Drivers on Wake Forest Road in Raleigh suddenly have a view of one of Wake County's oldest homes – but not for long.
Built around 1795, the Crabtree Jones house had been surrounded by a thick forest of trees near the busy intersection of Wake Forest and Six Forks roads. Only a hard-to-see lane off Wake Forest Road hinted that there was a historic home deep behind the trees.
But now, an apartment complex is being developed on the site, and construction has stripped away the trees. The two-story Federal house, with its aging planks, is clearly visible from Wake Forest Road, just across from Trader Joe's.
The house hasn't had a permanent resident since the 1970s, and the land it occupies is a valuable piece of property. Construction crews have leveled the massive trees that once surrounded the home. Fences, mud and dirt surround it now.
The plantation home is believed to have been built around 1795 by Nathaniel Jones, who lived from 1758-1828. But the house could date from around the founding of Raleigh in 1792.
Crabtree Jones' son, Kimbrough, lived there before he died in 1866. The Jones lands stretched to Crabtree Creek. In fact, the main training ground for Confederate soldiers in Raleigh was on the Jones land, near the creek.
The Jones family sold the land and home in 1973.
Decades passed before the development began. The home will be moved to nearby Hilmer Drive Feb. 3.
The house is for sale for $350,000 and will remain listed on the National Register after the move. It has 3,448 square feet.
WNCN photographer Jeff Reeves toured the house Thursday and the home remains a quirky combination of an early American structure mixed with remnants of the 1970s. For example, a copy of the July 4, 1976 News & Observer was in a stack of newspapers.