Christopher W. Hollowell

(Pasquotank County)

Featured Character – The Home Front

Christopher W. Hollowell

Courtesy of Abby Manning

Erected in 1856 for planter Christopher Wilson Hollowell (1821-1892), Bayside epitomizes the height of antebellum prosperity in Pasquotank County.  The two-and-a-half-story, double-pile Greek Revival residence has two-story porches on the front and rear.  The intact center-hall plan interior features double parlors on the southwest that contain round-arched Italianate style marble mantels.  Woodwork throughout the downstairs consists of sophisticated convex, concave, and flat-fluted surrounds.  The staircase has an exuberant octagonal newel with whimsical Gothic-arched balusters.

Christopher Hollowell, a native of Perquimans County, came to Pasquotank County in the 1840s to manage several plantations for his cousin John Hollowell, on whose farm Bayside was built.  He also managed the Pasquotank plantations of James C. Johnston of Hayes Plantation near Edenton.  Hollowell eventually inherited the Pasquotank plantations from both his cousin and Johnston, making him one of the county’s largest landowners.  The house was built soon after Hollowell’s marriage in 1855 to Alpine D. Bodine, who died about 1860.  In 1870 he married Parthenia Weeks Gatling (ca. 1849-1937), also of Perquimans County.  The house and much of the original 700-plus-acre farm remained in family ownership until 1988.  Another large portion became what is now the United States Coast Guard Base. 

In 1963, items from the Margaret Hollowell estate became the foundation for the Museum of the Albemarle. Margaret was the daughter of Christopher W. and Parthenia Hollowell.