Survey and Research Report
J. Leonard Cashion Farm
10500 Eastfield Road
and location of the property: The property known as the J. Leonard
Cashion Farm is located 10500 Eastfield Road.
and address of the current owner(s) of the property:
John K. Maxwell
3141 Butter Churn Lane
Matthews, NC 28105
photographs of the property: This report contains representative
photographs of the property.
map depicting the location of the property: This report contains a map
depicting the location of the property.
5. Current deed book reference to the property: The most recent
deed to the J. Leonard Cashion Farm can be found in Mecklenburg County Deed
Book 14185 Page 592. The Tax Identification Number for the property is
027-62-103. Two outbuildings associated with the Farm are located on an
adjoining parcel: the Tax Identification Number for this parcel is
027-62-101. The property is zoned R-3.
brief historical sketch of the property: This report contains a brief
historical sketch of the property prepared by Lara Ramsey.
brief architectural description of the property: This report contains a
brief architectural description of the property prepared by Lara Ramsey.
of why and in what ways the property meets the 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 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission judges
that the J. Leonard Cashion Farm possesses special significance in terms of
Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on the following
The J. Leonard Cashion Farm is a physical reminder of the rural
landscape of Mecklenburg County in the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries. The farm, with its traditional I-house, outbuildings, and nearby
tenant house, is typical of the many small farmsteads that flourished in the
county in the decades after the Civil War.
J. Leonard Cashion, who built the farm along Eastfield Road in the
mid-to-late 1880s, was the son of Burwell Cashion, a well-known and
prosperous farmer in Long Creek Township. Burwell and his son farmed
hundreds of acres, planting Indian corn, oats, wheat and cotton. What land
the two men didn’t plant themselves was tended by tenant farmers who lived
on the property. The family was also active in their small farming
community—Burwell founded Independence Hill Baptist Church, and both he and
his son were active members of the congregation. The property on which
Leonard Cashion’s farm sits was given to him by his father.
Integrity of design, workmanship, materials, feeling, and
contends that the architectural description prepared by Lara Ramsey
demonstrates that the J. Leonard Cashion Farm meets this criterion.
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 that becomes a
designated “historic landmark.” The current appraised value of the J.
Leonard Cashion Farm (excluding the wood shed and tenant house—their value
is unknown at this time) is $57,000.00—$11,000.00 for the house and
$46,000.00 for the 1.45 acres of land.
Date of preparation of this report: August 10, 2004
Prepared by: Lara Ramsey
2436 North Albany Avenue, Apt. 1
Chicago, IL 60647
The J. Leonard Cashion Farm, located at 10500 Eastfield Road in Mecklenburg
County, NC, is a property that possesses local historic significance as a
physical reminder of the rural landscape of Mecklenburg County in the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The years following the Civil War
were a time of growth and prosperity for Mecklenburg County’s farmers.
Agricultural production, which had always been the backbone of the county’s
economy, increased rapidly in the post-bellum decades, and the
ever-expanding number of rail lines helped to facilitate trade and led to
the development of Charlotte and other smaller towns linked by the
railroad. Between 1860 and 1900, the number of farms in Mecklenburg nearly
quadrupled—most of these farms were modest enterprises of 100 acres or less.
The Leonard Cashion Farm was one of these rural homesteads. Constructed in
the early 1880s, the simple frame I-house was built by Leonard Cashion on
land given to him by his father Burwell Cashion.
The J. Leonard Cashion Farm is also significant for its association with the
Cashion Family. Leonard’s father Burwell was a native of Mecklenburg
County, and owned a prosperous farm encompassing several hundred acres in
Long Creek Township. Burwell was also known as an active member of the small
farming community that grew up around the Atlantic, Tennessee & Ohio
Railroad between Charlotte and Huntersville. The elder Cashion founded
Independence Hill Baptist Church, and owned the land on which the Bethesda
Schoolhouse (which served the African American community in the area) was
built. Leonard helped to run Burwell’s farm and lived in his parent’s home
(located along Old Statesville Road) until 1881, when he married and began a
family of his own. It was probably around this time that Leonard built his
own house facing the tracks of the A T & O, on a portion of his father’s
farmland. Burwell deeded the roughly 100 acres surrounding the new house to
his son in 1885, and Leonard took over the farming of this land until the
turn of the twentieth century.
