North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Holt, Jacob W. (1811-1880)

Birthplace: Prince Edward County, Virginia, USA
Residences:
  • Mecklenburg County, Virginia
  • Warrenton, North Carolina
  • Prince Edward County, Virginia
Trades:
  • Contractor;
  • Carpenter/Joiner;
  • Builder
NC Work Locations:
  • Franklin County
  • Franklin
  • Centerville, Franklin County
  • Franklin
  • Oxford, Granville County
  • Granville
  • Halifax County
  • Halifax
  • Airlie, Halifax County
  • Halifax
  • Murfreesboro, Hertford County
  • Hertford
  • Nash County
  • Nash
  • Matthews Crossroads, Nash County
  • Nash
  • Garysburg, Northampton County
  • Northampton
  • Chapel Hill, Orange County
  • Orange
  • Vance County
  • Vance
  • Henderson, Vance County
  • Vance
  • Williamsboro, Vance County
  • Vance
  • Forestville, Wake County
  • Wake
  • Raleigh, Wake County
  • Wake
  • Warren County
  • Warren
  • Afton, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Axtell, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Inez, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Macon, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Oakville, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Oine, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Ridgeway, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Warren Plains, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Warrenton, Warren County
  • Warren
Building Types:
  • Commercial;
  • Educational;
  • Public;
  • Religious;
  • Residential
Styles & Forms:
  • Greek Revival;
  • Italianate

Biography

Jacob W. Holt (March 30, 1811-September 21, 1880) was a Virginia-born carpenter, builder, and contractor who moved to Warrenton, North Carolina, and established one of the state's largest antebellum building firms. His work covered several counties in North Carolina and Virginia. Drawing upon popular architectural books, he developed a distinctive style that encompassed Greek Revival and Italianate features adapted to local preferences and the capabilities of his workshop. In addition to the more than twenty buildings documented as his work, stylistic evidence and family traditions also attribute as many as seventy more to Holt and his shop. Local memoirs and family traditions depict his career and the operation of his shop in unusual detail (see Bishir, " Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," for a fuller account). Throughout his long career, Holt displayed a flexible and pragmatic approach to building, planning and constructing buildings to suit the tastes and budgets of his clients as well as the capacities of his large workshop. He summed up his approach in a letter of June 29, 1860, to a client (W. R. Baskerville of Virginia), accompanying an estimate for a project: "The bill is made to have the work done in a manner & style that will suit you, but can be done for less money if done in a plainer manner. I have concluded to put the bill at $1150, you will please let me know whether [you] wish to have the bill changed to less work & plane."

Born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, Jacob W. Holt was the oldest son of Elizabeth McGehee Holt and David Holt, a carpenter. He was named for his grandfather, Jacob McGehee. Both sides of the family had lived in Virginia for many years, and were established Baptists. After his mother's death in 1822, young Jacob, his brother Thomas J. Holt (ca. 1814-1890), and their two older sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, were placed in the guardianship of their uncle, John McGehee. Their father, David, died within three years, leaving only a collection of carpenter's tools. The Holt boys' training in building has not been documented, but they may have been apprenticed to carpenter William A. Howard, a leading builder in Prince Edward County who was sometimes associated with the noted brick builder Dabney Cosby, who also lived for a time in the county. Jacob Holt later named one of his sons William Howard Kenneth Holt, suggesting a connection.

During his twenties, Jacob Holt established himself as a solid citizen in the community, joining the Baptist church in 1837, marrying Aurelia Ann Phillips (1822-1895), a fellow Baptist, in 1838, and starting their large family. He also began to acquire property and to employ slaves, and in 1840 was recorded in the census with the second largest non-agricultural work force in the county, with 19 young white men and 29 male slaves listed for him in Prince Edward County. No Prince Edward County buildings have been firmly documented as his work; one plantation house, Rotherwood, is similar to his later work and has some documentary evidence to support a possible Holt connection.

In the early 1840s, and definitely by 1845, Jacob Holt moved with his family to Warrenton, North Carolina, where he established a workshop and contracting business. Other Prince Edward County artisans also moved to Warrenton about this time, including the bricklayers Francis Woodson and Edward T. Rice (Woodson and Rice); Holt and Rice had been associated in Virginia. Jacob's younger brother Thomas J. Holt joined him in 1849. Although these artisans' reasons for moving to Warrenton are not documented, probably they recognized Warrenton and Warren County as a promising area for builders. The completion of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad through Warren County in 1840 and the expansion of the slavery-based tobacco-growing plantation economy generated new wealth in the region, and planters and merchants created a market for larger houses and public buildings than the previous generations had built. Warren County became in the antebellum era one of the richest counties in the state. Holt and his associates transformed the old town, building new churches, a new courthouse, and many new houses within a period of fifteen years, as well as many plantation houses and country churches in the county.

