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The History of Chowan Beach
by George Farrell and Rawl Gelinas
Preface  Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5
Part 6  Part 7  Part 8  Part 9  Part 10
Part Six

John Martin Forehand, the fourth owner of Bandon Plantation, was born in 1847. By the time he reached his prime the war had been over for more than a decade and the South had begun to recover. Prosperity was returning and John Martin must have possessed some skill in real estate matters for he had prospered by accumulating real estate. In 1892, when he bought Bandon at auction, he was forty-five years old. He had married at the age of thirty-two to the then nineteen year old Bessie and they had six children. He and Bessie decided to make their home at Bandon. According to the records two more children were born at Bandon.

John Martin and Bessie returned Bandon Plantation to productivity. The plantation and its buildings, which had fallen into disrepair, were put back into proper condition. The Forehands made several additions and improvements to the dwelling and its outbuildings. According to the records they replaced the old kitchen with a more modern one, attached to the main house by a breezeway. Other improvements were a latticed summerhouse and, most importantly, a pump house and interior bathrooms. At this point the main part of the house consisted of two stories with tall brick chimneys and one story wings on either side. There was a two-story attachment to the back of the main part, with the aforementioned covered walkway to the kitchen. In the back of the house was a gallery. Unfortunately, the kitchen attachment blocked the view of the Chowan River. Several outbuildings or dependencies were mentioned in descriptions: a smokehouse; the summerhouse; a small glass structure, presumably a greenhouse; the milk-house; pump-house; large barns; a carriage house; and stables.

The Forehand family occupied the farm for over three decades and owned the property for fifty-two years. In 1987, a granddaughter of John Martin and Bessie, Mrs. Joseph Thorud of Edenton, remembered spending time during her early childhood at Bandon, which was at that time still occupied by the elder Forehands. They lived there and farmed the land until the mid twenties. At that point they moved to Edenton but retained the land and it continued to be farmed. Sadly, the tenants to whom John Martin leased Bandon failed in their upkeep of the reconditioned and remodeled plantation. The buildings began to once again fall into disrepair and become dilapidated. After the neglectful tenants moved, the house stood vacant and deteriorating for nearly twenty years. In 1944, the house and sixty-three acres were sold, sight unseen, to John and Inglis Fletcher. Note: The graves of John Martin and Bessie Forehand can be seen from Bandon Road. They are set back from the road just a bit at the corner of Bandon and Mohave. There is also a small marker, presumably the grave of a child. Either the marker was never inscribed or the inscription has worn off.

The information for this chapter was taken from a manuscript entitled "Bandon A Brief History of a Chowan County Plantation" by Jerry L. Cross and dated January 17, 1986.

On To Part Seven

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Copyright 2013 The Chowan Beach Recreation Association, Inc.
Portions Copyright 2010 George Farrell and Rawl Gelinas