138 Main Street

This structure stands on a large four acre tree shaded lot.

  • Record ID: 52
  • Address: 138 Main Street
  • Current Owner: Eick, Albert and Shirley
  • Name of Building:
  • Historic Name: William A. Parmalee House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

Wide vertical, flush-boarded pilasters with bases and capitals join a full wide entablature on the facade. Set over these is a full pediment containing a single shuttered 6X6 window and sheathed with horizontal flush boards. The gable end of this house faces the street and contains eight shuttered 6X6 windows arranged in four bays, but the main entrance to the house is on the south side. The entry is protected by a full-length one story hip-roofed front porch supported by four square posts with sawn brackets. The porch, undoubtedly a late-nineteenth-century addition, covers part of the original entry, which roasted a full entablature supported by pilasters. It still contains its original six-panel door and transom lights, and is flanked by two 6X6 windows. The second story contains 3 symmetrically arranged 6X6 windows. The house has  additions to its east (rear) end. The first is a 2 gable roofed l8X20 kitchen wing which may be contemporary with the porch. The second is a l2Xl8 single story gable roofed addition standing on a poured concrete foundation.

Historical or Architectural Importance

In 1839, Phineas Parmalee , a shoe manufacturer, purchased 7 acres standing on the east side of Main Street opposite his own house and shoemaking establishment. He built two houses on the property. The southern structure he sold to fellow shoemaker Perez Sturtevant in 1840. The second , the 2 story 4 bay, Greek Revival style residence, he sold for $1200 to his son William A. Parmalee in 1842. William A. Parmalee was a prominent shoe manufacturer and was politically active, serving a Town Clerk and as a representative to the General Assembly. On his death in 1902, the house passed by will to Elizabeth Badet of New London. The house passed through a succession of owners until its purchase in 1963 by the Eick family. This house is one of the best examples of the Greek Revival style in Durham. It is especially notable not only for its overall authenticity, but also for the high style in which it was built. It is historically notable for its association with the Parmalee family which, as proprietors and, later, as entrepreneurs, were leading spirits in the political and economic life of the town.