In her memoir, Sketches of Old Warrenton (1924), Lizzie Wilson Montgomery remembered that in the early 1840s, "a colony of skilled mechanics and their families from Prince Edward County, Virginia, and adjoining counties, all Baptists, came there to reside. No community ever received a more valuable acquisition than did Warrenton in the settlement of that colony as her citizens. It embraced the callings of architecture, carpentry, brick-laying, lathing and plastering." Montgomery praised these men as "experienced and capable managers or workers, who were all religious, sober, honest, truthful, orderly, and industrious," as well as being "intelligent, well informed, and possessed of sufficient education to meet the demands of their several callings." In particular, she recalled, "The two Holts, Thomas and Jacob, architects, had more than a local reputation; and Edward T. Rice was held in much repute throughout his entire section as a contractor in brick building. Under the superintendence of those three contractors most of the handsome residences in the county, as well as the town, before the War Between the States, were built."

By 1850, the United States census showed Jacob Holt, 39, identified as a carpenter, living with his family in Warrenton: Aurelia, aged 38; Mary C., aged 10 and born in Virginia; Whitington, aged 5 and born in North Carolina, dating the move to 1845 or earlier; and Alexander, a baby. He also had in his household a free work force of 18 young men, 13 from Virginia and 5 from various counties in North Carolina. His brother Thomas and his family were living next door. By 1860, Thomas had moved to Raleigh, and Jacob was identified as a "master mechanic." He had 19 young men in his shop, all carpenters, and hailing from 9 different counties in North Carolina and Virginia. Holt's household by 1860 included six children, noted with initials in the census: Whit (Jacob Whitington), 14; W. (William Howard Kenneth, known as Willie) 9; A. (Anna), 7; Ed (Edward M.), 5; E. (Ella), 2, and B., a baby who probably died young. By this time, the eldest daughter, Mary Camilla, had married John Williams of Warrenton.

Holt, like most major builders in this time and place, also relied on a slave work force that probably included both laborers and artisans (see bricklayer Corbin Boyd). In both years, Holt was shown in the census with a large number of slaves, though tax records and the census financial information indicate that he did not own these enslaved people but hired them from their owners. Scattered family records also show that when Holt took a contract for a project, typically he would send a small crew to the work site, including white employees and enslaved workmen, where they would stay for much or all of the duration of the project. He probably supplemented those crews as needed for big jobs such as raising the frame of the building.

Holt sometimes delegated supervision of projects to his brother Thomas, to house carpenter John A. Waddell, and probably to other members of his shop. It is not clear (and not documented) what role Thomas Holt had in the operation of the shop, and whether it was he or Jacob or both who developed the architectural vocabulary of the Holt shop. Since Thomas went on to become an "architect," it is possible that he had an important role in design, especially during the 1850s.

According to Montgomery, Holt established a work yard and shop on the lot behind his house. There was located "an old lumbering shop, in which the materials for the handsome homes and stores of the town and county were kept." She recalled that the boys of the town played "circus" and other games on the immense shaving pile outside the lumbering shop. "On the lot was also the kiln, used by Mr. Holt for drying the lumber needed in his business. Large quantities of brick were burnt there." Although details of his production methods are not fully known, his workers produced components for his projects in somewhat standardized fashion, including the many similar mantels, door and window frames, porch decorations, and the like. Probably Holt's workmen hauled these items by wagon to the various building sites, although it is possible that in some cases they took equipment to the sites for producing these elements.

Evidently Holt's first project in Warrenton—which might have introduced him to the community and led him to move there—was the carpentry work on an elaborate brick residence, the Eaton Place, built as a town house for William Eaton, who was identified by some as the wealthiest planter in the Roanoke River valley. Certain architectural features, such as the plastered panels beneath the windows, link the Flemish bond brick house with houses in Prince Edward and nearby counties, while the Greek Revival mantels and other interior elements resemble those in later houses cited to Holt. Montgomery identified Holt as the "contractor" for Eaton's house, which she said was built in 1843, and which was considered to be "the show-place of Old Warrenton."

During the late 1840s and throughout the 1850s, Holt and his workshop took contracts in a widening geographical range that concentrated in Warrenton and Warren County but reached as far east as Northampton and Halifax counties, west to Chapel Hill and Randolph county, south as far as Raleigh, and northward into Mecklenburg and other counties in Virginia. He typically undertook contracts for the whole building project, and then subcontracted with masons such as Woodson and Rice or others for the masonry work. In some cases, however, especially for (locally rare) brick buildings such as the Warren County Courthouse, he took on the carpentry work and probably planned the building, while the masons, in that case Woodson and Rice, took the masonry contract separately. For the immense St. John's College in Oxford, which was designed by an outside architect, Holt took the carpentry contract and delegated his brother Thomas to oversee the job, while John Berry of Hillsborough took the masonry contract. (The sponsors, the Masons, fell behind on their payments, and the two builders waited for years before they were fully paid for their work.) He also bid successfully on the contract for an immense brick college building for Trinity College (predecessor of Duke University) in Randolph County, and took the contract to construct the Peace College Main Building in Raleigh from designs by his brother, Thomas.

