A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

For nine decades, Our State has made its way into homes across North Carolina, the United States, and the world. To celebrate, every month this year, we’re paying tribute to

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

For nine decades, Our State has made its way into homes across North Carolina, the United States, and the world. To celebrate, every month this year, we’re paying tribute to

Real Estate Regret

For nine decades, Our State has made its way into homes across North Carolina, the United States, and the world. To celebrate, every month this year, we’re paying tribute to the readers who inspire us, offering a taste of our earliest recipes, and revisiting old stories with new insights. Follow along to find out how our past has shaped our present.


What’s not to love about living in a historic house once owned by a North Carolina governor? The squirrels and possums and snakes, of course.

When Jamie Grant, the owner of former Gov. Thomas Bragg Jr.’s historic home in Jackson, wrote about the house for The State in 1970, she didn’t mince words. Grant wrote that she and her husband, Leroy, who’d bought the house in 1942, loved it “in spite of the difficulties and hardships of just staying alive in it.”

In addition to being “a haven for all animals and birds,” the Northampton County house was a magnet for naive tourists, who — even in 1942, some 70 years after the former governor’s death — showed up hoping to meet Bragg, his wife, and their brood of Bragg babies. Grant claimed that at least some of those visitors came at the suggestion of a Mr. Cochrane at a nearby drugstore, and they often rang the doorbell just moments after she had gotten her three children down for their afternoon nap. “I could have cheerfully killed Mr. Cochrane,” she wrote.

And that wasn’t all: Grant complained about frozen pipes, leaky ceilings, and fireplaces that couldn’t keep the house warm. And did we mention the critters?

Bragg, a young lawyer at the time, lived in the house from 1843 until 1855, moving out when he became North Carolina’s 34th governor. The house may have been a jewel in those days — and it would eventually be listed on the National Register of Historic Places — but that was little consolation for Grant and her buyer’s remorse.

“Many times since [1942],” she wrote, “I have wished Governor Bragg had it back.”

This story was published on May 29, 2023

Jimmy Tomlin

Tomlin has been a features writer and columnist for the High Point Enterprise since 1990. His writing has won numerous state, regional, and national awards.