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Bellamy Mansion Museum

The Bellamy Mansion (https://treeservicewilmingtonnc.com), constructed between 1859 and 1861, is a mixture of Neoclassical architectural designs, including Greek Revival and Italianate, and is located at 503 Market Street in the heart of downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. It is one of North Carolina’s finest examples of historic antebellum architecture. It is a contributing building in the Wilmington Historic District.

In 1860, Wilmington was the biggest city in North Carolina by population and was number one in the world for the marine stores market. It was considered a cosmopolitan port city where men like Dr. John D. Bellamy might advance themselves politically, economically and culturally.

Designed with Greek Revival and Italianate styling, this twenty-two space home was constructed with the labor of both enslaved competent carpenters and freed black artisans. In 1860 this was a construction site. The designer James F. Post, a native of New Jersey, and his assistant, draftsman Rufus W. Bunnell of Connecticut, oversaw the building of the mansion. Initially built as a private residence for the family of Dr. John D. Bellamy, a prominent plantation owner, physician, and businessman, the mansion has endured an amazing series of occasions throughout its presence.

Mrs. Bellamy’s official gardens were not planted till closer to 1870, and when the mansion was first constructed there were no big shade trees like today. By the time Dr. Bellamy and Eliza Bellamy moved into the house in early 1861, they had been married twenty years and moved in with eight kids who ranged in age from a young person all the way to a toddler. In fact, Eliza was pregnant with her tenth kid.

Ten Bellamys moved into the big house while 9 enslaved workers moved into the sheds. The home was taken control of by federal soldiers throughout the American Civil War, made it through a disastrous fire in 1972, was home to two generations of Bellamy family members, and now following comprehensive restoration and conservation over numerous decades, the Bellamy Mansion is a fully functioning museum of history and design arts.

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