During the 1850s, Thomas had moved to Raleigh and become the architect for the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, and in 1860 identified himself as "architect." Jacob, by contrast, maintained his identity as "master mechanic," carpenter, and contractor, though in a few accounts he was cited as "architect" in keeping with the flexible use of the term in this period.

The Civil War and its aftermath brought a hiatus in construction in Holt's plantation region. The Trinity project was halted by the prospect of war, and the big brick building at Peace College stood unfinished and was closed in hurriedly to serve as a Confederate hospital. After the war, few of the planters and merchants of Warrenton and environs sponsored large new buildings. Holt stayed for a few years and did a few projects; the Warren Indicator of February 14, 1868, reported hopefully, "Our friend Jacob Holt, Esq., so well known in North Carolina and Virginia, is busily employed in repairing [the local hotel]." But in 1869 he again pulled up stakes to work in a more promising area, moving with his family to Christiansville (later Chase City), in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, where northern investors were boosting the local economy. He had probably done some work there in advance of the move, and he quickly became a major builder—working for the leading new families including those of John E. Boyd and George Endley and again developing a regional business.

In 1870, Holt (identified as a joiner and house carpenter) was head of a household that included Aurelia and five of their children—J. Whitington (also a joiner and house carpenter), Anna, Willie, Edward, and Ella—plus a group of workmen including a joiner, a brickmason, and a carpenter. Holt's work concentrated first in Christiansville and soon expanded to nearby Boydton and into other communities. The Mecklenburg Herald of December 14, 1870, marveled that Holt, "master carpenter and genius" was " turning things upside down in Boytdon," and lauded what "Mr. Holt and his brawny armed assistants have done for Christiansville." His last documented work was an ornate residence, the David Barnes House (1874-1875) in Murfreesboro, North Carolina.

Holt died in Keysville, Virginia, in 1880, at his son Edward's home, and Aurelia survived him until 1895. Both are buried in the Chase City cemetery, where Aurelia's grave marker is inscribed with a popular 19th century epitaph, "She hath done what she could." Two of Jacob and Aurelia Holt's sons, Jacob Whitington ("Whit" ) and William Howard Kenneth ("Willie"), also became builders. Whit continued in the trade in Petersburg, Virginia, until at least 1895, and Willie (1853-1902) practiced building in Chase City and elsewhere in Virginia. At least three of Jacob W. Holt's grandchildren likewise entered the construction trades, constituting the fourth generation of the family in the business. These were Whit's son, Jacob H. Holt, of whom little is known; and two of Willie's sons, Howard Huston Holt (d. 1905), who became an architect in Newport News (where he worked briefly with the young architect P. Thornton Marye), and moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico, in hopes of recovering from tuberculosis, and his brother, Edward Benton Holt (d. 1918), who also moved to New Mexico and became an engineer and bridge builder there and in Texas. Whether any of Jacob Holt's papers or a portrait of him survives in the hands of any of his many descendants remains unknown.

Few if any builders in 19th century North Carolina are known to have produced such a large body of work in such a distinctive mode in style and form and plan. Attributions of Jacob Holt's projects beyond those documented in family papers and other sources depend upon both family traditions and his shop's identifiable stylistic features. For this time and place, family traditions are generally reliable. From a stylistic perspective, some buildings show such a complete set of Holt school features that they may be attributed to him with some confidence. What remains uncertain, especially in cases of houses that present subdued similarities to his known works, is whether such buildings were accomplished by his workshop or represent his influence on former employees or even unrelated builders in the area.

Holt's first buildings exhibited his versions of the popular Greek Revival style, distinguished by unusually bold designs for mantels, door and window frames, and other elements, and complemented by simplified Doric order porches and entrance features. (None of these Greek Revival buildings has been documented; they are attributed to Holt by tradition and stylistic evidence.) He adapted some of these from the popular pattern book, Asher Benjamin's Practical House Carpenter (1830), taking almost literally the designs for hefty Doric-columned mantels and some secondary mantels. Very similar mantels and other components appear in the work of another Warren County builder, Albert Gamaliel Jones, but the relationship between the two builders has not been determined. Holt also used Greek Revival motifs from other pattern books including those of Minard Lafever. He emphasized the rectilinear form of his Greek Revival frame buildings with especially bold and heavy cornerposts treated as classical pilasters, complementing a broad baseboard and cornice.

Holt's style also incorporated certain elements of form and plan suited to the regional clientele. His principal houses, built for wealthy families, typically stand two stories tall and have shallow hip roofs. They were symmetrical in form, with a central entrance and porch or portico (often with two levels) on a three-bay main façade. Their plans follow the standard center-passage plan with two or four flanking rooms of roughly equal size, but with some special refinements in the larger houses that are two rooms deep. In these houses, a wall with a louvered and folding door separates divides the back and front passages; a stair rises from front to back in the front part of the passage, and another stair, used mainly by children and servants, rises back to front in the rear passage. This arrangement offered both air flow and separation of social and functional activities.

