The Armistead House

(Washington County)

Featured Character – A Soldier's Life

Armistead House

Courtesy of the Washington (North Carolina) Daily News, May 17, 2011

In 1814, physician Julian Picot, a French émigré, purchased a lot in the new town of Plymouth.  He then erected a hall-and-parlor house typical of the Federalist period.  In 1844, Picot’s heirs sold the house to Robert Armistead, a physician.  After his death in 1857, the doctor’s house went to his brother, Thomas S. Armistead.  A wealthy Plymouth merchant, Armistead owned twenty-three slaves.  Worth $61,000 in 1860, war and emancipation devastated Armistead’s finances.  His heirs lost the house in 1886.  After passing through a series of owners, Reuben  Pettiford purchased the property in 1914.  Born to a free black family in Wayne County in April 1837, Pettiford apprenticed under his brother as a brick mason.  By 1900, Pettiford and his new bride moved to Plymouth.  Pettiford descendents lived in the house until the year 2000.  In 2011, the family donated the building to the Town of Plymouth.