An opportunity may have passed

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Two decades ago, Pierceville was a unique anchor of Smithfield’s Historic District. Bordered by Cary Street and the Smithfield Bypass, the remnant acreage of an 18th century plantation was a rarity.

In an age when most farm outbuildings had disappeared, the victims of obsolescence and the impracticality of saving buildings that no longer had value to the farms they once served, Pierceville survived. It still had a separate kitchen, dairy, smokehouse and barns. It was a truly unique collection of Americana right on the edge of Smithfield’s Historic District.

Back then, Pierceville and its dependencies were declining, but a significant portion of them was still intact, and with sufficient funds, could have been preserved.

Even a decade later, it appeared possible that, given sufficient funds, somebody could save this extraordinary collection of early Smithfield relics.

Today, the outlook for Pierceville is, regrettably, much dimmer. The barns that constituted much of the farmstead’s historic value have all but collapsed, held together today largely by an encroaching jungle of vines and saplings.

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