Greenwood Heights – built by slaves

Historic homes can be our touchstones to history, some of which we like to recall and some we’d like to forget.

Greenwood Manor or Greenwood Heights at 3005 Mexico Gravel Road was built by slaves owned by Walter Raleigh Lenoir of Lenoir, North Carolina. That city was named for Lenoir’s father, who fought in the Revolutionary War at the battle of Kings Mountain. Hence, the house reminds us of America’s foundation and of the country’s greatest stain.

Built in around 1835, Greenwood Heights, was featured in the February/March 2007 issue of Columbia Home & Lifestyle in an article written by Jim Muench with photos by Peter Anger.

It was named to the National Register of Historic Places on Jan. 15, 1979, according to the National Register of Historic Places Inventory — Nomination Form. It won its place on the Register as an example of the earliest remaining homes in Columbia and Boone County, according to the form. The form includes background on the home and property as well as 10 photographs.

The home was placed on Columbia’s Notable Properties list in 2000.

The Federal, red brick, two-story home includes wood floors of random-width blue ash and oak planks and built-in cupboards in the chimney niches in the dining room and north parlor, which are quite unusual, according to the National Register form. However, the form notes, “The most remarkable features of Greenwood’s interior are the fireplace mantels … they are all hand-carved and planed of walnut, each differing slightly in design.”

In 1978, when the home was nominated for the National Register, it was being operated as an antique shop operated by Melissa Williams. The form refers to the store as “one of Columbia’s most interesting antique stores…”

Owners of the home have included, according to the National Register materials and the Muench article:

Walter Raleigh Lenoir, who died in 1943, and his wife Sarah Evalina Bouchelle, until 1877.

1881 — D.B. Kurtz, purchased for $7,500

1919 — F.J. Nienaber

Abandoned for an unknown period of time

1933 — Mr. and Mrs. Warren W. Fuqua. The property was now only 144 acres.

1968 — Allen and Martha Baker and Maurice and Lorene McClintic

March 1974 — Gorman L. Williams, the owner in 1979 when the home was named to the National Register.

1989 — Sold to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which repaired the home.

1990 — David B. and Genie Banks Rogers.

1997 — Judith Retsema and Pat Rish

2002 — Sara “Sady” Mayer and Eddie Boster

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