If you’re driving on Farrington Road between Highway 54 and Old Chapel Hill Road you will come across the Patterson Mill General Store, a wonderful little detour into the mists of time. Part museum of old medical equipment and memorabilia, part art gallery, part general store, Patterson Mill is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. (5109 Farrington Road, Durham)
Endangered Durham has a great post quoting the Durham County Inventory about the history of Patterson Mill. Evidently it was the former Walter Curtis Hudson Farm:
Broad arches, a gabled roof, and paired box colonettes distinguish an unusual wrap-around porch that envelopes Walter Curtis Hudson’s one- and one-half story frame dwelling. Starting with a two-room plan ca. 1918 and acting as his own designer and builder, Hudson constructed the house in stages as he could afford it, using building materials that were either given to him or sold to him inexpensively. He eventually created a remarkable Craftsman-style dwelling with a high gable-front entry facade and a long ell. Multiple brick chimneys and pairs or banks of windows were organized to serve the rooms within, and rectangular louvered vents and a Queen Anne window set on end added decorative detailing. In contrast to the rest of the dwelling, Hudson kept the north-facing facade symmetrical and relatively plain. In a traditional manner, he utilized a center door sheltered by a stoop and single windows at each end of the house that he surmounted with gabled roof dormers. Outbuildings on the farm include a milk house adjacent to the house, a log playhouse behind the house, a large dairy barn, and various garages and sheds, all constructed by Hudson.
The Durham Visitor’s Guide suggests that this property was the Leigh Farm, the site of the last skirmish of the Civil War before the South surrendered at Bennett Memorial. Perhaps Mr. Hudson purchased the farm at some point from the Leigh family. THAT would be a fun research project.
In any event, Patterson’s Mill is a fun place to spend an afternoon. To find out when they’re open, give them a call at (919) 493-8149. Here’s where you can find it:
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