Thursday, January 1, 2015

Vanished New Bern, No.12

a series of views of lost area buildings

By John B. Green III

J.W. Stewart House

J.W. Stewart House, 400 block Pollock Street, north side. Photo dated April 1900.

John Washington Stewart, prosperous livery stable owner, is most often associated with the sprawling house, formerly at the corner of Pollock and Craven streets, which he purchased from Dr. F.W. Hughes in 1900.  Stewart had an earlier home, however, which he had constructed in 1892.  This house, located on the north side of the 400 block of Pollock Street, was as exuberantly ornamented as any of New Bern's late 19th-century houses.  At the time of it's construction it was described as "not ... outrivaled in conveniences and modern architecture by any in the city" and as "a remarkably beautiful and convenient residence."  The first mention of Stewart's new house occurs on April 7, 1892 in the New Bern Daily Journal when it was reported that "Mr. J.W. Stewart has had the plans drawn for a residence which he intends to build on the vacant part of the lot which he recently purchased from Mr. C.H. Blank.  It will be of the East Lake pattern, finely finished, and rank among the most beautiful in he city."  The house was completed by November 6, 1892 which the Daily Journal reported that "Mr. J.W. Stewart is now comfortably fixed in his new home."  Although Stewart moved from the house in 1900, he continued to own it until it's destruction in the fire of April 2, 1907.  The fire began in the early morning hours in J.M. Arnold's livery stable located to the north in the center of the block.  Gale force winds soon drove the fire south to Pollock Street where it consumed the Stewart House and three other houses before being contained. 

Ruins of the Stewart house and other structures after the fire of April 2, 1907.