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The Wake County Committee of the Colonial Dames purchased the Joel Lane house in 1927. When the mortgage was retired in 1932, the Dames began purchasing items for the house. Over the years different County Committees of the Colonial Dames and individuals have made gifts to the house. From its purchase until its major restoration, the house had been used for meetings and rented to individuals who lived in it. When the house was opened as the Joel Lane Museum House in 1976, it was furnished and fitted out with items appropriate to the late eighteenth-century era.
Unfortunately only a few items in the house have a connection to Joel Lane, as all of his personal property was dispersed and the house rented following his death. We do have an inventory of his personal possessions, including a list of the people he enslaved, which was taken at the time of his death. We also have a list of items sold at the estate sale. Both lists are invaluable in identifying objects that supported family and plantation life in 1795.