially someone local with ties to the community.



        • John Shiflet says: 5495 comments

          Nice adaptive re-use of an old Church building in Noblesville. Given that this locale in North Carolina is steeped in history, it would seem feasible to use the old store structure as an antiques shop combined with a local history display inside. Most visitors would respond favorably to that, I believe. Lots of potential in this property, IMO.

  12. anne taylor says: 4 comments


  13. says: 1 comments

    wow!!!! love it, great potential with some love and attention

  14. Wanda says: 2 comments

    I need to get over to see it. It’s only one county over from us.

  15. Gemma says: 125 comments

    As an amateur at economic development (five years a secretary), Cedar Grove residents will have to come together to determine where their little corner of the world is going to go. Combine that with Mr. Shiflet’s observations, plus some ‘brutal’ realism that they’re off the beaten track, and the new owner will be able to determine the route to take (pun intended).

    Just my observations. Nothing professional.

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