Touching up history

Published 4:54 pm Friday, April 11, 2008

By Staff
Palmer-Marsh House
reopening its doors
in wake of a facelift
Lifestyles &Features Editor
BATH — The Palmer-Marsh House, part of the Historic Bath State Historic Site, is scheduled to reopen this weekend after undergoing repairs.
Admission to the house will be included as part of the ticket price for Saturday’s homes and gardens tour sponsored by the Historic Bath Garden Club. Tours will be offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and proceeds from the tour will help fund the club’s beautification efforts in the town.
The Palmer-Marsh House, built in 1751, is Bath’s oldest and largest residence from the Colonial period. It was built by Michael Coutanch — a merchant, legislator and commissioner for Bath and Portsmouth — but the house is named for subsequent owners. Col. Robert Palmer — surveyor general, collector for Port Bath and a member of the Governor’s Council — purchased the stately home in 1764. The Marsh family took up residence there in 1802.
The structure has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Its most distinguishing feature is its 17-foot-wide double chimney that includes windowed closets on the first and second floors.
The house has been closed since early March so plaster repairs on its interior could be completed, according to site interpreter Bea Latham.
The Historic Bath staff made good use of the house’s down time, Latham added.
The plaster repair is the latest in a series of restoration work protecting the historic integrity of the Palmer-Marsh House. In late 2006, the cellar underwent renovations to make it more closely resemble a kitchen of the Colonial period.
The circa 1830 Bonner House, which has also been undergoing renovations, remains closed until that work is completed. However, the circa 1790 Van Der Veer House, which houses a collection of artifacts and memorabilia pertinent to the history of Bath, is open to the public, as is the Historic Bath Visitors Center.
Historic Bath is a North Carolina Historic Site operated by the Department of Cultural Resources and a member of the Historic Albemarle Tour.
For more information about Historic Bath, call (252) 923-3971 or visit