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Historical Summaries of Significant Mecklenburg County Rural Resources

Stroup Farm (U - 07), Back Creek Church Road. This pyramidal cottage was not included in the 1988 survey, but is a good example of this early twentieth century house type. Several barns and other outbuildings make this a good example of an early twentieth century farm. The property is highly threatened by I-485 and encroaching development.

 

Thrift Mill (MK 1683), Moore's Chapel Road. The mill opened in 1912 along the tracks of the Piedmont & Northern Railroad. The mill produced cotton cloth until it was sold in 1954 - 1955. Although the exact chronology is uncertain, the mill was used by Kendall Mill and Thrift Dye Works in the mid twentieth century. The original complex included three buildings: the two story main mill building, a large building with a sawtooth roof , and an unusual brick and frame building with a quarter-round barrel vault springing from a flat roof. The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a locally designated historic landmark.

 

Thrift Mill Village (MK 1684), off Moore's Chapel Road. This village is also known as the Kendall Mill Village because of the later tenant of the Thrift Mill complex. The curving streets of the village were probably laid out in the late 1910s or early 1920s. Two house types may be observed: a side gable cottage and a hip roof cottage. The curving streets are an unusual feature of the village although their designer is not known. Although many of the dwellings have received alterations and inexpensive replacement materials, the village character is still present and the houses neatly kept. The village is important for its own unusual design and for its relationship to the locally designated Thrift Mill, as well as to the Thrift Railroad Depot. Such villages built in the Mecklenburg County countryside were an important point of change in rural life in the county.

Thrift Mill Village Cemetery (MK 1692), Sullins Road. The exact history of the cemetery is somewhat confused involving both the Thrift Mill and the later Kendall Mill. But, as the earliest grave dates from the 1920s it was likely first associated with the Thrift Mill. The cemetery was given to the Thrift Baptist Church when the mill closed, but no church ever existed at this site although the mill had donated plots of land to both the Thrift Baptist and Methodist churches. This simple cemetery is important for its place in the community of Thrift and the greater understanding it affords us of life in this mill village.

 

Thrift P&N Depot (MK 1693), Old Mt. Holly Road. The Thrift P&N Depot was completed in 1912 and designed by noted Charlotte architect C. C. Hook. It is the only P&N station remaining in Mecklenburg County. The station's condition is becoming increasingly unstable. This building is significant for its associations with an important local architect, as well as its importance as the only surviving Mecklenburg P & N station. It is also important for its role in the mill community of Thrift. The expansion of mills into the countryside was allowed by the growth of the railroads and had a major impact on the development of rural Mecklenburg as an increasing number of people chose to leave the farm and work at the mills.

 

Tomlinson-Wilson House (MK 1298), Old Statesville Road. Built by the Tomlinson family in the 1840s, this I-house has two exterior end chimneys, which are stuccoed brick. The house sits on square-cut stone piers and has a front porch with square wood columns and a shed roof. The interior of the house is a center hall plan. The property is significant as a good example of traditional building types during the ante-bellum period.

 

Torance Store (MK 1480), Gilead Road. The original log cabin portion of this building was constructed in 1779 although not inhabited until after the Revolutionary War in the 1780s. The builder was Hugh Torance, a peddler from Salisbury. The prosperous peddler turned farmer built a two story addition onto the log cabin around 1796 and by 1800 he had built a fine brick home at the site of Cedar Grove next door. The store was opened by Hugh's son James in 1805 in the old house. With his success as a merchant and his parents' wealth James built Cedar Grove in 1831 - 1833. This property is a locally designated historic landmark.

 

Torance Mill (MK 1482), Gilead Road. Built by James Torance, the owner of Cedar Grove, the ruins of this grist and lumber mill include the foundation and first floor walls. Originally erected in 1824 - 1825, the mill was remodeled around 1844 by William Sigman. Although the frame millhouse, water wheel, and other equipment survived into the twentieth century, the present ruin does not include these features. The ruin is an important archaeological site because of its association with Cedar Grove and the information it may yield about early nineteenth century rural Mecklenburg County life. The property is a locally designated historic landmark.

 

Washam Farm (U-14), Davidson - Concord Road. This is an excellent example of a Craftsman Bungalow, most likely dating from the 1920s. Several outbuildings and expansive fields are extant. Mature trees survive in the front yard. This beautiful property is a fine example of its era. Just as important, however, is the property's location and contribution to the integrity of Davidson - Concord Road. The property is currently for sale.

