Madison Road, east side

Located just north of the Killingworth town line. the Sylvanus Hull House is set back off the east side of Madison Road, accessible only by a private road. Surrounded by woodland, once actively farmed, this late eighteenth-century house is the oldest standing structure in the southeast portion of Durham.

  • Record ID: 36
  • Address: Madison Road, east side
  • Current Owner: Wakeman, Alfred and Betty
  • Name of Building:
  • Historic Name: Sylvanus Hull House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

The three-bay facade features an off-center entranceway with a late nineteenth-century door. The gable end exhibits three small four-paned windows placed triangularly around a larger six-over-six sash. This window placement is characteristic of local colonial period Cape -style buildings. The first-floor sash have been replaced with modern one over-one windows. A number of outbuildings are located on the property.

Historical or Architectural Importance

This simple,1 1/2 story, colonial-period Cape-style dwelling was erected by Sylvanus Hull about 1770. Oriented gable-to-street,. the clapboarded post-and-beam timbers rest
on a field stone foundation. The house is capped by a wood-shingled gable roof which is topped by a modern brick chimney. Sylvanus (1746-1818), the son of Cornelius and Abigail (Chlpnian) Hull, probably built this house shortly after his marriage. It is first mentioned in his father’s probate inventory in 1300 as “the house in which Sylvanus Hull now dwells” (MPR 7:94). Sylvanus and his wife Phebe had ten children: Jerusha, Phebe, Jepthae, Melinda, Austin, Cornelius, Sylvanus, Sylvester, Elihu, and Ozias. Sylvanus was the grandson of Cornelius Hull (1687-1756), a native of Killingworth who settled in Durham in the early eighteenth century. Upon his death in 1818 Hull willed his homelot to be divided between his widow and nine surviving children. Cornelius Hull, Sylvanus ‘ s second eldest son, bought his siblings portions and in 1829 sold the property to Levi Davis of Madison. Joel Fairchild of Middletown acquired the farm in 1839 and later sold it to Samuel Fairchild of Wallingford in 1844. In 1856 Cynthia Bailey, the wife of Levi Bailey, bought the house and resided there until 1873. One of the few remaining Cape-style dwellings in town, the Sylvanus Hull House is the oldest surviving structure in this portion of Durham, which was once part of the town’s of Guilford and Killingworth.