Monday, February 16, 2015

Vanished New Bern, No. 17

The Daniel Stimson House

By John B. Green III

Daniel Stimson House, 600 block East Front Street, west side, photo by T. Vaughn, 1971.
The Stimson House was a large Second Empire residence notable for its mansard roof, typical of the style, and its elaborately detailed porches.  It was constructed about 1877 when it was described as "the residence of Daniel Stimson, Esq., perhaps the prettiest wooden mansion in this section of the State.  The interior of it is finished exquisitely with our native woods, polished."  The house stood on the west side of the 600 block of East Front Street where the Gabriel Manigault Rains House is now located.

Billhead from Daniel Stimson's lumber business, 1881.
Daniel Stimson was born in Limmerick, Maine in 1822 and engaged in the lumber business as a young man.  He served as first lieutenant of Company H, 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War before resigning due to ill health.  In February 1864 Stimson relocated to Beaufort, North Carolina where he operated a saw mill.  Moving to New Bern in 1870, he constructed a series of sawmills and mill works that were at the forefront of New Bern's timber business boom of the late 19th century. 

Stimson Monument, Cedar Grove Cemetery.
Daniel Stimson died on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1890 at the age of sixty-eight.  He was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery the next day.  Stimson's wife Sarah continued to occupy the house on East Front Street until her own death in 1905.  Daniel Stimson's fine residence was later divided into apartments and, after a number of years of decline, was demolished in 1975.