1. Name and location of the property: The property known as the
Oakley House is located at 129 Main Street, Pineville, North Carolina.
2. Name and address of the present owner of the property: The
present owner of the property is:
Charles R. and Frances Eubanks Yandell
PO Box 69
Pineville, NC 28134
3. Representative photographs of the property: This report
contains representative photographs of the property. Color slides are
available at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission office.
4. Maps depicting the location of the property:
This report contains a map depicting the location of the property. The UTM
coordinates are 17510195E 3882238N.
5. Current deed book reference to the property: The most recent
deed to this property is recorded in Mecklenburg County Deed Book 03453 on
page 210. The tax parcel number of the property is #22106410
6. A brief historical sketch of the property: This report contains
a brief historical sketch of the property.
7. A brief architectural description of the property: This report
contains a brief architectural description of the property.
8. Documentation of why and in what ways the property meets criteria
for designation set forth in N. C. G. S. 160A-400.5:
a.Special significance in terms of its history, architecture, and/or
cultural importance: The Commission judges that the property known as
the Oakley House does possess special significance in terms of
Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on the following
1)The house was built by C.S. Oakley, a prominent man of commerce in
Pineville, who owned the Pineville Lumber Company and was the President of
the Pineville Loan and Savings Bank.
2)The Oakley House is Pineville’s only example of an early twentieth
century grand town home with meticulous attention to architectural detail
3)The house is one of the few remaining historic homes on Main Street
and one of the last vestiges of the former residential streetscape of Main
4)For over eighty years the Oakley House was home to some of
Pineville’s leading citizens. Richard Eubanks, who occupied the house from
1930 to 1971, was a community leader and served on the Mecklenburg County
School Board for ten years. His son-in-law Charles R. Yandell, who lived
in the house from 1972 to 2002, has been active in Pineville local
government for nearly fifty years, serving as mayor, mayor pro-tem, and
several consecutive terms on the town council.
5)The Oakley House features elements of the Prairie Style, which is
extremely rare in Mecklenburg County.
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 Oakley House
meets this criterion.
9. 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 $3,600. The current appraised value of the lot is $561,200.
The current total tax value is $564,800.
10. Portion of property recommended for designation: The exterior
and interior of the House, and the property associated with the tax parcel
are recommended for historic designation.
Date of preparation of this report: May 2003
Prepared by: Stewart Gray and Dr. Paula M. Stathakis
Businessman and banker C.S. Oakley built the house that
bears his name on Pineville’s Main Street in the early 1920s. Pineville, a
rural hamlet eleven miles south of Charlotte, was historically a cotton
center. Originally named "Morrow’s Turnout," the town changed its name to
"Pineville" when the Charlotte, Columbia, and Augusta Railroad built a depot
there in 1852. The name Pineville derived from the large stands of pine
trees common in the area.
The town was incorporated in 1872, and its charter was locally famous for
its provision that prohibited the sale of “spirituous liquors” within the
town limits or within one mile from town.
By 1903, the population was nearly 700, and the majority of these
inhabitants were involved in some way with the production or processing of
cotton. According to D.A. Tompkins, by 1900 the town had ten stores,
[located in a commercial district of approximately two blocks] and three to
six thousand bales of cotton were sold there annually. In 1890, businessmen
from Charlotte established the Dover Yarn Mill. A weaving department was
added to the mill in 1902 that by then employed over two hundred operatives
on 9400 spindles and 400 looms.
The mill was purchased in 1902 by Chadwick-Hoskins Mills and acquired in
1946 by Cone Mills.
The cotton gin built by the Miller brothers in 1915 remained in
continuous operation, in various incarnations, until the 1970s.
In the autumn, farmers loaded their cotton onto mule-drawn wagons and lined
up for blocks outside of the gin, some spending the night in line, anxious
to gin and sell their cotton since this was the only income most of them had
to show for the year.
Local cotton farmers plowed with mules and flocked to town on Saturdays to
sell their crops, shop, pay debts, extend their credit, trade mules, and
take corn to the mill.
The Miller family owned most of the stores on the north side of Main Street,
and William Yandell owned most of the stores on the south side of Main
Street. There was substantial commercial diversity crammed into this two
block business district: four grocery stores, a dime store, a drug store, a
doctor’s office, a hardware store, two barbershops, a pool room, a beauty
shop, a radio repair shop, a livery stable and blacksmith, hotel rooms, the
Post Office, and ice house, movie theatre, a gas station and a funeral home.
