The building that once was the oldest house in Dallas is no longer standing.
The house, built in 1853 by William C. Lee, was constructed on the property that is now the city’s parking lot on Main Street across from Curl’s Pharmacy. Lee bought the property from the Inferior Court for $75.
When Lee died in 1867, his widow, Lavenia Eubanks Lee, sold the house to Andrew E. McBrayer. According to research done by Paulding County historian Jason Edwards, McBrayer likely never lived in the house and instead used it as a rental property.
In 1874, McBrayer sold the house to Henry Braswell and B.M.C. Matthews, who turned around the next year and sold it to George W. McLarty. The McLarty family, who had moved to Dallas from Campbell County, lived in the house until at least 1880, as Edwards said was noted in that year’s census.
McLarty sold the house in 1882 to Richard P. McLarin, who also hailed from Campbell County and co-owned McLarin & Roberts, a mercantile on Main Street in Dallas. In 1883, McLarin traded houses with George W. Foote, who owned the Foote House Hotel, which was located across the street. Trading houses was something that was done from time to time in that period of history, Edwards said.
“I’ve seen (in records) people trade houses back then,” he said. “(There are) at least three other examples I can think of around then.”
When Foote died in 1893, the house was sold to Fulton County resident M.A. Foote. Two years later, the house was sold to Pinson M. Carter, who lived there with his family until they moved from the area. Around 1900, the house was being rented out to unknown persons. It was later used as a shoe shop. It was torn down before May 1932.
“I think that it is very unfortunate that we are left with so few buildings from the early history of Dallas,” Edwards said. “As much as we need parking in town, it would be lovely to have a pre-Civil War house sitting there still.”
The Henderson house, which is a few years younger than the Lee house would have been, is the only antebellum building still standing in Dallas.