Extreme makeover for Glebe House

Published 9:01 pm Thursday, October 11, 2012

Renovations to the front rooms of the Glebe house have already been completed. St. Thomas uses this room for meetings and Bible study. (WDN Photo/Mona Moore)

A 19th century home is getting some tender loving care from the Bath community. Known as Glebe House, the two-story home sits adjacent to St. Thomas Episcopal Church at the corner of Craven and Main streets.
A dedicated group of history lovers, Bath residents and members of St. Thomas have volunteered their time and talent to raise money, paint, plaster, landscape and do all that they can to restore the house.
They are working closely with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Bea Latham, a Bath historian and member of St. Thomas, said the house has a rich history that the group hoped to preserve.
“One of the main reasons why we wanted to keep this house was that it was not our desire to tear it down and build something else,” Latham said.
The house was built about 1830 for Samuel Lucas and his family.
“He was a business partner of Joseph Bonner,” Latham said. “Both of their houses are very similar so it’s been speculated both houses could’ve been built by the same person.”
After Lucas died, the home went to a Bonner, Caroline Tompkins and her husband, who lived there for three years. Tompkins’ brother, Dr. William Vines Bonner, then used the home for a medical practice.
In the 1870s, Civil War veteran Granberry Williams bought the home. The Williams family occupied the home until the 1930s when Reverend ACD Noe, rector of St. Thomas Church, bought the home.
Noe turned the home over to the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina in the 1940s, which is when it came to be known as the Glebe house.
“Glebe is an English word for the home the church gave to rectors,” Latham said.
Retired ministers lived in the home from the 1980s until 2010.
“Since then, we have been formulating plans for how we want to use the house,” Latham said.
The church is not funding the restoration. The project is being completed in phases as money is raised and grants are awarded. One upcoming fundraiser is a tag sale scheduled October 19 and 20.
Leilani LeFevre has been active in planning the fundraiser and helped restore the some of the completed downstairs spaces.
“It’s a thrill,” she said. “To be able to take this back to the 1800s is wonderful.”
Once completed, the house will have several uses, from meetings to counseling couples before marriage.
“We want it to supplement and enhance the church,” Latham said.