Hope Plantation is located in southern Bertie County on the edge of Roquist Pocosin, four miles west of Windsor, adjacent to NC Highway 308. It was a grant in the 1720s from the Lords Proprietors of the Carolina colony to the Hobson family. Zedekiah Stone, of New England, acquired the property in the late 1760s with his marriage to Elizabeth Shriver, the widow of the previous owner, Francis Hobson. In 1793, Zedekiah Stone gave the plantation to his and Elizabeth's son, David Stone (1770-1818). During David's ownership the plantation was further developed and prospered. After his death, the then 1,051 acre property was sold by his son in 1836.A precocious youth, David Stone was graduated, first in his class, from Princeton in 1788. His education and various fields of endeavor proved him, like Thomas Jefferson, to be an heir of the Eighteenth Century Enlightenment. By 1803 David Stone had built an impressive mansion at Hope to accommodate his wife, Hannah Turner, eleven children to be, his many guests and as a fulfillment of his interest in architecture and as a haven to pursue his other many interests.Built on an "above ground" basement, the Hope mansion portrays basic Palladian design with some neoclassical elements. The five bay facade features a pedimented double portico. The hipped roof is topped by a "widow's walk" surrounded by a Chinese Chippendale balustrade. The floor plan is adapted from Abraham Swann's "The British Architect," a copy of which David Stone owned. The first floor rooms are entered from a center through hall. On the second floor are a large drawing room and a library, which housed Stone's 1,400 volumes. In addition to the main stair, a service stair runs from the basement to the attic.Hope was a self-contained plantation as was Stone's other plantation, Restdale, in Wake County. He owned at one time 8,000 acres in both Bertie and Wake. His estate inventory lists by name 138 slaves of African descent. At Hope he operated a water powered grist mill, a still, and, probably, as indicated by his inventory, a saw mill, a blacksmith shop, a cooper's shop and houses for spinning and weaving. His farm lands produced wheat, corn, oats, rye, flax, and cotton, for which he had a "cotton machine." On his pastures he raised cattle, sheep and horses, in his woods he raised hogs, while his forests produced timer for the sawmill.David Stone was a member of the 1789 State convention at Fayetteville at which he voted to ratify the United States Constitution. By age 33, he had become an attorney, a Superior Court judge, and a member of the North Carolina General Assembly for a number of sessions. He also had been appointed to the Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina on which he served the rest of his life. In addition to these honors, he had been elected to the United States Congress, in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.Later, he served, again, as a Superior Court judge. In 1808, he was elected governor of North Carolina for two terms after which he returned to the United States Senate. Always interested in education, in his last years he established an academy in Wake County. David Stone's life was that of a planter, statesman, and scholar.Moved four miles from its original site to Hope is the 1763 King-Bazemore house, now "one of only two gambrel roofed houses in North Carolina with brink end walls." Evidence indicates that the house is similar to the eighteenth century Hobson house which first stood at Hope. The King-Bazemore house and the Hope mansion represent a continuing agrarian culture during the Colonial and Federal periods in northeastern North Carolina.Historic Hope Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, owns and operates these two rare and outstanding buildings and approximately forty-five acres surrounding them to preserve and promote their historical, architectural and archaeological assets for their educational and recreational benefits to the visiting public.Visitors are first introduced to this historic site at the reception facilities in its Roanoke-Chowan Heritage Center situated in the Hope Forest at Hope Plantation. Here, they receive background information on Hope and its environs through such educational tools as orientation films, exhibits, and the Hope Research library. In addition, the assembly room, classroom, 60-seat theater, and conference room are available for lectures, symposia, seminars, and workshops promoting the heritage of the area. The museum gift shop provides books and other supplementary material to complete the story of Hope and the Roanoke-Chowan region. Over a mile and a half of nature trails and picnic areas are available in the surrounding Hope Forest. Hope Plantation is one of the many sites on the Historic Albemarle Tour (www.historicalbemarletour.org.) Hope is also on the North Carolina Birding Trail(www.ncbirdingtrail.org).
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