Monday, June 6, 2016

Forks of Cypress Mansion: It was 50 years ago today

Via Jeffery

Forks of Cypress Burning Taken the Day of the Fire by Bob Martin.jpg

forks of cypress 1 mm

The fire that destroyed the historic Forks of Cypress mansion was so intense, it melted the lights and peeled the paint on firetrucks.

Harry Wallace, whose family owned the antebellum plantation house, said a lightning strike on the house blasted a hole through the roof and started a fire that consumed the structure in half an hour.
It was 50 years ago today that the Forks of Cypress, built in 1821, burned to the ground, leaving only the now-iconic brick columns.

"There was a thunderstorm, and there was a direct hit of lightning," Wallace said.

He had just graduated from high school and was living with his parents near the Forks of Cypress. He said his great-uncle owned the property at the time, and his mother was the curator.

"My dad and I were the first ones there," he said. "There was a hole in the roof where the lightning hit. We could see flames in all the rooms. In 30 minutes, it was gone."

More @ Times Daily


  1. The old Southern plantation homes were always my favorite.
    They have a mystic to them - draws one in. The Cypruss
    Mansion land was once owned by a Native Indian.
    The extensive Forks of Cypress was built for James Jackson on the commanding spot that Double Head, a famed Native American chieftain once owned. The land was given to Double Head by the Federal Government when he stopped fighting as his own private reservation. - Don't know how Jackson ended
    up with the land. Purchase probably.

    1. Interesting and thanks for the information.

      Here's a small one of my great grandfather's.

  2. A grand old house. A lot of work and money keeping these big plantation homes in their original majestic beginnings.
    I noticed the Forks of Cypress had areas of need before the
    fire. What fun. Thanks.

    1. Thank you and here's the one I live in, my 3X grandfather's 1790 Georgian and 1810 Federal. Not the grand style but typical to eastern NC.