Historical Background Statement
Tenant house situated east of the main farmhouse
Rural Mecklenburg County
The J. Leonard Cashion Farm was built during a time of growth and prosperity
for Mecklenburg County’s farmers. Before the outbreak of the Civil War in
1861, the county’s economy, which was dominated by agriculture, was
thriving. In 1850, Mecklenburg County ranked third in the state in cotton
production, eleventh in corn production, and twelfth in wheat production.
With the building of the Charlotte & South Carolina Railroad in 1852,
movement of these goods became much easier and faster. By 1860 four railways
converged in Charlotte, which quickly evolved into a major trading center
for cotton and other goods.
While the Civil War took the lives of many soldiers from the county and
completely disrupted the lives of those who stayed behind, the economic
effects of the war were less severe than in many other areas of the South.
In their survey of rural resources in Mecklenburg County, Sherry Joines and
Dr. Dan Morrill explain the reason for the county’s relatively good
Because large plantations were few and small farms plentiful in Mecklenburg,
reduction of capital due to the loss of slaves was minimal. The average farm
size after the Civil War was one hundred acres. These smaller farms had not
been dependent upon slave labor, giving the owners an opportunity to replant
and recover quickly.
The number of railroads that survived the war were also crucial to helping
rebuild the county, and the system of rail lines that crisscrossed the
county (always passing through Charlotte) continued to expand in the years
after the conflict ended.
In the decades following the war, agricultural production—especially
production of cotton—in Mecklenburg County increased dramatically. This was
mainly due to the discovery of Peruvian guano as a fertilizer in 1860.
Between 1860 and 1880, cotton production in Mecklenburg county went from
6,112 bales to 19,129 bales.
The number of individual farms in the county also grew substantially during
these decades. In 1860, Mecklenburg contained 1182 farms; by 1880, the
county had 2645, over twice as many.
By 1900, the number of farms had risen to 4,190.
Most of these were modest farms of less than 100 acres, on which were grown
a variety of crops, including wheat, corn, and cotton.
The J. Leonard Cashion Farm
The J. Leonard Cashion Farm was one of the many farmsteads established
during these prosperous years in the late nineteenth century. The modest
farm that Leonard Cashion owned for approximately 17 years can perhaps be
more accurately viewed as a sort of extension of his father Burwell’s
farmstead. Burwell Cashion was born in Mecklenburg County in 1816, the son
of John Cashon and Margaret Wilmoth Loftis. After marrying Catherine
Deweese (also of Mecklenburg County) in 1836, Burwell set up a small
farmstead in Long Creek Township.
In the years leading up to the Civil War, Burwell Cashion slowly expanded
his landholdings and his farm operations; by 1860, the Cashion Farm had
grown to nearly 300 acres, 85 of which were improved. According to the 1860
Agriculture Schedule for Mecklenburg County, Burwell’s farm produced nearly
100 bushels of wheat, 600 bushels of Indian corn, and four bales of cotton.
The farm also included dozens of cattle, sheep, and hogs.
By 1870, the farm had grown even larger, with 100 acres of improved land,
and over 400 acres of unimproved land.
Burwell Cashion’s farmstead was by no means the largest in the area—some of
the area’s most successful planters held over 1000 acres—but he was
certainly more well off than most of the county’s farmers, many of whom
owned only 20 or 25 acres.
Burwell was also an active member of the small farming community in which he
lived. In 1872, he founded Independence Hill Baptist Church, so named for
its proximity to the site where the signing of Mecklenburg Declaration of
Independence took place.
It is likely that the land on which the church was built was donated by
Burwell Cashion. Cashion also deeded a small one-acre parcel of land in
1904 to the Mecklenburg County Board of Education; this lot contained the
Bethesda Schoolhouse, which served the African American community in Croft
and Mallard Creek.
