Summaries of Significant Mecklenburg County Rural Resources
J. Francis Abernathy House (MK 1485), Mt. Holly - Huntersville Road.
Built in the mid-nineteenth century, this ante-bellum house was the seat of
a large working farm. Although somewhat altered, the I-house provides an
excellent example of a typical farmstead from this period. The extensive
collection of outbuildings includes a log barn, a two-level log smokehouse,
a frame shed and a frame chicken house. The property's proximity to other
historic resources helps create an area with a high level of integrity along
Mt. Holly - Huntersville Road.
James Samuel Abernathy House (MK 1486), Mt. Holly - Huntersville Road.
The log core of this house was enlarged with a two story front gable wing
during the 1870s. Sawnwork details indicate the Folk Victorian style of the
update. Dr. Abernathy did not build the house, but lived here during his
years of service in the area during the late nineteenth and early twentieth
century. The house is not far from that of his competitor, Dr. W.P. Craven.
The two were known locally as "Dr. Pill and Dr. Powder." The house is an
important part of the rural character found along Mt. Holly - Huntersville
Richard Blythe Abernathy House (MK 1488), Pleasant Grove Road. Built
in 1906 by R.B. Abernathy, this dwelling is a classic I-house form. It is
two stories, one room deep, has a side gable roof and a rear gable-roofed
ell. There is an exterior chimney on the east gable side of the house. The
interior of the house is very simple. Ruins of a barn and shed indicate the
agricultural past of the house, but most impressive is the setting of the
house. Well off the road, the house is fronted by a huge field that gives a
good sense of the appearance of rural Mecklenburg at the turn of the
Hezekiah Alexander House (MK 1724), Shamrock Drive. This stately 1774
home is the oldest surviving house in Mecklenburg County. Alexander came
south from Pennsylvania in the 1760s. A prominent citizen, Alexander signed
the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and helped draft the North
Carolina Constitution and Bill of Rights. The property is operated as a
house museum and gives an excellent view into Colonial Mecklenburg County.
This property is a locally designated historic landmark and is listed on the
National Register of Historic Places.
Isaac Newton Alexander Mill Ruin (MK 1725), On the banks of Briar Creek.
Currently within the campus of Myers Park High School, this ruin illustrates
an important part of rural Mecklenburg County history. Built shortly after
1857 by Isaac N. Alexander, this water powered grist mill ground corn and
wheat for residents of the Sharon community. By the 1880s, the mill also
produced cottonseed oil, peanut oil, and castor bean oil. However, with the
industrialization of the 1890s, the two story frame mill became obsolete and
was eventually destroyed by an 1898 flood. The stone foundation walls remain
along with evidence of the flume, wheel well, canals, ditches, and roadways;
making this a valuable archaeological site. This property is a locally
designated historic landmark.
John Milton Alexander House (MK 1449), Beatties Ford Road. This
interesting house was completed in 1874 and exhibits many unusual Folk
Victorian decorative features. Alexander farmed forty-nine acres near the
house and ran a blacksmith shop, cotton gin, and sawmill with his
brother-in-law. Two tenant houses existed on the property in the 1870s. The
house is in a deteriorated state and has been compromised by modern houses
and mobile homes placed near it. None of its outbuildings still exist. It is
still significant architecturally, however, for its paired windows, sunburst
motif, and pendant brackets which create an exuberant dwelling uncommon in
W.T. Alexander House (MK 1254), Mallard Creek Church Road. This
plantation house was built in 1799 for John Orr. It became the centerpiece
of a major cotton plantation with approximately 1000 acres. William Tasse
Alexander acquired the Federal style house in the 1820s. Alexander was one
of a few Mecklenburg planters who owned more than thirty slaves. Thus, with
the abolition of slavery, Alexander lost much of his wealth. After the Civil
War, Alexander turned to alcohol for consolation and died in 1870.
Alexander's descendants still own the house. This property is a designated
W.T. Alexander Slave Cemetary, Mallard Creek Church Road. By 1861
Alexander owned more than thirty slaves, many of whom are buried in a
cemetery located in a wooded area off Mallard Creek Church Road. Apparently
a slave named Violet was a particular favorite of the Alexander family since
her's is the only grave with a marked headstone. This resource is one of the
few rural resources associated with the African - American slave population
during the ante-bellum period.
Barnhardt House (U - 11), Ramah Church Road. The historic name or
original owner is not presently known since this property was not included
in the 1988 Gatza Survey. It is, however, deemed to be a significant rural
resource because of its beautiful rural setting. The I-house is set well off
the road and surrounded by hay fields. It has several additions and some
Beaver Dam (MK 2), Davidson - Concord Road. This house was built in
1829 by Major William Davidson, II. It was the site of the meeting which
established Davidson College and is significant for this reason as well as
its architectural qualities. The log construction of the I-house is hidden
by weatherboards. Although, no outbuildings survive, the view to the fields
across the road from the house is significant in understanding rural life
during this period. This property is a locally designated historic landmark
and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.