Shady Oaks, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a notable example of the refined homes built in North Carolina’s Roanoke Valley in the post-Revolutionary period. Its tripartite style is elegant and livable, and the exterior details and stone chimneys are reminiscent of the 18th century houses of Williamsburg, Virginia. Constructed for tobacco planter, entrepreneur and civic leader Robert Tines Cheek, Shady Oaks is characterized by the elaborate Adamesque woodwork featured in the music room, the home’s main living and entertaining space, and by a rare carved blind arch in the entrance hall.
The the history of Shady Oaks is intertwined with the history of her town, Warrenton and her county of Warren as is usually the case. Warrenton is the seat for Warren County in NE North Carolina and was one of the richest towns in the state from 1840-1860 due to its large production of cotton and tobacco and its proximity to the railroad to bring these goods to market.
During this time wealthy land owners and business men built incredible homes and commercial structures which make this now sleepy town an incredible treasure trove of historic buildings.
Shady Oaks Plantation/The Oaks/Cheek-Twitty House
Our home has a few names to reference it by. The Cheek family referred to it as Shady Oaks and The Oaks interchangeably over the time their ownership based on deed records. In modern times it was referred to as the Cheek-Twitty House as most homes in Warrenton are named after their original owners. In the National Registry for Historic Places it is recorded as Shady Oaks and so we shall call it
Built in approx 1812 approx by Robert Tines Cheek and his wife Mary Hinton Alston Cheek.Robert Tines Cheek was a planter, land owner, business man and served as justice of the Warren county court 1804-1813. 1812 tax records note that he owned 2,422 acres. It is presumed that his purchase of 562 acres in 1812 from Benjamin Maclin “along the road to Warrenton” is the original property size on which the house was built. It has now been whittled down to 14 acres where we now reside.
Shady Oaks was left to Robert’s wife Mary upon his death and subsequently to their son William Alston Cheek upon hers.William Alston Cheek made a deal with his nephew Robert Cheek Twitty in which he would leave Shady Oaks to their next born child if they were to name him after him. In 1884 William Alston Cheek Twitty was born and the property deeded to him in 1892. Shady Oaks was then sold to A.K. Mustian via an executor after William Twitty’s death.
In 1989 David Peebles bought the house and provided a full and exquisite restoration to bring it back to it’s original glory after years of neglect.
In 1995 John and Barbara Kennedy bought the home and added a complimentary addition to the north east side of the home which is a replica of the tidewater style Davis-Powell house. This addition allowed for a modern functioning kitchen, snuggery, master suite, powder room and second floor guest suite. We call this affectionately the “Kennedy House” or “The Rectory”. Mr Kennedy passed away in 2008 and Barbara lived in the home until her passing in 2014.
Matt and I purchased the home from Mr and Mrs Kennedy’s sons in April 2015.