During the 1850s, Holt incorporated new stylistic motifs into his work. He drew upon the popular pattern book, The Architect by William Ranlett, and also from various publications by Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan and designer Andrew Jackson Downing to add a fashionably picturesque flavor to his established format. He adapted a variety of details—brackets, ornamental porch posts, quatrefoils, and arched panels and doors and windows (usually round-arched but sometimes pointed or even Tudor-arched) to update his architecture for a taste-conscious clientele. Typically he incorporated these into his established format of form and plan, enriching his broad cornices with large brackets and his stout corner pilasters with smaller brackets and sometimes arched panels. In a remarkable range of variations on these themes, Holt's shop constructed houses that included restrained versions of this model, such as Engleside (John White House) in Warrenton to the more ornate Watson House near Warrenton and, probably the most extravagant, the Warren County plantation house called Fair Mount.In some cases, Holt built a completely new house for a client, but there were many situations in which he substantially remodeled and added to an existing residence, including the John Watson House and the well-documented Vine Hill in Franklin County, transforming planters' old-fashioned residences into fashionable Italianate ones.

In only a few projects did Holt incorporate more literally the picturesque forms pictured in his pattern book sources. For the plantation house called Eureka in Virginia, his contract with the owner specified a particular design from Ranlett's Architect as the model for the house, to which a tower was added, probably modeled on a design in Sloan's book (see Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt" for additional details on this project). For his own residence in Warrenton, Holt took the unusual step of building a picturesque villa in a format illustrated by both Downing and Sloan, with a center tower and flanking gables. Lizzie Montgomery recalled of theJacob W. Holt House, "On the south on the corner Jacob Holt built . . . [an] unusually shaped house for that time, as people knew little else than a square house. This was built for his own use, and he resided there as long as he remained in Warrenton."

At the other end of the spectrum, Holt also constructed much simpler buildings to suit other clients. In particular, he built more modest houses for some of his fellow artisans. The Mills-Foote-Price House in Warrenton, which is attributed to him and was built for cabinetmaker Samuel N. Mills from Prince Edward County, is a substantial but simply detailed frame house with modest Greek Revival features. Even simpler is the Burrows House, a small 2-story frame house Holt built for carriage maker Thomas Burrows; the 1846 contract between Burrows and Holt (the earliest such document for a Holt project) records a bargain in goods and services, wherein Holt was to build a plain frame house with two rooms per floor, to cost $386.95, and in exchange Burrows would make a carriage for Holt and give him a horse, a wagon, and other items. Throughout his career, Holt also built very simple buildings and took on small projects for outbuildings and other structures.

After the Civil War, Holt again updated his building style in his accustomed fashion. He repeated his standard form and plan and his general stylistic approach, while incorporating a fresh vocabulary of decorations from new pattern books. He especially favored the books of A. J. Bicknell. In his buildings in Mecklenburg County and nearby, and in his last documented building, the David A. Barnes House in Murfreesboro, he created a stylish and picturesque version of his familiar house form. Among the new features, he often used a raised front gable to update the main façade in a popular format, and he fashioned ornate millwork for the porch and roofline, especially a coiled spiral sawnwork motif probably from a Bicknell design. Some of the men who worked with him during this era continued in his footsteps and built in similar fashion, including one "J. P. Phillips, Builder" who advertised in the Murfreesboro Enquirer of January 11, 1877, "Having served my apprenticeship under the well-known Contractor and Builder, J. W. Holt, Esq., I hereby notify [the public] that I am prepared to execute all kinds of buildings, repairing, &c., in the best and most modern styles."

Author: Catherine W. Bishir.

Published 2009

Building List

Sunnyside (Halifax County)

Halifax

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850
Location: Halifax County
Street Address: NC 4, between Littleton and Airlie, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

One of Holt's largest Italianate plantation houses, Sunnyside was built for Thomas Harris and credited to Holt by his granddaughter, who wrote in the early 20th century that "Sunnyside was built by the architect Holt in the year 1850." The plan featured crossing axial passages serving the front porch and two side porches.

Mary Ann Southerland House (Chapel Hill, Orange County)

Orange Chapel Hill

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Mid-1850s
Location: Chapel Hill, Orange County
Street Address: Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Mary Ann Evans Southerland, widowed in 1841, bought property on Franklin St. and built a house in the 1850s. According to a letter from Lucy Battle of Chapel Hill, Mrs. Southerland had initially intended to have Hillsborough builder John Berry construct her house, but after traveling through Warrenton and seeing work of Jacob W. Holt, she decided to employ the Warrenton builder instead. Holt probably sent his lead workman John A. Waddell to manage the job, during which time Waddell met and married his wife, Susan. The house featured all the hallmarks of the Holt Greek Revival-Italianate style, including the decorative porch. It was destroyed in the 20th century.

Buxton Place (Warren County)

Warren

1857

Contributors:
Dates: 1857-1858
Location: Warren County
Street Address: NC 58, Inez, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, The House Marina Built: Cherry Hill, A Plantation House and its Family (2004).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

Buxton Place, like Cherry Hill, is in the style of Jacob W. Holt's workshop, but family documents show that John A. Waddell was the builder; possibly he was still associated with Holt's shop and was handling the project.

