History of "The Cedars"


William Borden House 
circa 1768 
 1936 photograph
William Borden letter
The William Borden and Belcher Fuller houses have been significant landmarks on the Beaufort waterfront for many many years.

The William Borden House is said to have been built, or at least a portion of it, about 1768* by William Borden Jr., son of a Quaker shipbuilder from Rhode Island who arrived in 1732 aboard his schooner and settled in Mill Creek, just north of Beaufort, where he built a shipyard and sawmill; he became the largest land owner in the area, including Bogue Banks, noted on early  maps as “Borden’s Banks.”  

*The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Summer Field Study noted: "If originally built about 1768, parts of a one-story frame are embedded in what appears to be an early 19th-century house that was altered significantly in terms of plan and fenestration in later decades of the 19th and early-20th centuries."
Belcher Fuller House circa 1851
1920 photograph
The Belcher Fuller House circa 1851 is plaqued due to the 1852 sale of Lot 24, from Belcher Fuller Jr. (1817-1870) to William Fisher Bell, "a certain half of lot of land...number twenty four Old Town, being the westernmost half of said lot bordering on Orange & Front Street...To have & to hold the said premises..." However, since Belcher Fuller Sr.'s widow Zilphia Guthrie Fuller (1785-1846) gave properties to her son William in 1841, including lots 23 and 24 with all improvements, the house could have been built before that time. After all, Jean Kell noted the house includes adaptations from Asher Benjamin's The Architect or Practical House Carpenter, first published in 1830. (NOTE: Benjamin's books were written to meet the special needs of the country carpenter who had to work without the assisance of an architect.)
Turberg Sketch
Beginning in 1986, the two houses were operated as a popular bed and breakfast inn known as “The Cedars” or “The Cedars Inn.” 

Between December 1984 and April 1985, Ed Turberg prepared the Federal and State rehabilitation tax credit applications for the William Borden House, 305 Front Street, and the Belcher Fuller House (Fuller-Thomas House), 301 Front Street, for Suzanne E. Osburn, partner of Beaufort Inn Associates. At that time a small photocopied folder of sketches was given “For the Beaufort ‘Inn’ Crowd’—Best wishes from the thumb-nail of Ed Turberg.” 


Belcher Fuller House 
1989 photograph
 
As noted in The Eastern Weekly, Beaufort, June 1989 by Pat Kwaak, "Two period homes make a "new" county inn," both William Borden House and Belcher Fuller House (Fuller-Thomas House) were on the Old Homes Tour, together known as the Cedars Inn. The article noted owners and innkeepers Bill and Pat Kwaak. The Inn opened in May 1985 after extensive renovations. As part of the renovations, the grounds and gardens were redone. Brick paths and walkways were installed, using antique bricks from an old jailhouse in New Bern. 

"The Cedars" was owned and operated by Linda and Sam Dark from 1996 until 2006. More recently, both of these houses have been sold separately, to new owners who continue to operate them as lodging for visitors.