Main Street, Pineville - 1915
The Pineville of C.S. Oakley’s day was a small cotton
town on a railroad line the quiet weekdays of which were punctuated by bustling
Saturdays in the mercantile and commercial shops along Main Street’s modest
business corridor. The mill whistle signaled the start of the day at 5:30
am. Whistles from steam engines and trains, the sound of tractors, A and T
model Fords, and the distant sounds of cows mooing formed part of the
ordinary daily experience of the Pineville resident. Of all of the town’s
inhabitants, Oakley was perhaps the most prominent of his day. He was a
leading man of business in the small town and was the owner of the
Pineville Lumber Company and the President of the Pineville Loan and Savings
Bank. Oakley acquired the property on which the house sits, then approximately four acres, in 1919
from W.E. Younts for $1500.00.
Little else is know about Oakley, but this large and stylish house amply
demonstrates his community status and preeminence. Of the grand houses that
once lined Pineville’s Main Street, this house was certainly the most finely
appointed and designed. The scale and fine millwork evident in the structure
are silent testimony to a man who was, for a brief time, influential,
upwardly mobile, and anxious to display this facility through the grandeur
of his home. Unfortunately, according to the scant references available for
Oakley in the public record, his fortunes appear to have dissipated as
quickly as they were amassed. By 1922, Oakley had declared bankruptcy and
had to sell the house at auction. J.M. Niven purchased the house, with the
high bid of $7500.00. Oakley’s wife Gertrude received $350.00 to satisfy her
claim of dower, and the house was formally transferred to Niven on January
According to local tradition, Oakley quickly left town after this unpleasant
change of fate.
The Niven family retained the house until 1935, when
they sold it to Richard Gatling Eubanks.
Eubanks, a native of Como, North Carolina, was educated at Major Baird’s
School in Charlotte and at Harvard University. During the First World War,
Eubanks served in the United States Navy and after the war worked as the
plant manager for the Southern Cotton Oil Company, located in Charlotte near
the intersection of Tremont and South Boulevard. He also served on the
Mecklenburg County School Board for ten years. He married Lila Hall, whose
family was established in Pineville, and whose family home was formerly
located across Main Street on the other side of the Main Street and Polk
Street intersection. William Lee Hall ran a general store next door to his
house and also owned a corn mill located behind the store.
Eubanks ca. 1950
Although the Oakley House was formally located “in
town,” the Eubanks family raised chickens, cows and a garden on their
four-acre tract. They also rented one acre to the Miller family who used it
to grow cotton. Tom Eubanks recalled several entertaining anecdotes about
growing up in the house. His father always wondered if Oakley hid any money
in the house, so he often looked in newel posts and other discrete locations
just in case. One afternoon Tom and his older brother Dick were playing with
a .22 rifle in the east-facing bedroom and shot out the window because they
did not realize the gun was loaded. The windowsill is still chipped from
this escapade. Tom Eubanks often hid from his music teacher, Anna Lee Younts
Hoffman, [who lived to be 103], in the music room closet. [The Eubanks
family designated the small room off the foyer as the music room.]
Invariably Anna Hoffman thought Tom was hiding outside which gave him some
reasonable opportunities to avoid or at least curtail his music lesson.
Perhaps the most intriguing stories were related to Tom
by their neighbor across the street, Mrs. Beulah Younts. Tom Eubanks
remembered that as a boy, the ladies of Pineville put on their formal attire
in the afternoons and sat on their front porches to watch the social
activity and to engage their neighbors and friends in conversation. Beulah
Younts sat on her porch finely dressed down to her white gloves, and would
often tell young Tom interesting stories about the old days in Pineville.
She related, for example, that several months after the Civil War ended, a
straggler came to their home; and as they tried to chase him away, the
family realized the bedraggled man was their father, who was so threadbare
and disheveled as to be unrecognizable. However her most memorable and most
mysterious story concerned the refugees that staggered through Pineville
after the Civil War. In those days, Main Street was narrower and unpaved.
