Reader Warren Reed, of Sugar Hill, Ga., shot this photo, “Awaiting a Future,” of the Zebulon H. Baird House, in Weaverville, on July 20, 2012.
The Zebulon H. Baird House was built in 1900, according to tax records. Another source indicates the house may have been built as early as 1878. The house was moved a short distance in 2005 to avoid demolition.
It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s nomination form indicates it was being developed as commercial retail space. It appears that the economy may have brought that to a halt.
The house’s nomination makes for fascinating reading. It may be found at www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/nr/BN0242.pdf.
Reed is right: The nomination form for the home is fascinating.
In it, the Baird family is described as a “prominent and historically important family in early Buncombe County history.” It goes on to say Zebulon Baird (the great-uncle of Zebulon H. Baird) was originally from Scotland, arriving in the county via New Jersey in 1793, “making them one of the oldest families in the county.” He and his brother, Zebulon H. Baird’s grandfather, were merchants, it continues, and, he went on to represent Buncombe County in the state legislature and helping pass legislature that would form the Buncombe Turnpike.
Little is known about Zebulon H. Baird, it continues. But it does discuss how his grandfather was a large landholder and a slaveholder. He went on to pass his land and belongings to his descendants. Baird eventually owned a portion of the property, built the house and is, according to “A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina,” listed in the 1883 Asheville directory as farming 300 acres.
It changed hands multiple times in recent years, as a part of proposed commercial developments, a commercial rental, among others. At more than 2,000 square feet, the home’s current price is listed at $250,000.