48 Main Street

The Parsons House is situated on a small lot on the east side of Main Street. It is centrally located directly across from the Green and Town Hall.

  • Record ID: 109
  • Address: 48 Main Street
  • Current Owner: Prusinski, Stanley M.
  • Name of Building:
  • Historic Name: Catherine and Dency Parsons House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

An unusual element found in the Parsons House is the stuccoed exterior and foundation. Although comparable in size to other homes built during this time, the stuccoing gives the house a sense of weight and massiveness. Its west facade includes the later addition of a full-length shed-roofed porch with south entrance, supported by three large square columns that taper toward the top, and a solid stuccoed balustrade. All windows are six-over-six sash flanked by louvred shutters and topped by a plan cornice. A rectangular multi-pane window is centrally set in the facade gable. There is a 2 story hip-roofed northeast addition as well as two additions on the east or rear of the house.

Historical or Architectural Importance

Catherine and Dency Parsons built their Greek Revival style house about 1832. A stuccoed 2 1/2 story, 3 bay, side-hall-plan building, it rests on a sandstone foundation.
Asphalt shingling covers the fully pedimented gable-to-street roof with exterior chimney on the east and the north side.
Catherine (1781-1854) and Dency (1786-1874) Parsons, two sisters in their 50s, bought a small tract of land from Zebulon Hale and Watson Davis in 1839. Six years later the Parsons purchased an additional strip of land to the south of the first piece; the Parsons’ house is first mentioned in this deed as a ” … lot of land near their [the Parsons ‘ ] dwelling house” (DLR 21:474). In 1868 the land passed out of the hands of the Parsons to Isaac Parmelee. The Parmelee family owned this house until the early twentieth century.
The Catherine and Dency Parsons House is not only a good example of a Greek Revival style building, but is unusual because it is the only stuccoed building in the Historic District and one of very few in Durham.