The Oakley house was not yet built, and most of that lot was covered by a
stand of tall pine trees, and this became a place where the refugees camped
on their way through town. One evening, a little girl belonging to one of
these families died and was buried in the camp. Beulah Younts told Tom that
the child was buried in what is now a section of the Oakely House front
yard. Tom Eubanks says that no human remains have ever been found on the
property, but the family never disturbed the area where this burial was
alleged to have taken place. 
Richard and Lila Eubanks lived in the house until the
early 1970s. Richard Eubanks died on July 4, 1971, and after his death, the
house was conveyed to his daughter Frances and her husband Charles R.
Yandell. Charles Yandell is the son of William Yandell, both lifelong
Pineville residents and civic leaders. Charles married his childhood friend
Frances Eubanks in 1950, and the couple occupied the Oakley house from 1972 until
2002. The Yandells built the downstairs rear addition to the house. Charles
Yandell was educated at the University of South Carolina and served in the
United States Army Air Force during the Second World War. At 23 years of age
he was a second lieutenant and a navigator in the 8th Air Force.
On his fifth bombing mission, he and his crew were shot down fifty miles
from Dusseldorf, and he was subsequently taken prisoner, spending nine
months in Stalag 1.
When he returned to civilian life, he had a career as a pharmacist and a
pharmaceutical salesman for Eli Lily. Although Yandell traveled for his job,
he devoted a considerable part of his life to local government. He was
elected to his first position on the Pineville Town Council in 1946 and
served continuously on that board until the 1980s when he was elected mayor
pro-tem. He was elected mayor in 1988, and he remains civically active by
serving on various town boards.
The Oakley House has seen many changes in Pineville,
the most notable of which has been the result of increased suburban land use
and development in the area. As land prices rose in the late 1970s and into
the 1980s, farmers began to sell their cotton fields to developers. As
commercial and retail development converged on the town along the U.S. 521 and
corridors, the once rural area became more congested with new residents and
traffic, and less isolated from Charlotte. Antiques shops have replaced the
general stores that once dominated the town’s business district, and nearly
all of the town’s older stately homes have been removed to accommodate new
businesses along Main Street. The Oakley House is one of the few remaining
residential structures that provides a snapshot of early twentieth century
The Charlotte Observer, February 28, 1950, “Pineville Has Been
Important Area of Mecklenburg Since Its Founding;” The Charlotte
News, December 27, 1975, “Depot May Become Museum,” 8A.
The Charlotte News, Clippings file, Spangler Room, Public Library
of Mecklenburg County no date or title.
D.A. Tompkins, History Of Mecklenburg County and The City of
Charlotte From 1740-1903, Vol. 2, (Charlotte, N.C.: Charlotte
Printing House, 1903), p. 198.
LeGette Blythe and Charles Raven Brockman, Hornets’ Nest. The Story
of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, (Charlotte: McNally, 1961), p.
The Charlotte News, October 12, 1972, “Pineville Braces for Era
of Rapid Growth,” Tom Denton, 2C.
Joe Howard Griffin, Sr., “My Hometown, Pineville. History, Hearsay,
Memories, and Scrapbook of Pineville” Unpublished manuscript, property
of Thomas H. Eubanks.
Booklet, “Welcome to Pineville,” Clippings file; The Charlotte
Observer, October 18, 1989, “Where Cotton Wagons Once Rolled, Now
Cars, Antiques rule Pineville’s Main Street,” Dianne Whitacre, p. 20,
Joe Howard Griffin, Sr. “My Hometown, Pineville.”
Mecklenburg County Court House, Register of Deeds, Deed 412-265,
November 4, 1919. Younts acquired the property in 1885 from H. K. Reid,
The Charlotte Observer, July 13. 1988, “ 44 Year Old Memories
revived by Pineville Mayor’s POW Medal,” Pat Borden Gubbins, Mecklenburg
Joe Howard Griffin, Sr., “My Hometown Pineville.”
The Oakley House is a substantial and impressive
building. Built around 1920, the house incorporates architectural elements
associated with the Prairie and Craftsman Styles, but it shares none of the
cottage aesthetic associated with many of Mecklenburg County’s early 20th
Craftsman Style-influenced homes. Instead the house was a showplace,
reflecting the status of one of Pineville’s leading businessmen, and perhaps
advertising the stylish millwork available through his lumber business.
