214 Walnut St. – Thomas Pritchard House – 1905

In 1904 J.F. Prettyman sold his sawmill on the Swansboro waterfront to Thomas Pritchard Sr. of Edgecombe County, W. L.  Groom of Rocky Mount, and Howard E Baker of Elmira, NY. The sawmill was renamed the Swansboro Land and Lumber Company.  Groom was the president, Baker the treasurer, and Pritchard moved to Swansboro to become the mill manager with Bryant Hatsell as “sawyer.” Thomas Pritchard Jr became the bookkeeper.  Thomas Pritchard Sr built several houses in town in addition to his duties at the mill.

The Thomas H. Pritchard House, ca 1905, 214 Walnut Street was the first home built by Pritchard, and was built on a lot owned by William P Ward II, son of David G Ward and grandson of William P Ward. According to local lore, the agreement was that Pritchard could build the house and use it as long as he wished, but when he vacated the house, it was to revert to Ward, who owned the land. Many locals refer to this house as the Will Ward House. Photo of current house on the left; early 1900’s photo of Pritchard and Family below