Rockingham Community College has shared part of a unique collection of slides that document early architecture in Rockingham County. There are large plantation houses as well as kitchens, barns, and other small buildings found on homesteads. Most of these slides are exterior views of buildings, but interiors and shots of specific architectural details seem to have been taken when the opportunity presented itself. Some of the buildings are still standing and have even been renovated, like the Spray Mercantile Building (before, after). Others have been demolished, making these images both poignant and valuable for research. Family names and locations are included for many as well.
We’d like to share the description from Rockingham Community College’s website about the creators, origin, and extent of this collection:
This collection developed from an interest in the early architecture of Rockingham County, North Carolina by Reidsville native Siler Rothrock, who had grown up working in his family’s building supply business. While completing his master’s degree, he engaged in the antique and refinishing business. Developing an interest in local architecture, he enrolled in the fall of 1978 in Dr. Lindley Butler’s local history class at Rockingham Community College where he met local historian Bob Carter. They agreed to travel the rural sections of the county and photograph the early houses still standing. From 1978 until 1986 they photographed most of the pre-Civil War structures in the county. Bob Carter did the deed research and interviews to identify the builders and occupants of the houses. With this background in architecture, Siler Rothrock established his own construction firm specializing in old home restoration. He has since developed a statewide reputation in the restoration field.
We hope to share additional slides from this collection during the new year. If you’re interested in Rockingham County history, definitely check out the Rockingham County Legacy exhibit. You can view other items shared specifically by Rockingham Community College on their contributor page.