The building originally served as the law office for William Hardy Murfree who was the grandson of Murfreesboro’s founder. Later it became the law office of William Nathan Harrell Smith. It was also the site for the Post Office and its basement used as the local jail. Built in the late 18th century, the masonry foundation rests on a horizontal brick ashlar. Its brick walls are set in the Flemish bond pattern and the original dentil work still adorns the soffit under the edge of the truncated roof.
The Print Shop is in a building that was once the law office of prominent local attorney David Collin Barnes. It was located on the corner lot adjacent to the Roberts-Vaughan House on Main and Wynn Streets until it was donated to the Murfreesboro Historical Association, Inc. by Alexander Barnes and moved to the Historic District. The building displays elements of classic Federal architecture in its balanced, symmetrical features and columns, but could also be Greek Revival. Inside the building are three massive presses that demonstrate the often difficult and time-consuming process involved in the early days of “newspaper” publishing.
This structure was built in 1790 by wealthy Boston born merchant and shipper, William Rea. It is the oldest commercial building in North Carolina. The walls are 20 inches thick and made of locally produced brick. Most of its interior woodwork is intact. A one story section was constructed in 1802 for the office of Thomas Maney, Rea’s close friend and attorney. Maney occupied the office until he moved to Tennessee in 1827 where he prospered and became a prominent state judge.
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