Preston Historical Society
About the Preston Historical Society:
Conversations about forming the Preston Historical Society began in 2013, and the group held its first general meeting on July 21, 2014, at the Preston Town Hall. The society acquired its 501(c)3 status and signed a one year lease with the town of Preston for the office space located at the old Provident Bank Building on the corner of Maple and Main Street. Their first meeting at that location was held on September 15, 2014, but it was immediately found to be too small a site to hold meetings and house all the items that were beginning to be donated and loaned to the society. The society held two more meetings at the Preston Town Hall in November 2014 and March 2015. At the March 16, 2015, meeting it was announced that the society had found a new home at 167 Main Street, known locally as the Noble House, one of the oldest structures in town dating to 1833. The first general meeting at this location was held May 18, 2015.
About the Noble House
The Noble House is the home of the Preston Historical Society. The original portion of the home dates to 1833, and was built by Jacob Wilson. There are several mill stones on the property which came from mills that Wilson operated at Upper Hunting Creek, (near Grove), lower Hog Creek and Fowling Creek. Wilson was a large man, weighing over 300 pounds, which accounts for the unusually large doors in the house. In 1870 James E. Douglas bought the property and extended the house by adding the west wing and cast iron front porch. In 1883 the house was sold to Perry D. Taylor, who sold it to Emily Nichols, et al. The next owner was Francis Nichols and it was eventually auctioned off to Judge Levi D. Travers in 1897, who bought it for his daughter and son-in-law, Manie E. Noble and Dr. Jacob L. Noble. Dr. Noble was the great-nephew of the original builder, Jacob Wilson. Dr. Noble maintained a medical practice in town, his office was first located next to the west side of the house and was later moved next to the street on the left corner of the property. He continued to practice medicine until his death in 1913. Eleven Noble children were raised in the house, extra bedrooms were used on the third floor for the children. There was a second staircase from the kitchen to the second floor where the maid’s room was located. Outbuildings on the property included a summer kitchen, smokehouse, a dairy, stable, chicken house and outdoor bathroom. The house remained in the Noble family until 1984. A more detailed description of the history of the house provided by Martha Payne Valenzuela, a granddaughter of Dr. Noble’s who was born and raised in the Noble House, can be viewed at the Historical Society.