SURVEY AND RESEARCH REPORT
THOMAS AND NANNIE JORDAN FARM
- Name and location
of the property: The property known as the Thomas and Nannie Jordan Farm is
located at 14601 Hus McGinnis Road, Huntersville, North Carolina.
- Name and address
of the present owner of the property is:
Dexter B. and Beulah F. Jordan
11401 Asbury Chapel Road
Huntersville, N.C. 28078
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:
- Current deed book
and tax parcel information for the property:
most recent deed to this property is recorded in Mecklenburg County Deed
Book 6224 on page 54. The Tax Parcel Number of the property is 02103117.
- A brief
historical sketch of the property: This report contains a
brief historical sketch of the property.
- A brief
architectural and physical description of the property: This report
contains a brief architectural and physical description of the property.
- 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 Thomas and Nannie Jordan Farm does possess special significance in terms of
Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on the
The Thomas and Nannie Jordan Farm, including its outbuildings,
is a physical reminder of the rural landscape of Mecklenburg County in the
mid-to-late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The farm
features a simple I-house form and outbuildings, which include a barn,
well house and blacksmith/carpenter shop. It is typical of the many
small farmsteads in the area that prospered in the years after the Civil
Thomas H. Jordan and Nannie Jordan and subsequent generations of
the Jordan family have owned this farm since the 1870s and have
demonstrated the entrepreneurial skills that have been necessary to
survive as yeoman agriculturalists in rural Mecklenburg County.
- 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
Thomas and Nannie Jordan 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 taxis on all or any portion of the property that becomes a
designated "historic landmark." The current appraised value of the
house and outbuilding is $59,300.00. The current appraised value
of the land is $249,800.00 The current total tax value is
Date of preparation of this report: November 2004
Prepared by: Paul Archambault
main house on the Thomas and Nannie Jordan Farm, located near Huntersville in Mecklenburg
County, North Carolina, was built during the 1870s according to the present owner, Dexter
Jordan. It was constructed during a time of growth and prosperity
for plantation owners and small farmers. The destruction of the agrarian
system in the South significantly affected much of the region’s economy.
However, the piedmont area of North Carolina, particularly Mecklenburg
County, experienced much development and expansion with the advent of the
Charlotte and South Carolina Railroad in 1852, and the Atlantic,
Tennessee, and Ohio Railroad in 1860.
In addition, Mecklenburg County suffered minimal capital damage with the
loss of slave labor, because there were few large plantations and an
abundance of smaller farms, which averaged one hundred acres in size.
The county’s population grew to 17, 374 as Charlotte rapidly evolved into
a major trading center for cotton and other goods.
primary crops grown on the Jordan Farm in the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries were cotton, corn, and wheat. In 1850, an
analysis of North Carolina agriculture showed that Mecklenburg County
ranked third in cotton production, eleventh in corn production, and
twelfth in wheat production. The introduction of the fertilizer
Peruvian guano dramatically increased the number of ginned bales from
6,112 in 1860 to 19,129 in 1880.
Local farmers, like Thomas Jordan, experienced a change in lifestyle due
to their successful yield of cotton. In the 1880s, Jordan added a kitchen
and dining room, a well house, and a full-width, hipped roof porch to his
simple I-house as other more ornate Folk Victorian domiciles were
constructed in the surrounding area.
Typical of many post-bellum farms in Mecklenburg County, the Jordan Farm
included a simple I-house, detached kitchen, well house,
blacksmith/carpenter shop, chicken house, and later a granary.
Thomas Jordan, born September 5, 1856, occupied and worked on the farm
until his death on August 18, 1894. Jordan was a man of many trades
as he not only grew crops, but was a blacksmith, carpenter, and gunsmith.
“Tom” as he was known, served the community by building cabinets, wagon
parts, caskets, and gunstocks. In the early 1890s, Thomas was
stricken with typhoid fever; and he would never fully recovered from his
sickness. While constructing wagon wheels for a local customer in
the heat of the summer, “Tom” collapsed and died. Upon his death,
the farm was inherited by his wife, Nannie.
Nannie Davis on October 8, 1866, Nannie married Thomas in the 1880s.
Nannie, a member of the Davis Family who owned the local general store,
cared for Oliver, their son, and the farm after Thomas’s death.
“Miss Nannie,” as her grandchildren referred to her, later remarried
a William Puett. He assisted with the farming duties along
with Oliver until Nannie and her husband moved and deeded the land to
Oliver in 1920.
