Currituck Co., N.C. Houses

 

Old John Fisher Home

Located off U.S. Highway 158 west of Jarvisburg.  This house was built by Wallace O'Neal and Nat SandersTom Taylor ran the chimneys and made the well.  Now owned by Marvin B. Fisher, son of John Fisher, who has added on to the original house (see photo below). The people on the porch are the John Fisher family as follows:
     John W. Fisher - Father
     Fannie Melson Fisher - Mother
     Ike W. Fisher
     Marvin B. Fisher
     Bryan Fisher
     Duke Fisher
     Walton Fisher
     Richard Fisher (with bike)
Addendum by Roy E. Sawyer, Jr.--
     The eastern portion of this house was completed between 1883 and 1884, shortly after John Wilson Fisher (1857 - 1933) had married on 3 May 1883 to Fannie Melson (1863 - 1943), of Harbinger, daughter of John and Polly Melson.  John W. Fisher was the son of Isaac Fisher (1826 - 1867) and Hester Ann Owens (1833 - 1910).  John W. Fisher was born in a house later known as
the Sylvia Belangia house, because his mother remarried to Sylvia Belangia after his father's death.   In the 1880 census, John Fisher is found in the home of George Jarvis, and he is apparently working as a clerk in the Jarvis store.  He was also married, and his wife's initials are given as "S.C.", and her occupation was given as nurse, and her age was 17.  It is assumed that his first wife died prior to 1883 when he married second to Fannie Melson.
     John W. Fisher led a prosperous career as farmer and as owner/operator of the Fisher Wharf on North River in Jarvisburg.  At one time he operated a barrel factory which was connected to his wharf by a tramrail.  His son, Marvin B. Fisher later operated the barrel factory and managed the wharf and Mrs. Mary Frances Tuten Dutcher helped in the office preparing bills of lading and stenciling barrels.  John W. Fisher was a shareholder in the North River Line, which for many years owned the Annie L. Vansciver, a passenger ferry formerly used in Boston and New York harbors, and purchased in Camden, NJ.  The Vansciver was originally known as the Samoset.  The North River Line had formerly used the Norfolk & Southern Freight Docks in Elizabeth City; however the homeport was changed to Jarvisburg, in order to avoid paying taxes in Elizabeth City.  The Vansciver transported shipments to Jarvisburg as well as shipped produce to Norfolk for transfer to northern markets until the early 1930's, when long distance trucking provided a cheaper and faster method of transporting produce.  River boats could no longer compete when a truck could leave Jarvisburg and arrive at the Brooklyn Terminals within eight hours' time.  John W. Fisher also
consolidated the telephone lines in the Jarvisburg community starting around 1900 and continued this operation until the local lines eventually became a part of the Norfolk and Carolina Telephone & Telegraph Company.
     In 1900 John W. and Fannie Fisher greatly expanded their home to accommodate their large family.  James F. Sumrell, of Harbinger, was the contractor who built the addition.  The home passed to their son, Marvin B. Fisher, and is today owned by his son, John Marvin Fisher.

John W. and Fannie M. Fisher had the following children:
     1.  Sadie C. Fisher (1884 - 1914) married Seth H. Dutcher.  Their only child was Walton Dutcher (d. 1984), who lived in Milwaukee, Ws.  Walton and his wife, Lydia Dutcher, had three children:  Dorothy, who is secretary to the Secretary of State of the State of Mississippi, Margaret, who teaches nursing in Jackson, Ms., and Wally, who suffered a tragic diving accident in 1958, while in training in the US Navy.  He was left paralyzed, but has led a very inspiring life and is a famous disc jockey in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fl., area and is known as "Dutch Walton".  He has also designed homes for handicapped people and has worked as a financial planner/advisor.
     2.  Isaac Wilson Fisher (1886 - 1962) married Mary Jarvis Newbern.  They first built a home at Jarvisburg which stood north of the David R. Scott home.  They moved to Elizabeth
City around 1920 where he entered the wholesale grocery and produce business.  He was also
involved in a Reo automobile/Mack truck dealership with Walter Scott Newbern.  In 1926 the family moved to Alachua Co., Fl, where he pursued farming interests.  A daughter, Elsie, married E. N. Bell, and they lived in Gainesville, Fl.  A son, Isaac Walter Fisher, graduated from George Washington University Law School, married Louise Asbury, and practiced law in Atlanta, Ga.  Another daughter, Ruth, married Richard Rugaber and they lived in Florida.
     3.  Richard D. Fisher (1888 - 1970) married Hester Elizabeth Combs, from Columbia, NC.  They operated a general store in Jarvisburg and also a Model T Ford dealership known as Jarvisburg Motor Company.  Later they lived in Columbia, NC, and were divorced.  Their adopted son was George Fisher.
     4.  John Duke Fisher (1890 - 1954) worked in a hotel in Washington, DC, and never married.
     5.  John W. Fisher, Jr. (born and died 1893)
     6.  Walter D. Fisher (1894 - 1913)
     7.  William J. Bryan Fisher (b. 1897) married Alice Leigh Cummings, and he was a tire salesman in Norfolk, Va.
     8.  Marvin Belton Fisher (1899 - 1969) married first Inez Forbes, a schoolteacher from Pitt Co., NC.  She died after the birth of their only child, John Marvin Fisher, in 1937.  Marvin B. Fisher married second to Gladys Grantham Newbern, widow of John Melvin Newbern, and a native of
Goldsboro, NC.  Gladys Fisher taught first grade for many years at Dr. W. T. Griggs High School.  Marvin Fisher called Gladys the nickname, "Sis", and for a time this caught on in the community.  Marvin also called just about everyone else "Son".  Marvin Fisher was also a farmer, and he was inseparable from a black man, who had grown up on the Fisher farm along with himself, Ambrose Jarvis, son of Abner Jarvis and Adeline Lindsey Jarvis.  Ambrose had ventured to New York as a young man where he had learned the dry cleaning trade and he had also worked as a caddy at the prestigious Shinnecock Hills Country Club at Southampton, Long Island.  Marvin and Ambrose both enjoyed a taste of spirits in the afternoon, and they were beloved by everyone.  Marvin had also served as a county commissioner.  My memories of him always place him driving a black '51 Olds Ninety Eight or a blue '58 Ford pickup, which his son still has.
     When they were small children, Marvin and Ambrose were playing around the house one afternoon when there came a bad thunderstorm.  Miss Fannie Fisher called the boys to come inside the house.  It became quite dark, and in their mischief, Miss Fannie needed to discipline Marvin, so she whacked him with a switch, only to learn that in the darkness she had hit the wrong
child - she had hit Ambrose.  Miss Fannie was extremely sorry, and apologized to Ambrose, and she asked him "Did I hurt you?"  Ambrose replied, "No Ma'am.  Not murch"  Marvin used to tell that story and tears would come in his eyes.  Today, "much" is frequently pronounced "murch" in our home because of Marvin Fisher's delightful story.  Ambrose had lost one of his hands as the result of being stabbed while he was young, probably while living in New York.  He had a hook, but always wore a brown work glove over it to hide it.  Once, he was in a scuffle with Edgar Davenport, and he knocked at the door of my grandmother's house and asked if he could hide inside.  She allowed him inside, and put him in a dark corner.  When my grandfather returned home from the store that evening, Ambrose explained that Edgar was going to kill him, so my
grandfather walked Ambrose safely home.

Marvin Fisher Home

This is how it looks today.

 

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