Cherry Hill (Warren County)

Warren

1858

Contributors:
Dates: 1858-1859
Location: Warren County
Street Address: NC 58, Inez, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, The House Marina Built: Cherry Hill, A Plantation House and its Family (2004).
  • Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

Like Buxton Place, Cherry Hill is in the style of Jacob W. Holt's workshop, but family documents and traditions show that John A. Waddell was the builder; possibly he was still associated with Holt's shop and was handling the project.

Cherry Hill

Emmanuel Episcopal Church II (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1820

Contributors:
Dates: 1820s; 1850s [remodeled]; 1927 [remodeled]
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 143 N. Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The church as it now stands incorporates elements from the 1820s and the 1850s, but its exterior appearance reflects the thorough remodeling by architect Bottomley in the 1920s. Although the congregation initially sought a design for a new church, in light of their limited budget, Bottomley planned a "restoration" that transformed it into a felicitous new version of the Gothic Revival, veneered in brick in Flemish bond that harmonizes with the earlier architecture of the community. The interior retains some vestiges of the 19th century building.

Emmanuel Episcopal Church II

Peace College Main Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1850

Variant Name(s):
  • Peace Institute Main Building
Contributors:
Dates: 1850s and later
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Peace St. opposite Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Elizabeth C. Waugh, North Carolina's Capital, Raleigh (1967).

Peace College Main Building

St. John's College (Oxford, Granville County)

Granville Oxford

1855

Variant Name(s):
  • Oxford Orphanage
Contributors:
Dates: 1855-1857
Location: Oxford, Granville County
Street Address: Corner of College St. and Alexander Ave., Oxford, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Fraternal
Images Published In:
  • Views: Pictorial History of the Oxford Orphanage (1922)
Note:

The immense St. John's College, a Masonic project, became the Oxford Orphanage after the Civil War, also a Masonic institution.

St. John's College

Warren Plains Raleigh and Gaston Depot (Warren Plains, Warren County)

Warren Warren Plains

1863

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1863
Location: Warren Plains, Warren County
Street Address: Warren Plains, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Transportation
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

One of the few mid-19th century buildings surviving of the Raleigh and Gaston line, the board and batten frame depot is probably that for which lumber was "on the ground" in 1863 and construction was expected soon. It was identified as the Warrenton depot; although it was a few miles outside of town it was the closest stop to Warrenton. Since Thomas J. Holt was architect for the Raleigh and Gaston, he probably designed the building, and it seems likely that his brother Jacob would have built it. The structure, which features large, arched openings, was probably a freight depot.

Warren Plains Raleigh and Gaston Depot

Vine Hill (Franklin County)

Franklin

1856

Contributors:
Dates: 1856-1858
Location: Franklin County
Street Address: Centerville vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Thilbert H. Pearce, Early Architecture of Franklin County (1977).
Note:

A detailed agreement between Holt and Archibald D. Williams fully documents Holt's expansion of an existing plantation house into a large dwelling with all the Holt hallmarks—which still stands. The document serves as a Rosetta stone for other Holt attributions. The porch shown in the photograph was reconstructed in the restoration.

Vine Hill

Dr. Samuel Perry House (Franklin County)

Franklin

1857

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1857
Location: Franklin County
Street Address: SR 1436 at SR 1407, Centerville vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Thilbert H. Pearce, Early Architecture of Franklin County (1977).
Note:

The relatively restrained but characteristic Holt-type house is attributed to the builder by family and local tradition.

Dr. Samuel Perry House

Archibald Taylor House (Franklin County)

Franklin

1857

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1857
Location: Franklin County
Street Address: Wood, Centerville vicinity, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Thilbert H. Pearce, Early Architecture of Franklin County (1977).
Note:

The unusually large plantation house in fullblown Holt workshop style, featured much of its original interior decorative painting until the late 20th century, including walls in the central passage expertly painted to imitate multicolored marble blocks, plus a trompe l'oeil bracket cornice and ceiling medallion.

Archibald Taylor House

Knott's Grove Baptist Church (Oxford, Granville County)

Granville Oxford

1860

Contributors:
Dates: 1860s
Location: Oxford, Granville County
Street Address: SR 1607, Oxford vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown and Andrew J. Carlson, Heritage and Homesteads: The History and Architecture of Granville County, North Carolina (1988).
Note:

Built as the Oxford Methodist Church, the frame church in the Holt school Italianate style was moved out of town to serve another congregation when a new church was built in town (see Charles E. Hartge).

Salem Methodist Church (Oxford, Granville County)

Granville Oxford

1860

Contributors:
  • Jacob W. Holt, school/stylistically attributed builder;
  • John Short, attributed carpenter
Dates: 1860-1861
Location: Oxford, Granville County
Street Address: SR 1522, Oxford vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
Note:

The gable-end church with bracketed eave and corner pilasters shows the hallmarks of Holt\'s workshop.