Oliver Jordan, born on September 14, 1885, was only nine years old when
his father died. He learned the responsibilities of the farm at an
early age as he helped his dad pump the bellows for the furnace in the
blacksmith shop, which was not his favorite task. The youngster
quickly abandoned his blacksmith duties when Thomas passed away, and left
the shop available to the community. Oliver tended to the fields as he
continued to grow cotton, corn, wheat, and oats. In the 1920s and
1930s, he added a granary, garage, and an additional chicken and pig
the 1910s, Oliver and his wife, Minnie Ferrell, had three children by the
names of Olin, Eva, and Dexter. Growing up on the farm, the children took
on many chores. Dexter, the youngest sibling, recalls milking the cows and
setting the rabbit boxes before daylight and school everyday. After
performing those duties, Dexter walked to the nearby one-room schoolhouse
located approximately one mile from the farm at the present site of Asbury
United Methodist Church on Asbury Chapel Road. He attended the
school until the third grade when it closed, and later enrolled in a
four-room schoolhouse, which remains in existence near Old Statesville
Road. After seventh grade, Dexter and his siblings went to the high
school in Huntersville.
recreation away from the farm as a youth, Dexter enjoyed playing sandlot
baseball, usually against the black children from the nearby African
American church near the corner of Eastfield Road and Asbury Chapel Road.
Olin, on the other hand, hunted rabbits, squirrels, and fished during the
summers as Dexter never acquired the patience for those pursuits.
establishment of cotton mills in Charlotte and the surrounding small towns
in the county created work and prosperity for many small farmers. In 1910,
the production of cotton peaked as did the number of farms in Mecklenburg
Before the Great Depression, the primary monetary crop on the Jordan Farm
was cotton. Oliver, assisted by Olin and Dexter, made regular trips to the
cotton gin near Huntersville as he loaded the cotton in his wagon, which
was pulled by mules.
However, the introduction of the boll weevil, circa 1920, forced farmers
to resort to more expensive planting and cultivation techniques.
The Jordan’s continued to grow cotton until the 1940s when the demand and
cost for cotton began to decline.
young men in the 1930s and 1940s, Olin and Dexter began tending to a
majority of the farming duties, especially when Oliver became sick from
heat exhaustion and suffered poor health for two years. The Great
Depression added more responsibility for the boys as the family graciously
assisted other families in the area with planting and sharing food.
Minnie Ferrell Jordan’s brother lived on the farm for a short period when
he lost his job at a mill in Charlotte. After the Great Depression, the
primary crops grown on the farm were wheat, oats, and corn. Oliver,
Olin, and Dexter thrashed the wheat and took it to the mill to get flour,
and used the corn to make cornmeal. On Tuesday and Saturday they traveled
to Charlotte, and sold eggs and produce to their regular customers and
Dexter remained on the farm until he left in 1942 to serve in the Air
Force. During World War II, he was stationed in England until
October 1945. When Dexter returned home, he began working in
Charlotte at a radiator shop. In 1949, he married Beulah Ferrell, and
later built a house on property approximately two miles from the farm.
Dexter eventually opened his own shop in 1964 where he worked until he
sold the business to his partner and retired in 1986.
and Eva continued living at the farm with their parents when Dexter left
for the war in 1942. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration Act
in President Roosevelt’s New Deal reduced crop acreage and livestock
production, which affected the amount of work on the Jordan Farm.
Further, post-World War II development and expansion in
Charlotte-Mecklenburg County began to eliminate the rural character and
significance of farms.
To complicate matters further, Oliver Jordan died on April 1, 1956.
After Minnie’s death in 1979, the remaining farm and property was divided
among her children.
Olin Jordan tended to the garden next to the house where he grew and sold
okra and beans. Eva and her brother never married and lived the rest
of their years on the farm. Dexter urged Olin to sell the farm and
enjoy himself, but Olin was too sentimental and stubborn about selling the
property. After a car accident in 2001, Olin eventually moved to a
nursing home for better care. On December 27, 2003, Olin died, and
Dexter inherited the farm and twenty-eight acres of property. Dexter
continues to own the property and live with Beulah at his home on Asbury
The Thomas and Nannie Jordan Farm is located at 14601 Hus McGinnis Road south of
Huntersville town limits in north Mecklenburg County on a twenty-eight
acre parcel of land. Hus McGinnis Road is approximately five hundred
feet south of the farmhouse. The original structures on the farm,
built in the 1870s, incorporate the architectural elements associated with
the simple I-house form, which included a detached kitchen, and still
contain the well house, blacksmith/carpenter shop, barn, granary, chicken
house, pig house, and garage.
