With July now here, restoration plans for the historic Satterfield House also are heating up — including a new website to promote those efforts, and plans to use the house as a learning site for local students.
This summer, members of the Sandy Level community, Mount Airy Historic Preservation Committee and Surry County Schools are working together to create a communitywide coalition for the continued restoration of the structure.
The Satterfield House, which occupies a four-acre site at the corner of North Franklin Road and West Virginia Street, is touted as the first property deeded to an African-American in Surry County. That occurred in 1892, 27 years after the Civil War ended.
In recent years, efforts have been under way to preserve the historical value of the house. This includes trying to restore it to resemble what the house would have looked like back in 1892, along with ongoing renovations to bring the structure up to modern building codes.
One departure from the 1890s look of the house is brand-new kitchen construction to offer a place for a catering company.
The efforts are getting a special boost this summer with the involvement of local resident Lauren Henderson, a student at North Carolina School of the Arts who is serving as a intern for the Satterfield House restoration project. Henderson is doing so via a program funded through the Golden LEAF Foundation to aid positive change in North Carolina’s rural communities.
The film student became a fan of the Satterfield House after producing a short documentary on the historic site last year.
That led to her recently taking an active role in its preservation.
Henderson’s work so far has included creating a website to help others, including persons beyond Surry County, learn about the Satterfield House (accessible at www.thesatterfieldhouse.wix.com/main).
The site contains photos, a video and background information about the house which highlights its historical significance, and also provides a means to make donations for the restoration. In addition, anyone interested in volunteering to help with the work or donating materials can fill out a form on the site.
Henderson and her mentor, Carol Burke of Mount Airy, are further hoping to create a learning site at the house to increase community involvement.
This would allow students of local school districts to learn various trade skills, ranging from culinary to marketing, and carpentry to historic preservation.
Henderson, Burke and Jill Reinhardt, assistant superintendent of Surry County Schools, plan to set up curriculum models that will be implemented by the fall of 2016.
Along with visiting the website to learn about and get involved in the house project, interested persons can sign up for a Satterfield House newsletter or email firstname.lastname@example.org.