Salem Methodist Church

David Barnes House (Murfreesboro, Hertford County)

Hertford Murfreesboro

1874

Contributors:
Dates: 1874-1875
Location: Murfreesboro, Hertford County
Street Address: Main St., Murfreesboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
Note:

One of Holt's few documented post-Civil War projects in North Carolina, the ornate house combines Holt's customary form and plan with new architectural details probably adapted from A. J. Bicknell's Village Builder (1870). Newspaper accounts and Barnes family papers document Holt's role as builder; by the time he built this house he was living in Chase City, Virginia.

David Barnes House

Mitchell-Matthews House (Nash County)

Nash

1860

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1860
Location: Nash County
Street Address: NC 58, Matthews Crossroads, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Richard Leonard Mattson, The History and Architecture of Nash County, North Carolina (1987).
Note:

The 2-story house features the distinctive blend of Greek Revival and Italianate elements typical of Jacob Holt and his workshop.

Woodlawn (Garysburg, Northampton County)

Northampton Garysburg

1848

Variant Name(s):
  • Moody-Grant House
Contributors:
Dates: 1848-1855
Location: Garysburg, Northampton County
Street Address: Garysburg vicinity, NC
Status: Moved
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The unusually large and ornate Holt-style plantation house, which had a full-height rear wing, featured especially elaborate interior plasterwork, is said to have been shipped from Petersburg. The house was moved to Orange County and substantially altered.

Bloomsbury (Vance County)

Vance

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Vance County
Street Address: Vance, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The rectilinear house features simplified but distinctive elements of the eclectic Holt style. It may be the work of Holt's shop or of a previous employee.

Lagrange (Henderson, Vance County)

Vance Henderson

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Henderson, Vance County
Street Address: Henderson vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The rectilinear house features simplified but distinctive elements of the Greek Revival-Italianate Holt style. It may be the work of Holt's shop or of a previous employee.

Lagrange

Belvidere (Vance County)

Vance

1848

Contributors:
Dates: 1848
Location: Vance County
Street Address: Nutbush vicinity, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Strong family tradition asserts that Holt built the plantation house for William H. Boyd and his wife Sallie Virginia Daniel, who had 13 children.

Pool Rock (Williamsboro, Vance County)

Vance Williamsboro

1820

Contributors:
Dates: 1820s; 1850s
Location: Williamsboro, Vance County
Street Address: SR 1380, Williamsboro vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
Note:

Two linked houses, both 2 stories tall, date from two generations of the Taylor family: an 1820s Federal style house and, in front of it, a Greek Revival-Italianate house with a full set of Holt hallmarks.

Pool Rock

Forestville Baptist Church (Forestville, Wake County)

Wake Forestville

1859

Contributors:
Dates: 1859
Location: Forestville, Wake County
Street Address: US 1-A, Forestville, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Kelly A. Lally, The Historic Architecture of Wake County, North Carolina (1994).
Note:

The gable-fronted frame church combines a Gothic-Italianate-Greek Revival exterior with a more simply finished Greek Revival interior. Circumstantial evidence and stylistic elements suggest Holt (a Baptist) as the builder.

Pescud-Shepherd House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: N. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Built for Raleigh merchant Peter Pescud, the house had a full complement of Holt style Italianate details, including modillion type brackets also seen at Edgewood. The house was razed in 1974, but a few components, including its arched windows, made their way into houses in Raleigh's Oakwood neighborhood.

Fair Mount (Warren County)

Warren

1855

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1855-1856
Location: Warren County
Street Address: Afton vicinity, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The especially ornate plantation house was built, according to a granddaughter (Jane Carr Robertson) who was born in the house, for William Carr upon the occasion of his marriage to Bettie Irwin, and "he took his bride to Fairmount to live." "A man named Holt was architect, and I always understood Fair Mount was the fairest of them all, and called Holt's masterpiece."

Allen House (Warren County)

Warren

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Warren County
Street Address: Axtell vicinity, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The house was built for Edmund Allen, according to a granddaughter, and family tradition cited Jacob Holt and his brother Thomas as the builders; much of the labor was accomplished by the family's slaves.

John M. Rodwell House (Macon, Warren County)

Warren Macon

1857

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1857
Location: Macon, Warren County
Street Address: Five Forks, Macon vicinity, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The relatively restrained example of the Holt school was built for John M. Rodwell, who died in 1857 before it was completed.

Hebron Methodist Church (Oakville, Warren County)

Warren Oakville

1848

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1848-1849
Location: Oakville, Warren County
Street Address: SR 1306, Oakville vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

Recently located documentation records Holt as the builder of the modest frame church.

Robert Rodwell House (Oakville, Warren County)

Warren Oakville

1852

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1852
Location: Oakville, Warren County
Street Address: Oakville vicinity, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The grandson of Robert Rodwell, for whom the house was built, stated that it was "one of those Holt houses", and it had the characteristic features of Holt work.

Russell House (Warren County)

Warren

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Warren County
Street Address: Oine vicinity, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The big, gable-roofed house with bracketed cornice displayed one of many ways in which Holt enlarged and updated an earlier house.

