In 2017, the Town of Holly Springs purchased the two-century-old Norris Holland Hare House, saving it from demolition, with the expectation of selling it with preservation requirements. A local family purchased the 1,904-square-foot house, Holly Springs' oldest structure, and restored the historic home off Avent Ferry Road.
The Norris-Holland-Hare House is a Federal period house built around 1805 by Needham Norris, the son of Revolutionary War veteran John Norris, Jr. Needham Norris bequeathed the house and farm to his nephew, Simpson Washington Holland.
In September 1864 as the Civil War ground toward its final months, Holland headed to Virginia to search for his brother, a Confederate soldier. Left behind were Holland’s wife Mary Ann and their young children, including a week-old son. Simpson Holland died two months later without ever returning home.
For two weeks in April 1865, an encampment of Union soldiers encircled the Holland home. Mary Ann and her children lived upstairs while Union soldiers occupied the first floor as a field hospital.
The story of Mary Ann Holland and her young children featured prominently in the play “Finding Patience – The Story of Holly Springs.” The community production debuted in June 2017 at Holly Springs Cultural Center with multiple sold-out performances.
The Town bought the house, saving it from demolition, in 2017 with the expectation of selling it with preservation requirements. The Town worked with Capital Area Preservation on deed covenants that committed the new owners to preserving the structure’s character. Its history as a home and the high cost of adapting the structure for public use were reasons that preservation experts advised maintaining it as a private home.
Today, the restored home stands, nestled among century-old pecan trees that family members who used to live in the home remember collecting and freezing pecans for the winter.