Monday 30 January 2012: Houses of Wilmington #5
The Bellamy Mansion (1859)
This is probably Wilmington's most well-known historic house. John Bellamy, a physician with ten children had interests in the rice industry and in the railroad. He and his family moved into the house on the eve of the Civil War, or as southerners choose to call it, "the war of northern aggression". They owned many slaves and some were used to defend nearby Fort Fisher. The cupola was used as a lookout by the confederates. The Union Army forced out the family and used the house as their headquarters. Many slaves were freed.
The Mansion remained as the family home until 1946, when the last of the children, Ellen Bellamy died.
Rufus Bunnell of Vermont was the architect. He combined elements of the Classical, Greek and Italian revivals in this building, which is unmatched in the area. A classic southern mansion, it has a two-story porch and pedimented gable roof and spectacular ironwork. Inside are chandeliers from Philadelphia.
The house is an active center for the community. It holds regular tours, and serves as a venue for many functions, including a weekly concert series.
In 1858 the composer of this great work of music was born.
The source of the information for "Houses of Wilmington" comes from the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society.