NC Coastal Federation restores, sells house in Sea Level

An outline on an aerial view marks the Sea Level lot the N.C. Coastal Federation sold Aug. 23. The lot was once part of a larger tract of land donated to the federation, which will conserve the rest. (Carteret County graphic)

SEA LEVEL — A 140-year-old house has been restored and is now being cared for by its new owners.

According to a deed recorded Aug. 23 at the Carteret County Register of Deeds, the N.C. Coastal Federation sold a 1.045-acre lot and the existing house on it to Spruce & Clover LLC. NCCF Executive Director Todd Miller said in an email Thursday to the News-Times the property was subdivided from a larger lot donated in October 2020 to the federation by one of its members.

According to recorded deeds, the previous owners of the property were Susan Lupton and her husband, Robert Schell, both of Durham.

“The total acreage donated was almost 90 acres,” Mr. Miller said, “including a 140-year-old house that was still a solid structure, but in major disrepair.”

Mr. Miller went on to say the NCCF didn’t have any use for the house, but it still wanted to preserve it as a part of the county’s heritage.

“We decided to undertake some repairs to the place to get it back into shape to market,” he said, “and subdivided out a one-acre residential lot to go with the existing house.”

With the repairs complete, the NCCF then found a buyer for the subdivided lot.

“I’ve never met the buyer in person,” Mr. Miller said. “I’ve spoken with him on the phone; he and his family will be using the house.”

According to reports filed with the N.C. Secretary of State’s office, Eddie Ledford of Lenoir is the managing member of Spruce & Clover LLC, the buyer. Mr. Ledford declined to comment on the purchase. 

Mr. Miller said the federation still owns the remaining donated acreage, which it intends to keep in its natural state for conservation.

“We’re pleased to have found someone who’s interested in owning and taking care of the old house,” Mr. Miller said. “We received permission from the donor when the property was given to us to resell the house if that was going to be needed to help maintain it.”

Mr. Miller went on to say in his Friday email the original donors of the property owned it for many generations.

“The property was given to us with no restrictions imposed by them,” he said. “They understood that fixing up and selling the house was likely to happen as a way to help maintain and protect it for the future, since we didn’t need it for our programs. We’re committed to protecting and conserving the undeveloped land and marshes and won’t sell those properties.”


Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

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