SURVEY AND RESEARCH REPORT
The McLaughlin-Bost House
1. Name and location
of the property: The property known as the McLaughlin-Bost
House, located at 415 West John Street, Matthews, North Carolina.
Name and address of the present owner of the property:
Dixie Land Company LLC
PO Box 761
South Boston, VA 24592
photographs of the property: This report contains representative
photographs of the property.
Maps depicting the location of the property: This report
contains a map depicting the location of the property.
UTM coordinate: 17 524848E 3886231N
6. Current deed book
and tax parcel information for the property:
The Tax Parcel Number is of the property
is 22702604. Deed book number:
7. A brief historical
sketch of the property: This report contains a brief historical
sketch of the property.
8. A brief
architectural description of the property: This report contains
a brief architectural description of the property.
9. Documentation of
why and in what ways the property meets criteria for designation set
forth in N. C. G. S. 160A-400.5:
significance in terms of its history, architecture, and/or cultural
importance: The Commission judges that the property known as the
McLaughlin-Bost House does possess special significance in terms of
Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on the
The McLaughlin-Bost House, built ca. 1891, exhibits a high
degree of integrity, and is distinctive in design from the other
historic home in the Town of Matthews.
Situated on East John Street, the McLaughlin-Bost House is a
prominent component of the historic landscape of the Town of
The McLaughlin-Bost House was built by Joseph McLaughlin, a
prominent Mecklenburg County businessman who was formative in the
shaping of Matthews in the late 19th century.
b. Integrity of design, setting,
workmanship, materials, feeling and/or association: The
Commission contends that the physical and architectural description
which is included in this report demonstrates that the McLaughlin-Bost
House meets this criterion.
10. Ad Valorem tax
appraisal: The Commission is aware that designation would allow
the owner to apply for an automatic deferral of 50% of the Ad
Valorem taxes on all or any portion of the property which becomes a
designated "historic landmark." The current total appraised value of
the improvements is $89,800. The current appraised value of the land
is $987,700. The current total value is $1,077,500.
11. Portion of
property recommended for designation: The exterior of the house
and the property associated with the tax parcel are recommended for
Date of preparation of
this report: March 2005
Stewart Gray and Dr. Paula M. Stathakis
land on which the McLauglin Bost House is located was once part of
two parcels acquired by Charles Rhyon McLaughlin from T.A. Squires
in the spring of 1891. These parcels, totaling 61 acres were
purchased for $1245.00
Charles McLaughlin was the son of Joseph McLaughlin, a Charlotte
businessman. Joseph McLaughlin was an early investor in Matthews’
newly developing commercial row. In 1880, he and J.T. Barrnett of
Matthews became partners in the town’s first General Store,
McLaughlin and Barrnett.
Joseph McLaughlin built the house for his son, and also built a
house of the same plan, the Carpenter House, for one of his
daughters. The companion house was located on the current site of
Matthews Elementary School and was moved to a site across the street
sometime before 1935.
Matthews experienced significant growth in the late nineteenth
century, all of it a result of the construction of a segment of the
Central Carolina Railroad through the town. Prior to the arrival of
the railroad, Matthews was a small crossroads community. The town
was originally and informally known as Stumptown, because of the
number of tree stumps left from its earliest construction projects.
Stumptown acquired a Post Office in 1825 and the town named changed
its name to Fullwood after the first postmaster John M. Fullwood.
The area was settled by small farmers who raised cotton, corn and
subsistence crops. Prior to the arrival of the railroad, Fullwood
was also a stagecoach stop between Monroe and Charlotte.
tenor of the town changed irrevocably in 1874 with the construction
of a rail line and a stop for the Central Carolina Railroad, placing
Fullwood on the line between Wilmington and Tennessee. Railroad
officials decided to rename the stop in honor of Watson Matthews,
director of the Central Carolina Railroad. The first train blasted
through town on December 15, 1874. By the 1920s, thirteen trains
passed through Matthews every day. The water tank for the
locomotives was located in an area that came to be known as Tank
Town. Now known as Crestdale, the area is historically home to the
Matthews’s African American population.
railroad connected Matthews with the outside world and brought new
employment opportunities to local citizens, both black and white.
The railroad offered unique prospects to the local African American
population who were traditionally relegated to field labor and
domestic service. The railroad offered steady employment, cash
wages, housing, and later, insurance benefits.