During the first half of the 20th century, the Oakley House was
considered the grandest house in the town of Pineville,
and a survey of existing homes near the town’s historical center supports
that contention. The only extant house identified with a similar degree
of stature and architectural elaboration is the 1883 Italinate-Style Younts
House, which sits across Main Street from the Oakley House.
The Oakley House faces north and is situated on a large
flat lot that is elevated above Main Street. The house sits 70 feet from
the road. The massed plan two-story house features a crossed gable design,
with a large gable over each elevation. Despite this, the house is notably
asymmetrical, with a great deal of effort having been taken to avoid flat
exterior walls. Among the house’s many notable architectural features,
perhaps the most prominent is the gabled front porch. Supported by massive
Prairie-Style square masonry piers, the large porch features boxed beams,
which curve down to form capitals. The piers were constructed with terra
cotta blocks covered with stucco, and etched to resemble masonry block, and
the concrete porch was covered with square tile. The westernmost end of the
porch extends beyond the house forming a cross-gabled porte-cochere, also
supported by massive Prairie Style square masonry piers. A curving drive,
consisting of two narrow strips of poured concrete, begins at the northwest
corner of the lot and runs through the carport. The house’s fenestration is
impressive, especially on the front elevation. The house is three bays
wide, with the front entrance and easternmost bay recessed approximately five
feet. The four-foot wide mahogany front door contains a single large
beveled light, and is border by tall single-light mahogany sidelights. The
easternmost bay contains a large picture window topped by a five-light transom.
To the west of the front door an even larger picture window is topped by an
eight-light transom. On the second-story the asymmetrical fenestration
continues with a prominent three-sided bay with another transom-topped
picture window set between double-hung four-over-one windows. The
three-sided bay is protected by a projecting secondary gable. To the east
of the three-sided bay, three more four-over-one double-hung windows are
ganged together. All ten of the house’s principal and secondary gables are
decorated with green shingle siding, and are supported by Craftsman-Style
brackets. The end of each bracket is beveled and protrudes through the
house’s substantial vergeboards. The vergeboards are topped with moulded
trim. A shed-roofed oriel is centered in the principal front gable, and
contains two four-vertical-light sash. The topmost section of the gable is a
vent, covered with square lattice.
The west elevation is nearly as complex as the front,
with the west gable of the porte-cochere, a square stuccoed stepped chimney,
and a large bowed five-window bay. The Chimney, like the porch piers and
the house’s brick foundation, is etched to resemble masonry block, and is
bordered on each side by pairs of three-lite casement windows. On the
second-story two sections of the wall cantilever over the first-story bowed
bay, with a secondary gable covering the most deeply projecting section.
The extended eave of the primary gable runs down to the porch roof.
Bay on west elevation
The east elevation is simpler, featuring one picture
window with a five-light transon, and a ribbon of four three-vertical-lite
casement windows. On the second-story, the wall section directly under
the east-facing gable is cantilevered out slightly and contains two pairs of
The rear of the house is covered by a single large
gable. A ribbon of three casement windows abut a shallow hipped-roof
kitchen wing and screened porch, which extend from the rear of the house
perhaps six feet. Above this another hipped bump-out encloses closets for
the upstairs bedroom. Original glazed panel doors remain in place. The
second-story is pierced by more four-over-one double-hung windows.
The most notable change to the exterior of the house is
the addition of vinyl siding, which obscures moulded corner boards, a wide
water table band over the foundation, and the vergeboard, brackets, and
rafter tails in the eaves. The small windows in the oriel have also been
covered. A large two-car garage has been added to the southwest corner of
the house, along with a one-story gabled rear bedroom addition. The ribbon
of casements windows on the rear of the house have been incorporated into a
new interior hallway.
The interior of the house is largely intact. Plaster
wall are found throughout, along with tall baseboards and simple but
pronounced door and window trim. Craftsman-Style interior features include
tapered interior posts, a corbelled brick fireplace, and numerous built-in
cabinets and window seats. I appears that all of the home’s French and
paneled interior doors remain in place with their original hardware. Narrow
strip oak floors are covered by carpet. The upstairs bedrooms appear to be
unaltered and feature original wall sconces. The upstairs bath features the
original tub and fixtures.
condition of the house appears to be good, and the integrity of the building
is high due to the large amount of original material.