Those great Doric columns grab your attention, don’t they? The Charles Augustus Hendrix House is one grand old mansion. And at $300,000, it’s far more affordable than most of its surviving peers. The house needs some work, but, unless there are stuff-of-nightmares issues (foundation, plumbing, etc.) unseen in the listing, that could be a remarkable price.
The address is 425 E. Hendrix Street in the Dunleath Historic District. The house has four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms in 3,255 square feet. At $92 per square foot, that’s roughly a fixer-upper price. The floors need refinishing, and a new owner might well want to do something with the kitchen and bathrooms, but the place appears to be quite livable.
It has retained many period features, including pocket doors, built-in cabinets and at least a couple beautiful unpainted fireplace mantels. The slate roof is intact. There’s no sign of the radiators that must have been in every room. The railing around the second-floor deck has disappeared as well, so there might be a bit of a building-code issue there.
The Hendrix Family Home
Amazingly, the house has remained in the extended Hendrix family since it was built. County records show the date of the house as 1902, but the city directory shows brothers Charles and Edward Hendrix living there with their wives by 1896. The NRHP nomination for the Summit Avenue Historic District gives the date as 1895-99. The brothers appear to have bought the property in the 1880s. Edward, a broker, died in 1919 at age 59.
- Charles Augustus Hendrix (1863-1942) was identified in the 19th century as a farmer and horse trader, and later he became a prominent contractor. His obituary credits him as the contractor for the Aycock school and Sedgefield Gold golf course and for the excavations for the Southeastern Building, the King Cotton Hotel and the original O. Henry Hotel. He was a founder of the Sedgefield Ride and Hunt Club and the North Carolina Fox Hunt Association.
- “A winner of many prizes, ribbons and diver loving cups at Carolina and Virginia horse shows, he continued to ride despite his advanced age,” his obit said. He died of pneumonia at age 78. He must have been a popular fellow: The obit lists 23 honorary pallbearers.
- Hendrix and his wife, Katie, sold the house in 1940 to one of their three daughters, May Hendrix Fleet, and her husband, James. The Hendrixes apparently continued to live there until their deaths in February 1942; Katie died eight days after Charles.
- James Butler Fleet Sr. was a traveling salesman. May operated the Maison Joline women’s clothing store at 103 N. Elm Street. Their son, James Jr., apparently was still living in the house when he sold it in 2007 to the current owner, Anne Hartsook Finn, his second cousin and a great-granddaughter of Charles Hendrix. James Jr. is a co-founder of Fleet-Plummer Hardware (est. 1949), although the Plummers seem to have written him out of the store’s history.