The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Business

September 24, 2009

Historic plantation makes an addition for catering business

"Even though you may own a historical home on paper, you never really feel like you own it," said Joe White, one of the owners of the Myrtle Grove Plantation at 4226 N.C. 43 South in Macclesfield. "You feel more like a caretaker of the property and have a responsibility to share it.

"And that's really what we want to do, share this with the people."

White and partner Dan Roberson will be doing much more sharing of Myrtle Grove, now that they have added another addition to the 1842 main house that will service an additional 50-60 people in two new dining areas.

"The project has added the equipment needed for the catering operation and the space needed for event venues," said White. "But it does it without compromising the historic integrity of Myrtle Grove."

White and Roberson said they first purchased the historic Charles L. Vines House in 1999 after seeing it while visiting friends in Edgecombe County.

"We weren't looking for a home at the time," said White. "But after we saw it and found out it was for sale, we jumped right on the deal.

"Now when people ask us how we came to the area, we tell them that a house brought us here. Literally."

White and Roberson, both of who are supporters of historic preservation and recycling, worked on the nineteenth century home for two and a half years, before moving in permanently in 2002.

"It was a lot of work involved," said White. "Until we got here, the whole upstairs didn't have electricity and never had."

Being so passionate about historic preservation, White and Roberson performed a majority of the work themselves.

"You learn how to do it as you go along," said Roberson.

"And of course there are always going to be a few more projects we would like to do in the future," said White.

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