Historic Jesse Clement house open for holiday tours on Saturday

Published 1:43 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

It may be the oldest home still occupied in Davie County.

And on Saturday, decked out in its Christmas finest, the Jesse A. Clement House in Mocksville will be open for tours from 2-6 p.m. It is at the end of East Maple Avenue off South Main Street near downtown.

The tours, with docents throughout the house explaing the history, will be free, but donations will be accepted for the Davie Historical & Geneaological Society.

The date it was built isn’t exactly known, but Jesse and Melinda Clement moved into the brick, two-story Federal home in 1828, soon after their marriage.

The home retains the seven original fireplaces and 16-inch thick walls, and is furnished with period furniture by current owners, Mike and Margaret Cevasco.

They believe the National Historic Register structure was built about 1823 or 1824, so it could be the 200th anniversary for the house. They have maintained and lived in the house for the past 18 years.

It was a perfect fit.

“We just like old houses, history and collecting antiques,” Margaret said.

The decorations will be more elaborate than those in 1828, which Christmas trees had yet to be introduced. “The Clements were hard-working farmers, and didn’t go for a lot of frills,” Mike said. The last family member to live in the house was in 1944.

While furnished with antiques, only one piece, a lamp stand, can be traced to the Clements.

The house was the first meeting place for Methodists, and preceded the forming of First Methodist Church.

“We just wanted to open it up for anyone who wants to come and see it,” Mike said.

“We enjoy sharing it,” Margaret said. “We feel like we’re only stewards.”