134/136 Main Street

Set back 50′ from main St., this house stands on a wooded 1 acre lot.

  • Record ID: 55
  • Address: 134/136 Main Street
  • Current Owner: Carlson, Gary R. and Virginia A.
  • Name of Building: The Leach Place
  • Historic Name: Oscar Leach House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

Full-length 6×9 windows on the facade South-facing gable, peak contains a triangular multi-paned Queen Anne style window.

Historical or Architectural Importance

This 2 story, 2 bay Greek Revival residence has been much altered since its construction in1840. As built, it consisted of a 20 x 26 main block with its gable end facing the street and its main entry centered on the south side, like its neighbor to the north, the William A. Parmalee House. The full-length 6×9 windows on the facade suggest that the house originally possessed a front porch. As it presently stands, the 2 bay facade, while still possessing its original fenestration (two 6x6s over two 6x9s) the porch has been removed along with whatever ornament the exterior may have carried. It is surrounded by a full pediment with a rectangular fixed 2 pane window. On the south side, the original main entry has been displaced by a two story 7 x 14 addition to its southeast corner. Parts of the original door frame appear to have been removed into the east-facing side of this addition. The doorframe, while retaining its original sidelights, contains a Victorian panel and plate glass door. This addition contains doubled sets of narrow l’ x l’ windows. Its’ south-facing gable peak contains a triangular multi-paned Queen Anne window. Another major alteration is a 7′ x 22′ gable roof addition to the northeast corner of the north side. Another later addition is a 2 story sunporch on the east side (rear). These additions have given the house a crucifonn configuration. In 1839, Phineas Parmalee, a Durham shoe manufacturer, purchased seven acres opposite his house. He built two house on the property, selling one of them (138 Main) to his son, William A. Parmalee. The other must have been built between his land purchase in Feb 1839 and its sale in Aug 1840 to fellow shoemaker Perez Sturtevant. Sturtevant kept the house until 1862, when he sold it to Oscar Leach (1831-18.9 6), a prominent Durham businessman and politician. Leach died in 1896 and left the house and its contents to his widow Eliza Jane (Hickox) Leach and his unmarried daughter Luie A. Leach. Luie Leach died in 1936, her estate sold the house to Marina Arrigoni, who sold it in 1937 to George H. Jackson, whose family owned several adjoining properties to the south (132 Main). He sold it in 1956 to Kenneth and Shirley Gilley who sold it in 1977to Carl O. Erickson. In 1981 it passed to its present owners. In spite of major alterations, the Leach place is of architectural interest, especially as a point of comparison to the Parmalee House (138 Main), which was built at the same time and, very likely, by the same builder. Its historical significance stems from its association with Durham’s nineteenth century shoemaking familes, the Parmalees, Sturtevants, and camps (Perez Surtevant’ s wife was the daughter of Joseph P. Camp, another leading shoemaker) , and. from its connection with the late-nineteenth century entrepreneurs, the Leaches.