 

WBT Transmitter Building (MK 1716), Nations Ford Road. It is ironic that Charlotte's first radio station, which would so greatly impact the lives of rural Mecklenburgers, began in a chicken coop. From this humble experiment WBT was born in 1922 and this transmitter building was constructed in 1929. The simple brick building with subtle Art Deco influences is significant for its role in important changes in Mecklenburg County. No longer dependent upon neighbors or newspapers, rural Mecklenburg became better informed and more in touch with Charlotte and surrounding communities than ever before via the radio. The changes this brought about may not have been dramatic or even visible today in the built environment. It is safe to say, however, that the radio station along with the automobile helped anchor rural Mecklenburg firmly in the twentieth century and the impact on the lives of people in rural areas is indisputable.

 

Richard Wearn House (MK 1715), Tuckaseegee Road. Richard Wearn, a native of Cornwall, England, came to Mecklenburg County in 1831. As Wearn prospered as a gold miner, he replaced an older log house with the main section of the present house around 1846. Two stories tall with a later rear one story ell, the simple house is indicative of the sort of dwelling built by rural Mecklenburgers at this time. This property is a locally designated historic landmark.

 

White Oak Plantation (MK 21), Hood Road. The 1792 house was the center of an exceptional cotton plantation. It was built for William Johnston, a Revolutionary War veteran. The Federal style plantation house was magnificent for a time when most Mecklenburgers were small pioneering families. The large double height portico is not original to the house. This property is a locally designated historic landmark.

 

Dr. Whitley's Office (MK 1215), Hillside Drive. Dr. Ayer Whitley is believed to have delivered 6,784 babies during his forty year tenure as Mint Hill's doctor. Setting up his practice in 1908 in the home of the previous doctor, he soon built this modest structure with two examination rooms near the house. The house was destroyed in 1986, but this building was moved to this location to avoid that fate. It offers important insight into the lives of early twentieth century rural Mecklenburgers. The property is a locally designated historic landmark.

 

Wilkinson-Mitchell House (MK 1524), Moore's Chapel Road. This house was built by Fabius Wilkinson in 1905 or 1907. The lumber for the house was provided by a sawmill on the property. Cotton and corn were the crops of choice here on this property. The house is a triple-A I-house form. Although the front porch is a replacement property is significant because of its setting. Well away from the road, the house is surrounded by fields that indicate the original appearance of the landscape. Also significant is the property's close proximity to the George Williamson house, creating an area where much of the rural character has been preserved.

 

George Williamson House (MK 1525), Moore's Chapel Road. Built shortly after 1875 on a 98 acre tract of land, the house is in a variation of the triple-A I-house form. A front gable projects from the roof which acts as the covering for the second level front porch. The chimneys feature a common bond with a decorative stretch of angled brick. Other features include six-over-six sash windows, glazed front doors, and turned porch balusters. The double porch form of this house is relatively rare in the Mecklenburg County inventory making the house a significant one. Also significant is the property's close proximity to the Wilkinson-Mitchell house, creating an area with a high level of integrity.

 

John Calvin Wilson House (MK 1218), Bain School Road. This house was constructed in 1886 for John C. Wilson a Mint Hill farmer. It was the seat of a 298 acre cotton and corn farm. The cotton produced here by the five tenant farmers living on the place would have been hauled by wagon to Matthews to be ginned. Wilson also operated a sawmill on the property. Lawrence Wilson inherited the farm and changed to dairy farming in the 1940s. The property was sold in 1944 with only eleven acres of land and ceased to be used as a farm. The house has detailing and a form inspired by the Queen Anne style popular in the late 1800s. This property is a locally designated historic landmark.

 

W.P. Wilson House (MK 1322), Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road. This house was moved from its original location and rebuilt in the 1880s. It was used as a Masonic Hall prior to the move. W.P. Wilson purchased the home in 1910 with 48 acres. The two story house has a side-gable roof and interior rear chimneys. There is a one story rear ell. Many alterations have occurred to the property over time. Outbuildings include a log barn, a log smokehouse, a frame granary, hog pens, and another frame outbuilding. Although alterations to the house and modern outbuildings have been added, the property is a fine example of a late nineteenth century farm. The fields in which the house is set make this a particularly valuable resource.

 

Wrisdon-Sadler House (MK 1526), Moore's Chapel Road. Built in the late nineteenth century by a Mr. Wrisdon, this eclectic style, double-pile house features inter chimneys rising through a hipped roof and a rear ell. The house also displays a three bay facade with four-over-four sash windows, a central gable, and bracketed eaves. The property was purchased by Mr. Wrisdon in the mid-nineteenth century from the Moore brothers, who owned a drugstore business in Charlotte.