House in the Horseshoe

Revolutionary War

In spring and summer, bright flowers surround this plantation house named for its location on a horseshoe bend in the Deep River. The house (ca. 1770) was owned by Philip Alston, whose band of colonists seeking independence from Britain was attacked here in 1781 during the American Revolution by British loyalists led by David Fanning. Later, four-term governor Benjamin Williams lived in the house, which now features antiques of the colonial and Revolutionary War eras. Continued

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What's new

Contemporary drawing (late 1700's) of the Alston girls and their mother Temperance at home in the House in the Horseshoe

Unique exhibits on the Indians who once lived in this area, colonial crops, later owner Gov. Benjamin Williams, and North Carolina backcountry planters' wives!

Upcoming Events

  • April 21:
    An Afternoon at Retreat

    Saturday, 11 am - 4 pm
    It's 1811, and former governor Benjamin Williams is the successful owner of "House in the Horseshoe" and its surrounding property, which he has renamed "Retreat." Come out and explore a very different side of the site's history, when farming was a scientific venture and cotton reigned king. Demonstrations, activities, and lectures will take place throughout the day. This special event is free, and open to the public.

  • Stay tuned for upcoming events . . .

View NC DNCR Upcoming Events Calendar

House in the Horseshoe Information

Contact Us

House in the Horseshoe
288 Alston House Rd.
Sanford, N.C. 27330
Phone: (910) 947-2051

Hours of Operation

Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed Sundays, Mondays, and most major holidays.


No admission fees. Donations are accepted and appreciated.

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