J. Leonard Cashion was born in 1848 on the Burwell Cashion Farm. Like many
members of farming families, Leonard worked on his father’s farm as a young
man—because most men in the county during the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries farmed, it made sense for Leonard to learn as much as he
could about planting before inheriting his father’s farm or beginning his
own. Leonard worked the family farm and lived with his parents in their
home—a large, two-story farmhouse located along what is now Old Statesville
Road—until his marriage in 1881.
It was around that time that Leonard built the two-story, frame I-House on a
portion of his father’s farmland, facing the tracks of the Atlantic
Tennessee & Ohio Railroad. In 1885, a few years after Leonard and his wife
Mattie moved into their house, Burwell Cashion deeded 94 ¾ acres surrounding
it to Leonard.
Leonard Cashion continued to live and work on this modest farm through the
final decades of the nineteenth century. The 1900 census lists Leonard as a
farmer, although it is almost certain that there was a tenant who worked
part of the farm.
In 1902, Leonard Cashion and his family moved from the farm to East Fourth
Street in Charlotte. Cashion sold his 94 acres and house to P. Theodore
Christenbury, a prosperous farmer and landowner in the county. Leonard is
listed in Charlotte City Directories from the first years of the twentieth
century as a carpenter—although the 1902 directory does list the former
farmer as “retired.”
In August 1905, Burwell Cashion suffered a seemingly minor accident that
quickly became serious. The Charlotte News reported that “Mr. Cashion was
at his barn feeding his stock. A cow stepped on his foot, causing a slight
ebrasion [sic]. Blood poison soon developed and his entire limb has become
The wound proved fatal, and Burwell Cashion was buried at Independence Hill
Baptist Church on August 20, 1905.
In his will, Burwell left Leonard a small, two-acre plot of land located
between the A T & O railroad and Old Statesville Road. Leonard also sold
this modest lot, which was in front of his old farm house, to P. T.
Christenbury in 1907.
By 1910, Leonard Cashion was again overseeing portions of his father’s old
farmstead, although he continued to live on East Fourth Street in the city
His final years were spent in Huntersville, where he lived with his daughter
Grace until his death in 1931.
Under P. T. Christenbury’s ownership, the J. Leonard Cashion Farm stood
unoccupied for decades—the property was one of several that Christenbury
acquired for his three children. In 1933, with his son and two daughters
grown, P. T. Christenbury deeded to each of them a farmstead with a house
and approximately 100 acres of land.
Christenbury’s daughter Jane received the Leonard Cashion Farm. By that
time, Jane had already been living on the farm with her husband Thomas Moore
and daughter Doris—it is possible that Jane and Thomas had moved onto the
property soon after their marriage in 1927.
According to Jane’s grandson John Maxwell, Thomas Moore farmed cotton
through the 1930s, and later began a peony farm with the help of his
son-in-law, Charles Kimball Maxwell.
In 1950, Thomas and Jane deeded a 1.46-acre lot beside the Cashion farmhouse
to Doris and Charles Maxwell, where the couple built a one-story brick ranch
house for themselves.
Charles and Doris received the rest of the Leonard Cashion land from Doris’
parents in 1974. Thomas and Jane Moore continued to live in the farmhouse
until their deaths in 1982 and 1986. Today, the entire property is owned by
Doris Maxwell Family, LLC, care of John K. Maxwell.
