Historic Gaskill home featured on home and garden tour

Published 9:23 pm Thursday, March 1, 2018

By Matt Debnam

Washington Daily News


222 E. Second St. is an easy address to remember. Yet for homeowners Scot Craigie and Sim Hodges, the house that stands at that address is far more than another number on the street. It’s home.

It’s also one of 12 homes and gardens on this year’s Washington Area Historic Foundation’s Spring Home and Garden Tour on April 14.

Originally constructed circa 1890 by a local sailor by the name of Captain Joseph W. Gaskill, the home has seen countless transformations during its centennial lifespan. Most recently, the two-story home had been subdivided into upstairs and downstairs apartments. When Craigie and Hodges first moved into the home in early 2016, they began the yearlong process of making it their own.

“It’s the first home we’ve ever had that when you’re away you can’t wait to get home and when you’re here, you don’t want to go,” Craigie said. “A big part of it could be that we had so much to do with the renovation, where before we always just bought a home and moved in. I think renovating makes you a little more tied to it.”

WELCOMING FOYER: The original hardwood features of the home, such as the foyer floor and staircase, have been cleaned and polished to excellent condition. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

From the front porch, visitors are greeted at the entrance by a large, welcoming, hardwood foyer, connected by wooden pocket doors to a sitting room decorated in antique style with a sofa, chairs, an old style sewing machine and a classic pump organ. An original wooden staircase leads to a suite of bedrooms on the second floor.

Directly behind this traditional parlor, Craigie and Hodges have decorated their den in a more modern style, with leather sofas and a flat screen TV, creating a less formal, more comfortable space for daily living.

The dining room is set with fine china, which can easily be cleared away for more casual dining. Connected by a side door to an updated and renovated kitchen, the space blends modern and traditional styles with nice effect, creating a space equally suitable for a dinner party or a simple meal with friends.

MODERN COMFORT: While the kitchen area of the home required extensive renovation, the room now blends modern convenience with antique charm.

While the plaster walls were in need of cleaning and repair, and the kitchen area needed significant repairs, the hardwood floors, doors fireplaces and staircase were all in good condition when the two began renovations, needing just a touch of elbow grease.

In each of the home’s bathrooms, Craigie and Hodges have worked to preserve the original fixtures of the home, building cabinets around the sinks and painting the old cast iron tubs. The back yard contains three old buildings, one of which Craigie suspects may have been a carriage house. All have been updated to improve utility.

Originally, Craigie and Hodges settled in the small town of Youngsville, just outside of Raleigh, with thoughts of retiring in that community. The more the two visited Washington, the more they fell in love with the charming historic homes and friendly atmosphere.

FINE CHINA: Appearing as it will during the upcoming Washington Historical Society Spring Home and Gardens Tour, the dining room is decorated with fine china. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

“We have friends in Chocowinity, and we also have a niece who lives here in town, so we had been here before but we had never really been in the downtown area.” Craigie said. “About three or four years ago, we were down for a birthday party and we came into town and fell in love with it. We kept coming back and visiting and looking at different homes, and this was the one that stood out the most to us.”

The Gaskill house can be seen on the Spring Homes and Gardens Tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 14. Tickets for the event will be available beginning next week at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, the Coffee Caboose and Little Shoppes on West Main Street. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the tour.

STONE FIREPLACES: A total of six brick fireplaces adorn the interior of 222 E. Second St. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)