By Kelly Hargett
The Francis Marion Stafford House sits a little back from the south end of Main Street in Kernersville. The home marks the beginning of the Historic District. It is a large, yellow frame home with a wraparound porch. It beckons guests and visitors to the front door with its warm and sunny exterior. Nestled in a grove of trees, you would never guess that the home backs up to Saint Paul’s Cemetery which dates back to the early 1800’s. The two places coexist peacefully and create a serene atmosphere. The Stafford House was originally a cabin built around 1840, and in 1856, Francis Stafford added a living room and bedroom above it. William Cornelius Stafford purchased the home from his father’s estate in 1905 and continued to renovate and expand the home.
William Cornelius Stafford became a prominent citizen in Kernersville. He was a farmer, owned several different businesses, including briefly owning the local newspaper, and sold tobacco. He owned a popular mercantile that stayed in business long after he passed away, the W.C. Stafford store, that was located on the north end of Main Street. Mr. Stafford was also the mayor of Kernersville from 1911-1913 and ushered in the first paved sidewalks in town while he was in office, helping to make Kernersville an even more attractive town to put down roots. He and his wife had five children.
The home located on the south end of Main Street stayed in the family, and in 1987, Sallie Greenfield, the great-granddaughter of Francis Marion Stafford, had the home moved from its original location at 635 South Main Street, to where it sits today, a few hundred feet from its original location. Today the home is still owned by Ms. Greenfield and operates as a bed and breakfast.
*Excerpt from Haunted Kernersville
If you are interested in learning more Kernersville History, the Kernersville Museum is open Tuesday through Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm and Saturday 10:00am to 2:00pm. Please call 336-497-4869 if you are planning a trip to the Museum to ensure we are open. The summer of 2022 will see a new exhibit from the Museum at the 1873 Historic Train Depot. Open hours for the Historic Train Depot will be posted on our website. For more information, please follow us on social media or check out our website. Proceeds from the sale of Haunted Kernersville go to the Kernersville Museum. You can pick up your own copy of Haunted Kernersville inside the Museum or visit our website at www.KernersvilleMuseum.org/shopmuseum.