Peter Hairston purchased the 2,500-acre tract of Cooleemee Plantation in 1817. His great-grandson, Peter Wilson Hairston, expanded the tract to 4,200 acres and constructed the imposing Greek Revival style plantation house from 1853-1855. The house stands 50 feet tall with twelve rooms, a large central hall, and self-supporting wooden staircase. Additional features include woodwork by Philadelphia craftsmen and plasterwork by Italian workmen. The house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, remains private property of the Hairston family.