Oakley Hall (Ridgeway, Warren County)

Warren Ridgeway

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Ridgeway, Warren County
Street Address: SR 1103 at US 1, Ridgeway, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

One of the grandest of Holt's houses still standing, it was built near the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad for Dr. William J. Hawkins, president of the railroad. Hawkins was later a leader in the Ridgeway Company that strove to develop the community in the 1860s (see George S. H. Appleget).

Oakley Hall

Sylva Sonora (Warren County)

Warren

1855

Contributors:
Dates: 1855-1858
Location: Warren County
Street Address: Roanoke River vicinity, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Only a family painting survives to depict the large, elaborate plantation house built for planter John Early Boyd and called Sylva Sonora. It was a classic version of Holt's Greek Revival-Italianate style with a full panoply of Italianate ornament. (The interior woodwork is said to be in a house in Littleton.) Boyd's records included a contract with Holt for $4,814.16, plus added items that brought the total to $5956.

William Eaton House (Warren County)

Warren

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Warren County
Street Address: Roanoke River vicinity, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

William Eaton, the planter for whom Holt helped build a town house (Eaton Place) in Warrenton, probably employed Holt's shop to constructed his plantation house, which stood on his 6,000-acre plantation near the Roanoke River; it featured the Holt hallmarks including a bracket cornice and bracketed porch.

Norwood-Ellington House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1852

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1852
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: S. Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Some stylistic evidence points to the Holt workshop as builders of the richly decorated 1 1/2-story Italianate house.

Engleside (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Variant Name(s):
  • John White House
Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 203 Halifax St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

A restrained and intact version of the Holt style with Greek Revival and Italianate features. Robert E. Lee spent the night here when he came to Warren County to visit the grave of his daughter, Ann Carter Lee.

Engleside

Warrenton Baptist Church (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1848

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1848-1849
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

Jacob Holt and other artisans who came with him from Prince Edward County were Baptists, and were founders and trustees of the Warrenton Baptist congregation. The frame church, traditionally cited to Holt and his shop, was completed for use in 1849. It was a Greek Revival building with pediment front and a more ornate bell tower with bracketed belfry.

Warren County Courthouse (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1854

Contributors:
Dates: 1854-1857
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The temple-form brick courthouse combined a basically Greek Revival form with Italianate brackets adorning the four front pillars of the portico and the pediment and sides of the building. This was Warren County's second courthouse and was replaced by the third, the present building, by Frank Pierce Milburn, who advised the county officials that the Holt building was no longer sound and recommended replacing it.

Warren County Courthouse

Arrington-Alston House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 308 Halifax St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The prominently sited house exemplifies the robust Greek Revival style associated with Holt, including bold elements from Asher Benjamin's Practical House Carpenter.

Burrows House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1846

Variant Name(s):
  • Burroughs House
Contributors:
Dates: 1846-1847
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: Bragg St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The plain 2-story house is believed to be the house Holt built for coachmaker Thomas Burrows or Burroughs, as documented in an 1846 contract, wherein Burrows promised to pay Holt in goods, including a buggy and a wagon. It typifies Holt's flexibility of building form and finish to suit the purpose and budget of the building.

Jacob W. Holt House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1856

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1856
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 122 Bragg St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

Using a format illustrated in A. J. Downing\'s Cottage Residences and Samuel Sloan\'s Model Architect, Holt constructed his own residence as a showpiece of his up-to-date taste, a symmetrical, towered villa quite different from the more conservative forms he built for most of his clients.

Jacob W. Holt House

Somerville-Graham House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 107 N. Front St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The house built for John Somerville exemplifies Holt\'s Greek Revival style, and also has elements suggestive of the hand of Albert Gamaliel Jones. The relationship between the two men\'s work is not entirely clear.

Somerville-Graham House

Eaton Place (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1843

Contributors:
Dates: 1843-1844
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 210 N. Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

Local tradition traced by Lizzie Wilson Montgomery in Memories of Old Warrenton credibly cites Holt as the carpenter for the imposing brick house. The bricklayer has not been identified. Probably the project that brought Holt to Warrenton, the house has features in common with those in Holt's native Prince Edward County, Virginia, as well as to Holt's later work in North Carolina.

Eaton Place

Mills-Foote-Price House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1840

Contributors:
Dates: 1840s
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 410 N. Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The simply detailed 2-story frame house is an example of the economical construction Holt did for fellow artisans, in this case cabinetmaker Samuel N. Mills. Warrenton memoirist Victoria Louise Pendleton, who moved to town in 1850, wrote that the house was "not as old as it looks to be. It was built by Mr. Holt for Mr. Mills who was a splendid cabinet-maker."

T. E. Wilson House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: Macon St. at Front St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The frame house overlooking the courthouse, built for Dr. Thomas E. Wilson and his family, which included memoirist Lizzie Wilson Montgomery, features robust Greek Revival elements including a Doric columned porch and entrance.

Holt-Johnson House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1849

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1849
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: S. Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

According to local memoirist Lizzie Wilson Montgomery, the modest and plain house, 1 1/2 stories tall on a raised basement, was "built by Jacob Holt for his own family," until he built his more elaborate house on Bragg St. Deeds show his ownership of the property.

