Mendenhall Plantation: A Quaker Homeplace - Jamestown, NC
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Anyanwu
N 35° 59.560 W 079° 56.897
17S E 594799 N 3983646
The Mendenhall Plantation consist of the original 1811 home, a Pennsylvania style 'Banker Barn',a restored one room school house, and a 19th century physician's office. It also has a false bottom wagon used to transport runaway slaves north.
Waymark Code: WM2QVW
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 12/09/2007
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 176

The Mendenhall Plantation was built by Richard Mendenhall, grandson of James Mendenhall for whom the Quaker settlement, Jamestown, is named. The site represents a traditional Quaker homestead in the 1800's.

This Quaker community supported the underground railroad by transporting slaves via false bottom wagons as far north as Indiana. They established Manumission Societies to teach people how to their slaves. There were 26 such societies in North Carolina at that time. The community acquired slaves, trained them with a marketable skill, transported them to northern free states, and freed them with the means to make a living. Over 3,000 slaves were freed through this network.

The original home was built in 1811. The structure included a parlor, kitchen and two upstairs bedrooms. The 1840 addition added a new parlor and more bedrooms upstairs. The kitchen was never modernized and displays 1800 cooking pots and utensils.

There are traditional Quaker clothes, spinning wheels, a quilting frame and loom in the house. Mendenhall's wife, Mary Peg, was never idle with the vast amount of work cooking, spinning, and sewing. Quilts and rope bound beds can be seen also. The pantry, well, and storage buildings are right outside the kitchen, but not open to the public.

Mendenhall built a traditional Pennsylvania style red barn, or 'Bank Barn.' Rarely are such barns seen in the South. On display in the barn are the usual farm working tools of the era. This is also where the wagons are housed. An actual false bottom wagon is on display. It is one of two remaining in the US. This wagon made many trips under the cover of darkness to northern states carrying 'precious cargo', the term used to refer to runaway slaves.

The Lindsay House has been relocated to the grounds from a few blocks away. Dr. Madison Lindsey's exam room and office have been carefully restored. Nineteenth century medical instruments and pharmaceutical items are shown. The display will make you grateful for modern medicine. Dr. Madison taught medical students at this site, making it the first medical school in North Carolina.

There is a small museum on the property containing a pair of iron shackles used in slavery. It also displays arrowheads from local Native American tribes.

The president of the Jamestown Historical Society happened to be at the site and he personally showed us around the Lindsay House. He was a wealth of information.

This is a fascinating historical site. Admission and the self guided tour was only two dollars per person! We spent over three hours touring the whole site...well worth the money. This is a true piece of American history.
603 West Main Street
Jamestown, NC USA

Web site: [Web Link]

Site Details: Tues-Fri 11AM- 3PM; Sat 1PM-4PM; Sun 2PM-4PM; Mon-closed. Tour $ 2.00

Open to the public?: Public

Name of organization who placed the marker: Historic Jamestown Society, Inc

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