Currituck Co., N.C. Houses


Old Willoughby Barnard Home

Located on N.C. Highway 170 between Sligo and Shawboro.  Present owner is Edward Pell.  It was on this farm, near this house, that the first Flag of Independence was flown in Currituck County following the Revolutionary War.  The house, pegged together, still has some of the nine-paned upper window sashes and six lower.  One room still has original paneling intact.

UPDATE 2/22/2006 from Anne Jennings:  Thankfully, the Barnard Home still stands and is in good condition. This house was the next house to the south of the Samuel Ferebee house on the same (west) side of the road which goes from Sligo to Shawboro.

"Miss Cornie" Pell, the widow of Edward Pell, lived in the home until her death. The house now belongs to one of her descendents who has recently moved in to live there.

Miss Cornie was a dear lady and friend of my family. I would visit her from time to time. On one visit, she had cooked some soy beans with corned beef. Now, I never acquired a taste for corned beef and when she insisted that I sample a spoonful, I reluctantly agreed. Although I made a brave attempt to hide my distaste, she could see I was having a hard time keeping it down. She immediately gave me a piece of chocolate cake "to get the taste out of my mouth."

On another occasion I offered to take her to visit her close neighbor, Elizabeth Sanderlin. By that time neither of the ladies was driving and I thought it would be nice to see them visiting together. Miss Cornie was delighted with the idea and Miss Elizabeth was happy as well. Before Miss Cornie got into the car she said she had something that she wanted to take to Miss Elizabeth. She said she had some salt herring and that she and Miss Elizabeth both just loved salt herring so she wanted to share her good fortune. Miss Cornie produced a plastic bag containing several salt herring and placed them behind the passenger seat of my car. I suppose the plastic bag had a leak. Miss Elizabeth was excited to get the salt herring and we all had a wonderful visit, but my car smelled like fish for weeks.

Miss Cornie actually had a reputation as a good cook. At a memorial service I attended at Providence Baptist Church in Shawboro, the minister mentioned that between Mattie Burgess and Cornie Pell that they could feed the entire congregation.

There was a Willoughby Barnard (b. 17 Feb. 1841 - d. 15 May 1914) who was the son of John Peter Barnard (b. 6 Mar. 1806). Willoughby Barnard married Jane Burfoot on 27 Oct. 1868. Willoughby Barnard is buried at Shawboro and the stone marker gives his age as 73 years 2 months and 29 days.

As mentioned in Alice Floraís description, it was near this house that the first Flag of Independence was flown in Currituck County, following the Revolutionary War. The staff on which the flag was flown came to be known as "The Liberty Pole". At various times, portions of the Liberty Pole have turned up in various places. I have heard several stories about the Liberty Pole. Supposedly it was used as a sill in a house that became a tenant house on the old Barnard Farm. At one time the old timers say that the men used part of it as a bench under the stoop of the Gregory Store. At another time they say it was on display in the window of the Barnard Store in Shawboro. I suspect that many through the years have gone on wild goose chases looking for the relic. I donít know what became of all the parts of the Liberty Pole but I can say with certainty that a section of the Liberty Pole of about three feet in length is now in the protective care of the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City.


This photo and information are from the project "Old Homes in Currituck County to 1860" originally compiled June 1960 by Alma O. Roberts and Alice Flora of the Currituck County Historical Society.   We are indebted to Barbara B. Snowden, president of the Currituck County Historical Society for permission to reproduce this collection on the internet, and also to Gerri Andrews and Diane Ferebee of the Currituck County Public Library who provided digital copies of the photos.  No part of this document may be used for any commercial purposes; however, please feel free to copy any of this material for your own personal use and family research.  Images are for personal use only, not for redistribution.




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© 2005 Marty Holland