Railroads breathe new life into sleepy crossroads communities, and
subsequent to the arrival of the Central Carolina, Matthews
developed a with commercial purpose. Farmers had the means to send
commodities to market and local entrepreneurs had the means to bring
in merchandise and produce from other areas. A small commercial
district developed near the railroad tracks by 1880.Within four
years of the establishment of McLaughlin and Barrnette six other
stores and a druggist joined them on commercial row. The 1889
Charlotte City Directory had an advertisement inviting investors to
consider Matthews where land was cheap and prospects just beginning.
By 1900, Captain T.J. Renfrow started his general merchandise
business and in 1906, he built the town’s cotton gin behind his
store. Matthews grew to the extent that it received its town charter
in March 1879. The 1880 census shows 91 residents in the new town of
Rhyon McLaughlin was a business and civic leader in Matthews. He
married Mary Belle Grier, the youngest child of Eli Clinton Grier
and Lydia Reid Grier. Eli Clinton Grier was a prominent farmer and
entrepreneur in the Providence Township. His substantial property
holdings were dedicated largely to the production of cotton. He is
credited with the construction of the first spinning mill in
Mecklenburg County. This enterprise, begun in 1874, had 350 spindles
and operated for eighteen months.
and Mary Belle McLaughlin had three children, Charles Joseph
[1891-1946], Mattie Grier [b. 1893], and Edmonia Martin [b. 1900].
Charles Joseph, or “Charlie Joe” as he was known about town, married
Valeria Rippey Webster and they had no children. Mattie and Edmonia
never married. Edmonia, Miss Monie, worked in the Mecklenburg County
Deeds Office under John Renfrow who was the Register of Deeds.
According to lifelong Matthews residents, sisters Margaret and Mary
Louise Phillips, Charles McLaughlin’s daughter Mattie claimed she
was born in the house. The date of her birth is 1893, and this ties
the house, generally assumed to have been built in 1891, more
concretely to a date in the early 1890s.
his lifetime, Charles R. McLaughlin was a prominent Matthews
citizen. He was a merchant, the mayor of Matthews, and a tax lister
for the Morningstar Township. He also donated land for the original
site of the Matthews United Methodist Church, approximately 7/8 of
an acre, on the corner of Charles and Ames Streets.
He and his wife also sold an acre of land to the Morningstar
Township Public School Committee for one dollar.
McLaughlin family owned the house for a few years. Charles
McLaughlin sold the house and 61 acres in 1900 to W.W. Alexander.
In 1912 Alexander deeded 27 ½ acres, the tract with the house, to
his son-in-law, W.J. Bost. Bost was married to Alexander’s daughter
Maggie and in the following year she acquired “the house and lot in
Matthews” in his will.
The 1900 census describes Bost as a farmer.
property subsequently occupied by Ernest Harold Bost and his wife
Sallie Q. Bost.
Harold Bost was employed by Southern Engineering. Sallie Bost,
originally from South Carolina, taught second grade at Matthews
Elementary School. Even during Harold and Sallie Bost’s tenure in
the house, the town maintained a rural character. Like many of their
neighbors, the Bosts had a large garden and they kept a cow in the
Harold and Sallie Bost had no children. After Harold's death, Sallie
Bost had a lifetime interest in the house. The property passed
from brothers Lloyd and Cliff Bost to Lloyd C. Bost Jr. who is the
current owner of the property.
1891 McLaughlin-Bost House faces roughly north and sits
approximately 50’ from the busy West John Street, four blocks west
of historic center of the town of Matthews. The one-story
house was built upon tall, closely spaced brick piers, and is
protected by a low-pitched hipped roof. The principle section
of the house is three bays wide, and two bays deep, and appears to
be rigidly symmetrical. A low-pitched hipped-roof porch,
covered with metal roof panels, spans nearly the entire width of the
façade. The porch roof is supported by four substantial
chamfered posts, and two chamfered pilasters. The posts and
pilasters are connected by guardrails that feature diagonal pickets.
Dilapidated wooden steps lead up to the porch. The porch
shelters double front doors that are centered between tall window
openings containing paired narrow double-hung four-over-four
windows. The front windows feature side-hinged screened shutters.
The most notable architectural feature of the McLaughlin-Bost House
is the front doorway, which contains paired panel-doors with
round-arched upper panels. The door panels display notable
relief and are framed with deep moulded trim. The doors are
topped with a transom featuring two horizontal oval lights.