McCraw House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: N. Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).

Williams-Macon-Serls House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: Halifax St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The frame house, altered and brick veneered, combined Greek Revival house with a Holt-style Italianate entrance porch.

Gloster-Hill-Crossan House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 211 Ridgeway St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

In the 1970s, Miriam Boyd, a descendant of the owner, stated that she had always heard that the Holts, Thomas and Jacob, built the house. It has features typical of Holt and also some typically associated with Albert Gamaliel Jones.

Green-Polk House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 326 N. Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

One of the few antebellum brick houses in town, the tall but shallow residence features ornate Greek Revival detail inside and out, indicative of Holt's workshop, with kinship to the work of Albert Gamaliel Jones. Client Nathaniel Green's creditors included both Holt and Woodson and Rice.

Warrenton Presbyterian Church (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1856

Contributors:
Dates: 1856-1857
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The small brick church combines Greek Revival and Italianate features, plus (later) Gothic Revival windows.

Spruill-King House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: S. Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Stylistic evidence points to the Holt workshop as builders of the modest, 2-story Italianate house.

Warrenton Female College (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1841

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1841; 1851
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: Warrenton, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The school for girls was begun in 1841, and in 1851 advertised that more extensive buildings were being erected. The main block was of Greek Revival style, but the tall front porch featured tall pillars and ornate Italianate trim in the Holt school.

T. A. Montgomery Store (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1851

Contributors:
Dates: 1851
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: Main St. at Market St., Warrenton, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

Lizzie Wilson Montgomery remembered the brick store built for T. A. Montgomery and others, for which "the wood work was done by Jacob Holt, as contractor, J. C. McCraw superintending the work."

Reedy Rill (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: Warrenton vicinity, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The house is primarily Greek Revival outside but had Italianate features on the outside including an elaborate full-width porch (lost). Family tradition explains that the original house was built before 1846 for Daniel Turner and was enlarged and remodeled for Richard Robinson, who bought it in 1854. Family tradition strongly claims Holt's role in the remodeling.

Watson House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Variant Name(s):
  • Magnolia Manor Plantation
Contributors:
Dates: late 1850s
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: SR 1121 west of US 1, Warrenton vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

Watson family papers document Holt's construction of a large and elaborate front section to expand a smaller residence from the early 19th century.

Watson House

Edgewood (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: SR 1118, Warrenton vicinity, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The house had an unusual blend of Greek Revival and Italianate elements, with a Doric columned porch and rectangular windows, but Italianate brackets of an unusual type resembling modillions (adapted from a plate in Ranlett's The Architect at the main roofline.

Esmeralda (Warren County)

Warren

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Warren County
Street Address: Warren, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

A plain 1-story house was remodeled in the Holt style with an elaborate bracketed porch, plus a cupola also with brackets.

Exchange Hotel (Oxford, Granville County)

Granville Oxford

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Oxford, Granville County
Street Address: Oxford, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

Stylistically this long lost building (pictured on the left) appears to be the work of builder Jacob W. Holt and his shop. Its history has yet to be learned.

Exchange Hotel

Emmanuel Episcopal Church I (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1820

Contributors:
Dates: 1820s; 1850s [remodeled]
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 143 N. Main St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
Note:

Because of its multi-phased history and distinctively different architectural character in different periods, there are two building entries for this church: Emmanuel Episcopal Church I (1820s, 1850s) and Emmanuel Episcopal Church II (1820s, 1850s, 1920s). The building began as a frame structure erected by Warrenton builder Thomas Bragg, Sr., likely in simple Federal style. Vestiges of that initial building are believed to survive, including some interior elements. In the 1850s Warrenton builder Jacob W. Holt remodeled the early 19th century church into a more ornate building adapted from a published design by Samuel Sloan. The postcard illustration from the early 20th century depicts that building. See William Lawrence Bottomley for Emmanuel Episcopal Church II, showing the present appearance of the church.

Emmanuel Episcopal Church I

Jacob W. Holt's Work Locations

Bibliography

  • Catherine W. Bishir, Charlotte V. Brown, Carl R. Lounsbury, and Ernest H. Wood III, Architects and Builders in North Carolina: A History of the Practice of Building (1990).
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt," in William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. 3 (1988).
  • Catherine W. Bishir, letters from Mary Hinton Kerr, Edgar F. Thorne, and Panthea Twitty of Warren County, 1970s-1980s, in files of Catherine W. Bishir.
  • Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
  • Catherine W. Bishir, "Jacob W. Holt, An American Builder," Winterthur Portfolio (Spring, 1980), reprinted in Catherine W. Bishir, Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (2006).
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Lizzie Wilson Montgomery, Sketches of Old Warrenton, North Carolina (1984).
  • North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office Files (Architectural Survey files and National Register of Historic Places nomination forms), Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Prince Edward County Records, Prince Edward County Courthouse, Farmville, Virginia.
  • Warren County Records (Deeds, Estates Papers, Miscellaneous Records, Public Building Records, Wills), North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.
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