Built about 1850, probably by merchant Rufus Ferrand Pelletier to serve as his office and home, the Pelletier House survives as Jacksonville’s oldest and only remaining antebellum home. This hipped roof Greek Revival dwelling initially occupied part of the turpentine distillery lot owned by Rufus and his brother, William Pelletier, Jacksonville’s Civil War postmaster. Rufus Pelletier served as Jacksonville’s postmaster in 1856 and from 1873 to 1879, possibly using this dwelling as the town post office. He became a magistrate in the 1880s and according to local tradition, conducted weddings in the front room. Pelletier married Joanna Hines in 1863. Their daughter Eliza, born in 1872, was the house’s last resident.
Originally, the house probably consisted of two rooms, divided by walls on both sides of the fireplace, the front serving as a business area, the rear as the living area. Pelletier later added a frame, two-room kitchen and dining room wing, separated from the rear of the house by a breezeway. This was followed by an attached wing of several rooms to the right, or east side, possibly around the turn of the century. These additions were severely damaged by fires during the 1950s and subsequently demolished. After the death of “Miss Eliza” in 1954, the house was acquired by the Onslow County Historical Society. It was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
The Pelletier house is open for group tours by request. To request a guided tour of the Pelletier House please visit our Field Trips and Tours page.