The only historic home open to the public in Chapel Hill. The west element or farmhouse (c.1840) retains its original pine floorboards, mantel and window surrounds. The house’s Octagon Room was built sometime between 1852 and 1855. The local story was that it's believed that as a bee's honeycomb provided maximum strength in nature, so it would in a building. The local people called it the “Hexagon House.” The parlor and entrance hall were built in the 1880s. The parquet ceilings in both rooms are particularly noteworthy.

Horace Williams, a UNC philosophy professor, was the last private owner of the house. He bought it in 1897 for $1,450. One of his students was writer Thomas Wolfe, author of "You Can't Go Home Again." The home is open to tours and houses local artists’ works several times each year and various special events.