Before Cary decides what to do with three historic properties, the town wants to hear from you.
In sessions from 6 to 7 p.m. May 17 and May 31, Cary will seek suggestions on how best to use the C.F. Ferrell Store and Warehouses, the Barnabas Jones Farmstead and the A.M. Howard Farm, also known as Good Hope Farm. The town will welcome ideas for both public and private uses of the properties.
"We're wide open to possibilities at this point," said Kris Carmichael, operations and program supervisor with Town of Cary Historical Resources.
Here's more about the properties:
A.M. Howard Farm
With its beginnings in 1910, the A.M. Howard Farm, at 1580 Morrisville-Carpenter Road, has an early 20th-century farmhouse, several outbuildings, a large barn and a smaller building that might have been a one-room schoolhouse.
An assessment that Cary did earlier this year found the buildings in fair to poor condition. "Fair" means a building needs more than routine maintenance; "poor" means a building needs immediate attention.
Cary purchased the property in 2006. In 2016, it leased the land to Good Hope Farm, a nonprofit farm co-op.
"What we're looking to do is actually enhance the site," Carmichael said, noting that the farm has several buildings not in use.
C.F. Ferrell Store
The C.F. Ferrell Store and its two warehouses — one large, one small — are at 1928 Morrisville-Carpenter Road, about seven-tenths of a mile from the A.M. Howard Farm.
The store, built in 1928, was one of several businesses Charlie Ferrell owned. Another was a funeral parlor.
The assessment says the buildings are in relatively good condition, with the exception of the small warehouse, which has "some structural deficiencies," including the roof and stone piers.
"There are all kinds of possibilities there," Carmichael said of the store and its warehouses. She can envision, for example, the store becoming a retail outlet for goods produced on the nearby A.M. Howard Farm.
Barnabas Jones Farmstead
The Barnabas Jones Farmstead, at 9701 Penny Road, traces its roots to the 1820s. Martin Jones, father of Barnabas, was the son of Revolutionary War captain Etheldred Jones, who received the land from the state after the war.
The farmstead, which the town purchased in 2000, has a main house with detached kitchen, slave quarters and several outbuildings.
"The farmhouse is in good condition," the assessment notes, "while the outbuildings are in fair to poor condition." The building most in need of attention is the cider barn.
Take a look
Before the May 17 session, the A.M. Howard Farm and the C.F. Ferrell Store and Warehouses will be open for viewing from 4 to 6 p.m. The Barnabas Jones Farmstead will be open from 4 to 6 p.m. May 31.
Cary has had success converting historic properties to new and renewed uses. The Cary Theater is a theater once again, the former Page-Walker Hotel is now the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, and the old Cary High School is home to the Cary Arts Center.