James Brearley built the Brearley House in 1761. The house is a handsome Georgian brick house typical of other 18th century colonists’ homes. It reflects the style of the English manor houses but scaled down to the needs of an American farming family. Nevertheless, it is a lovely house: balanced, functional, and restrained.
The Brearley House is built of bricks made from the local clay soil, fired, it is believed, in an oven on the property, which was a common practice. It was the practice in York, England, from whence John Brearley had arrived 66 years earlier, to identify a house with the date of its construction on the gable that faced the road. In the gable of the east side of the house is the date “1761” in glazed bricks, darken because they were closest to the fire.
Like many Georgian houses of the South, the Brearley House had a separate kitchen building, which greatly reduced the threat of fire to the main dwelling. In fact, the archaeological digs of 1998-1999 discovered two kitchen rooms beyond the southeastern corner of the house. Another benefit of an outside kitchen was that during the hot summers, the main house was not overheated by boiling water for laundry, or by cooking, preserving, candle making and so forth.