The J. Leonard Cashion Farm is located at 10500 Eastfield Road, near the
Huntersville town limits in northern Mecklenburg County. The house sits on
a 1.45-acre site that borders the east side of Eastfield Road, and faces
south onto railroad tracks originally known as the Atlantic Tennessee and
Ohio Railroad. A one-story brick ranch house, built around 1950 for Doris
Moore Maxwell and her husband Charles, sits on an adjacent lot located
northeast of the Cashion farm. The farmhouse shares a portion of the gravel
drive that curves around to the brick ranch. Two outbuildings—a brick well
house attached to the rear of the farmhouse, and a small, flat roof, frame
chicken house—are on the same lot as the house. Two other outbuildings, a
frame storage shed and a tenant house, sit on a large, 63.55-acre parcel
that wraps around the two smaller lots. The wood frame, shed roof storage
building sits to the south of the farmhouse, and is in a state of
disrepair. The tenant house sits atop a small hill north of the brick
ranch house, facing Eastfield Road. The building is typical of the county’s
tenant houses—it is a one-story, front gable, frame building, very modest in
scale, with a small shed roof porch and exposed rafter tails. The standing
seam metal roof is pierced by a small, center chimney. The windows and door
of the house have been boarded over, and one of the wood beams supporting
the porch roof is missing, causing one side of the roof to drop. The tenant
house is directly in the path of the planned Interstate 485 extension.
The J. Leonard Cashion House is a two story, frame I-house approximately
three bays wide and one bay deep. A single-story, hipped-roof porch runs
along the façade (south elevation) of the house. Simple support beams rise
up along the porch to a wide, unadorned fascia, and a balustrade decorated
with sawn boards wraps around the three sides of the porch. Decorative
brackets adorn the top corners of the porch beams. A one-story gabled ell
extends from the rear (north elevation) of the house, creating what is
commonly known as a modified I-house form.
This ell contains the kitchen and dining room of the house. On the north
and south walls of this rear ell are partially enclosed, integral porches
that run the entire length of the ell. The lower halves of the porch walls
are covered with vertical board, and the upper halves were originally
screened. These porches were probably added to the ell in the late 1920s or
early 1930s. Another addition to the house that was probably constructed
during this time period is the narrow bathroom addition extending from the
east end of the house’s north (rear) elevation.
Porch Detail: note the sawn scroll-work typical of
the Victorian architectural details add to Mecklenburg County farmhouses
toward the end of the 19th century.
Two exterior brick chimneys are centered along the gable walls of the house,
and a small interior chimney pierces the center of the roof on the rear
ell. The roofs on the house, ell and front porch are all covered with
standing seam metal roofing, which has rusted but is in fairly good
condition. The exterior of the house is covered with wood boards that
appear to have once been painted white. Like many late nineteenth century
farmhouses, the Leonard Cashion Farm is ornamented only with applied
decorative details along the top of the porch columns and along the porch
balustrade; the cornice returns on the gable ends of the roof also provide a
subtler form of ornamentation. Six-over-six, double hung wood windows
regularly punctuate the walls of the house. All of the windows feature
simple, unadorned wood surrounds, with no shutters or awnings. The front
door of the house is centered along the façade, and is surrounded by two
three-paned sidelights and topped with a transom with two lights.
The front entrance of the house leads directly into the large sitting room.
Many of the architectural features—as well as much of the deterioration and
damage—seen in this room are also seen throughout the house. The oak
flooring, wood board walls covered with wallpaper, and simple door and
window surrounds and baseboards in the sitting room are in various states of
disrepair. A brick fireplace opening is centered along the west wall of the
room, between two windows; the wood mantle that originally covered the
exposed brick of the chimney is gone. A straight-run staircase stretches
along north wall of the room—the lower part of its railing is missing. A
door leading into the rear ell is located on the west side of the staircase
along this wall. A second door, located on the east side o the stair, leads
into a kind of ante-room that is part of the 1930s bathroom addition. This
small room in turn leads out onto the side porch along the east wall of the
rear ell, as well as to the dining room of the ell. In fact, this space is
little more than a series of four doors leading to different rooms in the
house. The dining room in the rear ell contains the only wood mantle
remaining within the house—this mantle along the room’s north wall stands
over a firebox that was closed, and apparently a wood stove replaced the
more traditional fireplace. A door to the east of the mantle leads into
A door centered along the east wall of the main sitting room leads into the
master bedroom, a large room that takes up the east bay of the first floor.
The northwest corner of the room is taken up with a closet, which gives the
otherwise rectangular room an irregular shape. The east wall of the bedroom
looks much like the west wall of the sitting room, with a brick firebox
(also without its mantle) flanked by two windows. A door along the north
wall of the room leads into the narrow bathroom addition.
