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PHOTOS COURTESY OF 704 PHOTOGRAPHY

North Carolina natives Abby and Trey Brothers are renovating the Page Mansion in Aberdeen, a massive brick manor that for years has been hidden behind an overgrown landscape. The house was historically known as the Page-Wilder House, and more recently named Willow Oak Manor by businessmen who were unsuccessful in converting the home to a special events venue.

The 6,000-square-foot mansion has a traditional center hall with a huge staircase, formal parlors and dining rooms, with a second story featuring six bedrooms, and servants’ quarters with their own set of steps leading directly to the kitchen and butler’s pantry. It was designed by J.M. McMichael, a prolific architect of the time, and finished in 1913. The home was in decline when it changed hands to the Bishop family in the 1950s, and has been mostly vacant for the past 40 years.

“On April 1st — and this is not an April Fool’s joke — I found our home,” Abby says. “I wasn’t even looking around Moore County at the time, but by sheer accident, I expanded my search area. There it was: the Page Mansion. I jokingly took a picture of the home and sent it to my husband with the caption: ‘Let’s buy it and renovate it.’ He immediately called me to ask for more information about the home, and we started researching. In all honesty, it was love at first sight!”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF 704 PHOTOGRAPHY

The couple is currently living in Baltimore until Trey’s contract with the U.S. Air Force is complete. Crews are working to make the house ready for their return.

“We have no intentions of changing the character of the home,” Abby says. “In fact, only two walls in the entire home will be removed, and the layout will not be altered. The kitchen and master bathroom will be modernized, but the rest of the home will be restored to its former glory. Some of these restorations include: refinishing the existing hardwood floors, rewiring light fixtures so they can be hung in their previous position, repurposing the existing bathtubs and sinks, and retaining the paneling in the foyer and dining room. The home is filled with unique touches already — we do plan on adding a few of ours, like exposing the brick fireplace in the master bedroom, converting the sunroom into the master bathroom, and installing a laundry chute.”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ABBY AND TREY BROTHERS

The home was one of 11 belonging to the family of Allison Francis “Frank” and Catherine Page, in an area near Aberdeen Lake that became known as Page Hill. Allison built a lumber mill on what would become Aberdeen Creek and was instrumental in putting the town on the map. This mansion in particular was built for his daughter Frances J. Page and her husband, Thomas Bonner Wilder, of Louisburg.

“When walking into the home, I can imagine growing as a family and raising our children in the ‘Page Mansion,’ the name which my husband and I will continue to call the residence despite the fact that we are not related to the Pages,” Abby says. “We believe that this historically-relevant property represents the soul of Aberdeen as a community.”

Follow the couple’s journey on Facebook or Instagram.

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