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The Yellow House

By Tom Maxwell
Posted Thursday, April 20, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - I want y'all to know about the Patrick St. Lawrence house, perhaps better known as the "yellow house." It sits forlorn just off the parking lot behind the courthouse annex on Chatham street. If you turn left onto Chatham street heading south from the traffic circle, make a right into the parking lot. The Yellow House will be on your left.

This house is as old as Pittsboro, and has survived three moves in its 200+ years. Despite that, it's threatened by neglect. The County owns the land and wants to develop it in a year or two. That's their right. But the County also doesn't see fit to maintain the house. I guess it's a question of priorities.

The house has a leaky roof, which is leading to interior wall damage. Jane Pyle and the good folks at the Chatham County Historical Association have raised a little money for an emergency repair, but the County wants a "proper" contract with liability coverage. This is well and good, but replacing the roof (which is what all contractors who have come out want to do), will cost as much as $10,000. Yes, it's a lot of money, but the County just dropped a heck of a lot more than that making sure that each one of the unreliable electronic voting machines they just bought has a modem. It's a question of priorities.

I'm not asking for your money, unless you believe enough in the history of our community to want to preserve it. I do ask that you go and see the house, because there aren't many like it left around here. If you do want to donate, give what you can to the Chatham County Historical Association. You can go visit them and read about the Yellow House at

Through inaction, the County is allowing a historical treasure to rot. I've seen too many beautiful houses go under the bulldozer in my dozen or so years in Pittsboro, from Betty Bell's mansion on West street to the old Rectory that was near Pittsboro Elementary. The Yellow House is the oldest of the bunch. Let's keep that tangible connection to our past alive, and show the County what good priorities really are.

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The Yellow House

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