Shepard-Nelson House

Sloan and Balderston, architects; Samuel Sloan, architect
Variant Name(s):

Nelson House



New Bern, Craven County
Street Address:

NW corner of Broad St. and E. Front St., New Bern, NC


No longer standing



Images Published In:

John B. Green, A New Bern Album: Old Photographs of New Bern, North Carolina and the Surrounding Countryside (1985).


Documents in the Bryan Family Papers at the Southern Historical Collection reveal that the imposing Second Empire style residence was designed by the firm of Sloan and Balderston in the early 1880s for the elderly widow Mary Speight Donnell Shepard and her family members, who moved into the house in 1883. From its premier location at Broad and E. Front the house overlooked the Neuse River. The family, one of the most prominent in town, included Mrs. Shepard (widow of Charles Biddle Shepard); her daughter Mary Shepard Bryan, son-in-law James A. Bryan, and their son, Charles Shepard Bryan; and her widowed daughter Margaret Shepard Nelson. Correspondence between James A. Bryan and the firm of Sloan and Balderston reveals details of the project. Mrs. Shepard, who died soon after moving into the house, left it to her daughter Margaret, who lived there for many years. It later served as headquarters for the Shriners but was razed in the 1950s when they built a new headquarters here. The house is one of the few known private residences designed by Sloan in NC.