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BUILDING HISTORY: Latimer House

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- If its history you want, you have come to the right place.

The Latimer house is the story of the Latimer family.

“It’s a varied and wonderful part of Wilmington history Zebulon Latimer came here with his bride and built this house in 1862. “Candace McGreevy, Latimer archivist explained. “They ended up having nine children, only four boys lived to adulthood. Three generations of that family lived in their house it's a real piece of history.” The Latimer house is a working museum and a chance to step back into a wonderful place in Wilmington history. “1852, it's a very Italianate house that was the style of the time, “ McGreevy said. “

Probably about half the furnishings are period or original a lot of family pieces, a lot of the Zebulon’s actual pieces are still here. “ The house and gardens are grand places but as is often the case, the details have a story all their own. “Interesting notes like in the formal parlors where were standing now, the paint contrasts, in one parlor their one way in the other they're the opposite, they switched them, and it’s just a neat decorating technic.” McGreevy displayed.

The Latimer house was built well before the invention of air conditioning, but they had some cool ideas. “The windows upstairs are a real treat and they are specifically designed to aid all this air in flowing up, they're made wide on the inside, little round circles on the outside ,” Candace McGreevy said. “When the air flows form the wide window it has to narrow down to a little circle, it forms a vacuum and sucks the heat out of the house.”

Even the kitchen a hot place in era homes, was built to keep temperatures low. “That’s where the family would have eaten every day , it would be cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter and it's close to the kitchen. Our kitchen is inside because it's 1852 and we have foot thick brick walls so we're not too worried about fire in our kitchen, “ said McGreevy.

While the Latimer house is not that old, they do have a connection to our first president. “We have a genealogy of one of the daughters in law she was a decedent of Betty Washington, George Washington’s sister ,” Candace proudly showed us.

The lighting fixtures have been brightening this home for more than 150 years, not without some changes. “The chandeliers are original, they were originally gas- ieliers and you would have to light the gas flames, then they were electrified, it's easier with the electricity,” McGreevy said.

The Latimer house is open for tours and Candice gets some great feedback. “We have a wonderful children’s program for Victorian manners. We get the cutest notes from the kids. One little boy said he didn't think he'd ever had a better scone,” McGreevy laughs.

The Latimer house is open for tours Monday through Saturday and the next Victorian children’s program is March 12.

If you know of a building with a story to tell let me know at cphillips @ WWAY TV 3. com.

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