After nearly 30 years the Spence family has returned to their former homestead, the Ballentine-Spence House in Fuquay-Varina. Four generations celebrated this homecoming with wonderful stories, warm memories, and delicious secrets!
Dan and Mary Maude Spence purchased the Ballentine-Spence House in 1925 from J. D. Ballentine Esquire. J. D. Ballentine Esquire had originally built the home in 1910 for his new bride “Varina”. Unfortunately, Varina passed away during child-birth and never had the opportunity of living in the home he built for her.
After her death he no longer wanted or needed the property and put it up for his auction. At this time his brother, Arthur Ballentine was already living in the property and after it changed hands to Dan and Mary Maude Spence, he was allowed to remain at the Ballentine-Spence House for the remainder of his years. This really impressed me about the true love and generosity of Dan and Mary Maude Spence.
Many physical renovations have been made inside the residence and as we toured the property Mary Maude’s daughter Jane pointed out the missing walls, missing door ways, and beautifully re-finished wood trimming throughout the property completed by the Hunsberger family during their ownership of the property.
The family congregated in the front room we have been calling “the library”, they fondly referred to it as “the music room”. Mary Maude Spence was an avid piano player and teacher. She instructed all of her children and local students in the art. Still to this day her love for music and playing the piano is alive in her descendant, Christopher Anderson Reed who is a concert pianist and owner of Blue Jeans Studios here in Fuquay-Varina.
We will continue with more about the Spence Family Reunion and the history of the Ballentine-Spence House in the days to come.
~ Anna Campbell, Curator and owner of the Ballentine-Spence House
Photos courtesy of: Casey Hutcherson with Casey Blake Photography