Tell Us Your Story

STORIES OF OLD HOME STEWARDS

Your home’s story didn’t end when its first owners moved out. And it didn’t end when you chose to move in.

Every old home, from simple cottages to grand mansions and all points between, does so much more than offer shelter. Homes also play a part in neighborhoods and communities. The singular story of your house is ongoing. You are a chapter in your home’s biography. And we want to learn more!

With the help and input of our members, HWF is striving to learn more about our old buildings (built before 1945) and the people who care for them. Together, we’re creating a robust panorama of our built history.

HWF is currently working on the technical side of this endeavor. Stay tuned for updates!

Old houses are filled with history, quirks, and one-of-a-kind features. It’s the little things that make us fall in love with them: the ripples of light through an old window, the warm feel of a worn brass doorknob. We feel connected to those who came before us: their families, their accomplishments, the traces of their lives. In caring for these vintage spaces, we carry and share the rich, varied stories these buildings tell about our communities. 

HWF’s Tell Us Your Story index will be different from our historic plaque database, as well as the National Register listings. While those databases are invaluable, they capture small segments of our communities. Our goal is to create a more complete picture of the built history where we live and work in the three counties HWF serves, gathering details about ALL old structures.

READ THEIR STORIES

Read below for some of our Tell Us Your Story profiles:

Emily & Dan Happick

Richard L. Meares House (c. 1912)

Emily and Dan Happick’s first happy memory of their historic neighborhood was taking engagement photos in Wallace Park. Little did they know, two years later they would buy the home of their dreams just six blocks away: a pristine bungalow with crowd-pleasing trim, on a tree-lined street within a short bike-ride of downtown. 

“Wilmington’s history is so complex and so interesting,” says Emily, who interned at the Bellamy Mansion during graduate school. With a deep appreciation for history, it’s no surprise she’s hatching a plan: bridging the past with the present, she’s researching the house’s history. In fact, (spoiler alert!) she hopes to honor the house with a plaque from Historic Wilmington Foundation. Perhaps another memory—a plaque naming—will be made on Emily and Dan’s front porch soon… CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

Suzanne Stanley

Burns-Huggins House (c. 1853)

Suzanne Stanley’s 1853 farmhouse is no ordinary place.

“The first time the front door swung open, I knew I was home,” Suzanne says. Years of neglect had taken their toll on the Greek Revival farmhouse, but the house had a tale to tell. And Suzanne had a vision. She also had guts, which she needed to address years of neglect evident in nearly every inch of the structure.

The city condemned the house in the 1980s, but the Wright Foundation saved it from the wrecking ball. That’s when Suzanne became the next chapter in the house’s story… CLICK HERE FOR MORE