Clermont c. 1735

The original Clermont home was built by Colonial William Wilson. It was one of only two 18th century brick homes in Craven County, the other being the Bellair , an historic plantation. The house was probably two-and-a-half stories, situated overlooking the Trent River. After Wilson’s death, the house eventually descended to his grandson, Richard Dobbs Spaight Sr. of the notorious Stanly – Spaight Duel.

Before the Civil War, Henry Ravenscroft Bryan and his wife, Mary Norcott Bryan, lived in the home. The couple and their family fled in March 1862 and the property was occupied by Federal forces, who dismantled the home and all associated support buildings. Only the family burial plot remained intact. In the early 20th century, a Bryan descendent tore down the existing family burial vault and enclosed the burial space with a brick wall.