North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Robbins, Isaiah (ca. 1822-after 1860)

Birthplace: North Carolina, USA
Residences:
  • Hertford, North Carolina
Trades:
  • Carpenter/Joiner
NC Work Locations:
  • Hertford County
  • Hertford
  • Perquimans County
  • Perquimans
  • Hertford, Perquimans County
  • Perquimans
Building Types:
  • Fraternal;
  • Residential
Styles & Forms:
  • Greek Revival

Biography

Isaiah Robbins (b. ca. 1822), a carpenter who worked in the small river town of Hertford, Perquimans County, is among the few antebellum builders in the county for whom any specific buildings are documented. In 1851 he agreed to build the Greek Revival style Temperance Hall in Hertford according to a detailed set of specifications (reproduced in Haley and Winslow, The Historic Architecture of Perquimans County). Robbins signed the agreement on July 1 and promised to complete the work by October 1, 1851. The frame structure was to measure 32 by 26 feet and to have a well-braced frame (with heart timber specified for some elements), interior end chimneys, stoves and stove pipes, and a porch "neatly corniced." The ends of the roof were to "project over the body of the house, and be finished like the ends of the house built by Dr. Skinner"—possibly the Greek Revival style Wilson Reed House evidently built by Dr. Nathaniel Skinner about 1850. (Such references to components of existing buildings were frequent in construction documents of this and other periods.) Robbins may have built the Skinner house and other Greek Revival houses in the town and county. Listed in the 1850 census as a carpenter living with his wife, Emily, in that year Robbins was one of fourteen free men listed as carpenters in the county. By 1860 he was identified as a miller.

Author: Catherine W. Bishir.

Published 2009

Building List

Temperance Hall (Hertford, Perquimans County)

Perquimans Hertford

1851

Contributors:
Dates: 1851
Location: Hertford, Perquimans County
Street Address: 116 N. Front St., Hertford, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Fraternal
Images Published In:
  • Dru Gatewood Haley and Raymond A. Winslow, Jr., The Historic Architecture of Perquimans County, North Carolina (1982).
Note:

The Temperance Hall in Hertford, described in detailed specifications in an agreement with carpenter Isaiah Roberts, was converted to a residence about 1857.

Isaiah Robbins's Work Locations

Bibliography

  • Dru Gatewood Haley and Raymond A. Winslow, Jr., The Historic Architecture of Perquimans County, North Carolina (1982).
  • Caleb Winslow Papers, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.
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