The second floor of the Leonard Cashion House contains two bedrooms. The
stairway leads up to a generous center room; the south end of this room is
enclosed (probably when Jane and Thomas Moore moved into the house) and used
as an extra closet. Both bedrooms originally contained fireplaces with
mantles—the east bedroom contains stripped firebox seen on the first floor,
and the fireplace in the bedroom has been covered over.
interior of the Cashion House is in poor condition, the house as a whole
retains most of its significant features, and has been minimally altered.
It’s location, outbuildings (particularly the endangered tenant house), and
association with the Cashion Family all make the J. Leonard Cashion Farm a
significant, if fairly typical, example of farmsteads in late nineteenth
century Mecklenburg County.
Sherry J. Joines and Dr. Dan L. Morrill, “Historic Rural Resources in
Mecklenburg County, North
(7 August 2004), Ante-bellum Period.
 LeGette Blythe and Charles R.
Brockman, Hornet's Nest: The Story of Charlotte and
County (Charlotte: McNally of
Charlotte, 1961), 259-262.
 Sherry J. Joines and Dr. Dan L.
Morrill. “Historic Rural Resources in Mecklenburg County, North
(7 August 2004), Reconstruction.
 Thomas Hanchett, “Growth of
Charlotte: A History” <http://www.cmhpf.org/educhargrowth.htm>
 Sherry J. Joines and Dr. Dan L.
University of Virginia Geospatial and
Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data
ONLINE. 1998. University of Virginia. Available:
(7 August 2004).
“Descendents of Adriaen Hendricks
http://www.deweeses.com/aqwg41.htm> (7 August 2004)
 1860 United States Federal
Agriculture Schedule, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, p. 19-20.
 1870 United States Federal
Agriculture Schedule, Long Creek Township, Mecklenburg County, North
Carolina, p. 3-4.
 Branson’s North Carolina
Business Directory for 1872 (Raleigh, NC: Nichols & Gorman, 1872),
“Our Heritage,” Independence Hill
Baptist Church website
(7 August 2004).
Stewart Gray and Paula M.
Stathakis, “Survey and Research Report on the Bethesda Schoolhouse” <http://cmhpf.org/Surveys&RBethesda.htm#_edn18>
(8 August 2004).
 1880 United States Federal
Population Schedule, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, T_972, p. 625; 1900
United States Federal Population Schedule, Mallard Creek Township,
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, E.D.59, Page 12, Line 49.
 Mecklenburg County Deed Book 42,
 1900 United States Federal
Population Schedule, Mallard Creek Township, Mecklenburg County, North
Carolina, E.D. 59, Page 12, Line 49.
 Mecklenburg County Deed Book 170
Page 220; 1902 Charlotte City Directory, 231; 1907 Charlotte City
Directory, 248; 1909 Charlotte City Directory, 192.
 “Slight Accident May Cause
Death,” Charlotte News, 16 August 1905, 4.
 “Funeral of Mr. Cashion,”
Charlotte News, 21 August 1905, 5.
 Mecklenburg County Will Book “O”
Page 314-16; Mecklenburg County Deed Book 226 Page 38.
 1910 United States Federal
Population Schedule, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, E.D.
110, Family 104.
 1930 United States Federal
Population Schedule, Huntersville, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Roll
1707 Page 5A.
 Mecklenburg County Deed Book
846, Pages 126-128.
 Mecklenburg County Deed Book 846
Page 128; 1930 United States Federal Population Schedule, Mallard Creek
Township, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, E.D.58, Sheet 9A.
 John Maxwell, interview with
author, 31 July 2004.
 Mecklenburg County Deed Book
1444 Page 48.
 Mecklenburg County Deed Book
3692 Page 715; Social Security Administration. Social
Security Death Index, Master File. Orem, UT: Ancestry, Inc.
www.ancestry.com (7 August 2004); Mecklenburg County Deed Book
14185 Page 592.
 Virginia and Lee McAlester, A
Field Guide to American Houses (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000).