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
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
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.