Wake Forest 27587 Magazine

Winter 2019

The quarterly 27587 MAGAZINE is a must-read, in-you-hands publication that strives to give a deeper identity to rapidly growing Wake Forest, N.C. It highlights in-depth stories, targeting higher-income households.

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Page 46 of 84

46 Winter 2019 | Wake Forest 27587 Magazine What the so-called "war of northern aggression" could not shake loose, though, were those prized hams, tucked away in the pantry of a Federal and Greek Revival-style ancestral home that today has 12 rooms and 10 fireplaces. As the story goes, Yankee soldiers soon looted the house, and 14-year-old Octavia Jones — whose father was imprisoned in a Union camp — threw a blanket over them and sat down as the soldiers, flirting with her, made no mind of the stash beneath. "She remained proud of her act all her life," reads a National Register of Historic Places nomination report of the estate's happenings. e Oakforest incident, as it might be called, led to a legacy that extends into the 21st Century with a ritual hanging of the hams. "It's tradition for us. … My husband never felt comfortable without a couple hams hanging in the kitchen," said Barbara Massenburg, who as today's family matriarch notes that she is "kin to everyone in the (family) graveyard." Soon after the incident, Wiley Daniel Jones, young Octavia's father, who as a Confederate captain had been held as a Union prisoner of war after his capture at Roanoke, called in some favors from north- ern business associates and managed to get a guard posted. Post-war, Wiley Jones served in the North Carolina legislature and was active in Recon- struction, so much so that a critical 1878 article in e Observer of Raleigh said he "swallowed everything at one gulp … negro suffrage, negro citizenship … carpet-baggism and all." e Ku Klux Klan was purportedly ready to burn a cross on the estate's lawn. Daughter Octavia, a music teacher, became adept at playing the piano, the same Wm. Knabe & Co. of Baltimore model patented on Aug. 14, 1866, and today gracing the home's parlor. "It has not been tuned since 1960," Massenburg said. Still, it has been an attraction, topped these days with a copy of "e Presbyterian Hymnal." "Somebody played it 2 years ago at the Christmas party," said Kiki Farish, Massen- burg's youngest daughter, an accomplished artist, and the ninth generation to live at Oakforest. There's a love story behind the family portrait of Benjamin Smith Harrison, said the home's owner, Barbara Massenburg. A bust of a family ancestor, Judge Henry Seawall, sports a red NC State Wolfpack hat. "We always like to decorate him for the season," said family matriarch Barbara Massenburg.

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