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Tenant House Restoration Project

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Sara E. Drumheller

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Parks, Recreation and Open Space

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The Tenant House places a unique emphasis on the often neglected history of emancipated African-Americans and white farm laborers in the South. The Oak View Tenant House will be one of the few in the country to be interpreted for public use and will place the history of tenancy into the broader story of North Carolina's agricultural past.
By donating to the Tenant House Restoration Fund, you can help ensure that this story, this very important part of Oak View’s history, continues to be told to the more than 100,000 people who visit Oak View each year.
Would you consider helping us meet our goal? Remember, every dollar helps!

Another way you can help is by purchasing your copy of the book, "The Goats at Night," for $15, all of which goes directly to the funding the restoration of and educational displays in the Tenant House.

Tenant House Restoration Project: Background Information

An estimated four to six tenant houses existed on the property throughout Oak View's history. Unfortunately the last of these homes was torn down in the mid-1980s before the property became a public historic site; however, on September 1, 2012, a late-19th-century tenant house was moved to the park from Wendell. The home was stylistically similar to the original Oak View tenant houses.
Tenant House in place, on foundation piers 
A photograph of one of the original tenant houses at Oak View, taken before its demolition in the mid-1980s.
Recent research efforts at Historic Oak View County Park have yielded information about the numerous tenant farmers, black and white, who made their homes and livelihoods at Oak View, creating a community of their own alongside the middle-class landowners. Though tenancy was widespread on farms across the country, and as many as six tenant houses once existed at Oak View, these houses are rarely preserved.
Tenant House





The Tenant House during the restoration process.

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See pictures
from the day the Tenant House moved to Oak View!

Watch a video
about the Tenant House Restoration Project!



Restoration of the exterior and interior of the Tenant House is now completed. Check back soon as we are developing an exhibit interpreting the lives and stories of landless farmers and how these farmers made a home for themselves and their families in spite of an oppressive labor system.




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Content Type: Article Page
Version: 41.0
Created at 1/16/2013 2:57 PM by Sara E. Drumheller
Last modified at 1/18/2018 2:22 PM by Stephen R. Walston





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