The farm property, originally one hundred acres, includes two large oak
trees in front of the house, and a small garden situated ten feet west of
the abode. The detached kitchen was originally located one hundred feet
east of the domicile. The rear of the Jordan’s house was originally
the front façade, and it faced north toward a road below the house.
A side-gabled wood blacksmith/carpenter shop and chicken house are
original farm structures, which are located near the old road
approximately one hundred fifty feet north of the house. A small
gabled, wood pig shelter and shed roof chicken house, built in the early
twentieth century, sit approximately sixty feet and forty-five feet
respectively north of the house. A two-story, wood granary,
constructed in the early twentieth century by Oliver Jordan, is covered
with standing seam metal and is situated thirty feet northeast of the
abode. The gabled garage, built in the 1930s, sits twenty feet north of
the house. A stone well surrounded by brick is situated forty feet
south of the residence. It is covered by a gabled, wood well house,
which was constructed in the late nineteenth century. Located
approximately one hundred twenty-five feet south of the domicile is a
two-story, gabled, log barn, built near the date of construction of the
house. The barn, which sheltered mules, cows, and horses, includes a
hipped roof extension around the entire perimeter of the original barn.
Finally, a concrete block springhouse is located twenty-five feet east of
The original house is a two-story, gabled house
covered with a seam metal roof. It is two-bays wide and one-bay
deep. The current front facade, originally the rear of the house, includes
a full-width, hipped-roof porch, which is supported by plain wood posts.
The wood porch, added in the 1880s, is supported by brick piers, and the
original house rests on fieldstone piers. A four-panel door and
six-over-six, sash window are sheltered by the porch roof on the
first-story. The second-story includes two, four-over-four, double
hung windows. The east elevation features an external chimney with
replacement bricks on the top section. A six-over-six, double hung
window is located on the first-story at the rear of the east elevation,
and a four-over-four, double hung window is situated above on the
second-story. The west elevation of the domicile features two,
six-over-six, double hung windows on the first-story, and a small,
multi-paned window, which is located on the top, center of the
The rear elevation, originally the front façade,
features two, six-over-six, sash windows on the first-story, and a large,
multi-paned window (originally a four-over-four, double hung window) on
the second-story. A one-bay wide, and two-bay deep, gabled addition
extends from the rear elevation, and includes a one-room, screened,
hipped-roof porch, which extends east from the addition. The porch
roof is supported by wood posts, and the porch rests on brick piers.
It shelters a four-panel door. The addition also features one
six-over-six, sash window on both sides, and a one-room, shed-roof wing,
which extends west of the addition. The rear addition rests on
concrete blocks which have been infilled.
The front entrance of the house leads into a large
sitting room. A wood frame fireplace with a wooden mantle is located
on the east wall of the room. It is located between a six-over-six
window, and the L-staircase door and entrance, which stretch along the
south and east wall. The walls in the sitting room are covered with
original, wooden flush boards, and the wood floor is covered with linoleum
tile. Two entrances with doors located on the west wall of the room lead
to two small rooms, which both have two, six-over-six double hung windows,
original wood floors, and walls covered with original wooden flush boards.
A six-over-six double hung window and an entrance (original house
entrance) to the rear addition are situated on the north wall.
The rear gabled two-room addition, added in the
1880s, served as the dining room and kitchen. A wood fireplace and
mantle are located on the north wall of the dining room, and two
six-over-six double hung windows are situated on the east and west walls.
The kitchen entrance is located on the north wall, which is west of the
fireplace. The walls in the kitchen and dining room are covered with wood
paneling and the floors are covered with linoleum, which cover the
original wooden floor. In addition, both rooms have a drop ceiling.
The kitchen’s north wall includes a six-over-six double hung window,
wooden cabinets, sink, and counter. A wood stove pipe opening is
located on top of the south wall along with a pantry door entrance.
The west wall of the kitchen includes an entrance to the bathroom, which
was built in 1949 when the Jordan’s added plumbing and electricity to the
house. A one-over-one window is located on the south wall of the
bathroom addition. The entrance to the enclosed screened porch is
located along the kitchen’s east wall.
The second floor is accessed by an L-staircase which
leads into a large bedroom where the Jordan children slept. It
includes a fireplace and wooden mantle, and a four-over-four double hung
window on the east wall. The north wall is covered with cardboard,
and the east wall features the entrance into an additional room, which
includes a six-over-six window on the south wall and a multi-paned window
on the north wall. Wood frame rafters and hand-hewn logs, which
support the metal roof, are visible in both second floor rooms.