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["Berry Hill Version 2"] by Kenneth H. Cook.

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2/ Construction of Berry Hill was carried out by plantation slaves under the supervision of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Bruce himself. The body of the mansion incorporates into it portions of an 18th. century dwelling built by the Coles family. Just how much of the Coles house was included is not known, but according to Mrs. Myrtle Bruce Shipman, the back wall of the mansion, which for some unknown reason was never stuccoed, is from the Coles house. Dr. Henry Wilkins Lewis of Chapel Hill, who is related to Mrs. James Coles Bruce, has done considerable research into the Bruce family papers, and he says that nowhere in any of them, including letters or plantation journals, is the construction or furnishing of Berry Hill mentioned. The late Malcom Graeme Bruce said that he had heard his father, Alexander, the son of James Coles Bruce, say that Mr. Bruce said the cost of construction and furnishings ran well over $100,000, and that this did not include the estimated cost of the slave labor. Berry Hill is built of brick, with the walls being solid. At the basement level they are several feet thick, and gradually diminish until they are only about two feet thick at the top. The exterior is whitewashed stucco. The stucco was made with milk rather than with water, since milk gave it a smoother consistency. The stucco was scored to resemble a shlar, and traces of this scoring still can be seen, particularly on the side walls. The window and door sills, the floor and steps of the portico, and the floor of the collonade, all are of granite that was quarried locally. The beautifully cared frame around the front door is also of granite, but was imported from Georgia, it being of much finer quality.