Robert Hay, attributed house carpenter;
New Bern, Craven County
219 Tryon Palace Dr., New Bern, NC
Images Puslished In:
Peter B. Sandbeck, The Historic Architecture of New Bern and Craven County, North Carolina (1988).
The tall, brick townhouse was built to include merchant John Harvey's business as well as his residence and originally featured a ground level passageway through the house leading from the street to his wharves on the Trent River. It is among the oldest of New Bern's surviving brick townhouses and contains unusually elaborate interior woodwork, including typical New Bern "wave" stair brackets, paneled wainscot, and Adamesque mantels. Especially notable is the drawing room, one of New Bern's most elegantly finished rooms of the period, highlighted by a mantel with composition ornaments and carving. Thus far no documentation has been found to identify the workmen involved. The attribution to Hay comes from the statements of Presbyterian minister Lachlan C. Vass and local memoirist John D. Whitford, the latter of whom probably knew Hay as an old man.