Mears House | Buncombe County, NC | c. 1880s
James Henry Mears was born in the hills of Western North Carolina, not far from the border with Tennessee, in 1846. Like most of his neighbors, he was a farmer who would raise a large family here who helped to keep the farm running.
With his first wife, Laura Sluder Mears, James would father 4 children but upon her death in the late 1870s, James married her sister Catherine Sluder, as was common in those days.
Catherine and James set out to have children of their own and with that, were going to need a bigger home. So they chose a prime spot upon a picturesque hill on their 200 acre property and began to build from materials harvested and created locally.
The building was constructed in the I-house style: 2-stories tall, one room deep, and symmetrically organized around a central hallway on either floor with interior chimneys flanking either side.
Also on the property they built various farming structures including an impressive double pen log barn, a smokehouse, and a spring house.
Sadly, after many years in the same family, the property was sold and the home has continued to fall into a state of disrepair.
But while researching this place, I was able to chat with descendants who still held some fond memories of the property.