House History House Tours

Airlie: Samuel T. Thorne House.

February 23, 2019

I was fortunate several years ago to tour this home, Airlie. At the time it was on the market.

It is my understanding that it was purchased by someone last year that wishes to restore the home. Samuel T. Thorne was the original owner and he was a farmer, owner of a grist mill, a cotton gin and a store. He was also the local postmaster.

This home is located in the Littleton area of North Carolina, not far from Lake Gaston. Interesting tidbit about the home is that the columns and the carved pediment came from the Halifax County Courthouse.

The courthouse was going to be torn down, so Mr. Thorne purchased them for his home.

The Thorne family was quite prominent in the area and Thorne heirs still own some land around there. The house needs a lot of work, and money!

My impression was that the back side of the house where additions had been added on is where the main issue was. The additions were poorly constructed and water infiltration was a huge issue that was spreading to the front of the house.

Having said that, the front portion was actually not in bad shape. We weren’t concerned walking anywhere, even upstairs.


I would get rid of those additions, and completely dry the house out, then seal it up. After the Thorne family owned this home, it was then known as the Bianca Brown house.

I have heard she was a character! I believe her husband hanged himself. I sure do wish the new owner much luck! It is my understanding the plans are to restore it over a decade so the house can be done properly.