The doorway also features double screen doors with sawn-work corner
braces. In contrast to the typical weather-board siding that
covers most of the house, the wall sections sheltered by the front
porch are clad by tongue-and-grooved boards, moulded with a
|Detail of Front Porch
McLaughlin-Bost House features a water table topped with a drip-cap,
corner boards, and a wide freeze board below a boxed soffit. The
only element that breaks with the strict symmetry of the principal
section of the house is the interior corbelled chimney which pierces
the roof to the west of the roof's peak.
side elevations of the principle section of the McLaughlin-Bost
House appear to be identical. The front-most bays of the east
and west elevations each feature a small hipped-roof porch
sheltering a single door topped with a transom. The side
porches are supported by chamfered posts like those found on the
front porch, and feature the same corrugated siding attached to the
façade. Each of the side porches is supported by a pair of
brick piers. No steps lead to the side porches. The rear
bays of the side elevations contain double-hung windows.
hipped-roof wing, built on tall brick piers, extends from the rear
of the principal section of the house. The rear wing is not
centered on the rear elevation of the principal section.
Although it is set back slightly, the narrow rear wing is aligned
with the west elevation of the principal section. The rear
wing is two bays deep and features a tall corbelled chimney.
The west elevation of the rear wing features two double-hung
Deterioration appears to be limited to the front porch.
outbuildings survive on the property.
house suffers from some obvious wood deterioration that may be
limited to the front porch steps and boxing. Unlike the vast
majority of Mecklenburg County’s historic houses that were built on
piers, the McLaughlin-Bost House has never been underpinned.
The only major alteration to have affected the house is a
block-construction bathroom attached to the rear of the south-east
corner of the principal section of the house. Several early 20th
century outbuildings survive, although their original usage is
difficult to determine. A large gabled shed sits to the west
of the house. A gabled building in poor condition sits
directly to the rear of the house.
|Grier-Furr House - 500 W. John Street,
||Reid House - 134 W. John Street,
terms of the built historic environment of the town of Matthews, the
McLaughlin-Bost House holds an important position. The massed,
square plan of the house is at odds with the more traditional
single-pile, or one-room-deep, houses that dominated Mecklenburg
County’s landscape until the 1890’s. The nearby ca. 1880
Grier-Furr House is an example of the single-pile design built in a
T-plan, one of the last incarnations of the single-pile design.
In form, the McLaughlin-Bost House is more similar to the one-story,
massed-plan Reid House. But where the Reid house features a
prominent corner tower and a wealth of decorative sawn-work details,
the McLaughlin-Bost House exhibits distinctive but restrained
decoration and symmetrical design. Built by the same family,
the Carpenter House appears to follow the same plan as the
McLaughlin-Bost House. The spacing of the fenestration and the
roof design of the two houses are nearly identical. However,
having been moved and featuring a later Craftsman Style front porch,
the Carpenter House does not exhibit the same high degree of
integrity found in the McLaughlin-Bost House.
 Mecklenburg County Courthouse, Deeds
77-298 (March 2, 1891) and 77-286 (February 24, 1891). Deed
77-298 conveyed the land on which the house is located.
 Paula Hartill Lester, Discover
Matthews. From Cotton to Corporate, (Town of Matthews
Tourism Council: Herff Jones Publishers, 1999), p 9.
 Interview with Margaret and Mary Louise
Phillips, March 4, 2005.
 Survey of African American Billings and
Sites in Mecklenburg County, Contextual Essay, Paula Stathakis
and Stewart Gray, 2002.
 Survey and Research Report, The Sidney and
Ethel Grier House.
 Hood, The Tunis Hood Family, p.
345; Interview with Talita Morgan, Historian for United
Methodist Church of Matthews, March 2005.
 Interview with Margaret and Mary Louise
Phillips; Dellman O. Hood, The Tunis Hood Family: Its Lineage
and Traditions [Portland, Oregon: Metropolitan Press, 1960],
 Charlotte Observer, February 11,
1952, p. 8-A, “Charles McLaughlin, Matthews Pioneer Succumbs at
83;” Lester, Discover Matthews, p. 66
 Deed 129-306, April 9, 1898. This
conveyance was valid as long as the land was used as a site for
a public school.
 Deed 152-166, November 8, 1900.
 Deed 303-76, November 19, 1912; Will Book
Q, p. 437. March 17, 1913, Will of W.W. Alexander.
 U.S. Census of the Population, 1900.
 Ernest Harold Bost was a son of W.J. and
 Interview, Margaret and Mary Louise
 Deed 4496-624, December 28, 1981. Deed
10848-835, October 22, 1999 transfers the property into Dixie
Land Company, LLC.