THE BANK BARN
We don't know when the barn was built, but it may pre-date the house. Richard was sent to Pennsylvania as a youth to do an apprenticeship. There, he lived with his relatives who were barn builders, and this is perhaps where he learned how to build on the bank or slope of the hill. In this way, both floors of the barn can be reached from ground level. This type of barn is very typical of Pennsylvania, but is quite unusual for this part of the country.
The barn contains a number of buggies and wagons of the era, but our proudest possession is a false bottomed wagon used during the days of the Underground Railroad.
To our knowledge there are only two of these wagons left in this country. This wagon is not original to the Plantation, but was given to us to preserve its history. Runaways entered through the back and lay on the bottom boards. It was said that up to twelve small individuals could be accommodated; three or four would be more typical. The driver then closed front and back ends with the sliding wooden panels, covered the top with appropriate goods, and proceeded along its way. According to family stories, our wagon made several trips to Ohio. For more about the false-bottomed wagon, click here.
Mendenhall Plantation – 603 W. Main Street – Jamestown, NC 27282