Davis-Proctor house listed in National Register of Historic Places

by | June 7, 2011 4:16 pm

by KATELYN MOORE

   The Davis-Proctor house, located on the corner of First Avenue

and North College Street in Twin City, was listed in the National

Register of Historic Places on December 20, 2010. Owner Eileen

Dudley, who lives in the house with her husband, David, collected

and researched the necessary information to have the house

listed.

   “It is not particularly striking as an architectural example,”

Dudley says of the 1890 Folk Victorian-style Georgian Cottage, “but

it is fascinating from a social standpoint.”

   The house was purchased by Dr. George W. Davis from his

brother-in-law, Robert Barwick, in 1902. George and his wife, Emma,

were living in the house at the time of the 1900 U.S. Census and

the house appears to have been built for them rather than the

Barwicks, who were living in Thomas County at the time. The Davises

were prominent in the community and hosted many gatherings at the

house, which then had four rooms: two on either side of a central

hallway.

   In 1928, the house was sold to Claude Mallory Proctor and his

wife, Pearl. Proctor was the first postmaster of Twin City, having

served as a rural carrier, clerk, and postmaster in the Summit

office. When Summit and Graymont joined in 1921, the two towns kept

separate post offices until 1952, when Proctor became postmaster

and Graymont postmistress Lessie Gray became assistant

postmaster.

   After the Proctors came John and Aileen Bell, then Van and Jan

Reynolds. These two families had the daunting task of modernizing

the home, including plumbing, ductwork, refinishing the hardwood

floors, and hanging drywall. When the Dudleys moved in with their

four children in 1989 (and Dudley’s mother soon thereafter), they

knew that two bedrooms would not be enough, and began the arduous

process of converting the second story into living quarters. Now,

the house is deceptively large, encompassing two floors as well as

a third-story attic space, with numerous storage areas throughout

the house. They have also added on to the kitchen area and there is

even an in-ground swimming pool.

   While researching her house’s origins, Dudley spoke extensively

with Helen Proctor, who grew up in the house and was witness to

many events held there.

   “It was a social treasure hunt,” says Dudley. “It was also a

personal challenge, doing this.”

   Tracing information back to the Georgia land lottery, Dudley

sorted through an overwhelming amount of information to get what

she needed for the house to be listed. 

   “That was the hardest part: sorting through the information,”

she explains. “Every house has a story, and that’s what is

interesting to me.”

   While Dudley was researching her own house, she found that there

were 182 homes and buildings that were eligible for listing with

the National Register of Historic Places.

   “That’s enough for two historic districts,” she says.

   Currently, she is working in her spare time to try and get some

of these property owners to get their properties listed.  “It is

unique to have so many historic places preserved,” she explains.

“There is such potential for preservation here and economic

benefits from historical tourism.”

   The Davis-Proctor house was David Dudley’s dream house and the

locale has inspired his books as well, the second of which he is

working on now.

   “When we lived in Pensacola (Fla.), we’d visit East Hill, which

was the historic district, and dream about living in one of the old

Victorian houses,” Mrs. Dudley says. “I like funky old houses. It

has a character and a story.”

   “The biggest challenge of living in a house like this is living

in a house like this,” Dudley says with a smile. “Keeping the

critters out and maintenance and repair. There’s always more that

you want to do than you have time for.”

   However, she encourages other owners of historic property to get

on the register. “Getting on the registry is like eating an

elephant,” she says. “You do it a bite at a time. It is satisfying

and fascinating to learn the history of your home.”

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  • Davis-Proctor house listed in National Register of Historic Places
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