THE EPHRAIM ALEXANDER McAULEY HOUSE
This report was written on October 1, 1999
CLICK HERE TO SEE RESTORATION VIDEO ON THIS PROPERTY
Ongoing restoration as of November 2009
Special Note: The Historic Landmarks Commission moved the
McAuley House to a site on the Huntersville-Concord Road in 2008.
1. Name and location of the property: The property known as the
Ephraim Alexander McAuley House is located at 14335
Road in the Long Creek Community of Mecklenburg County.
2. Name, address, and telephone number of the present owner of the
property: The present owner of the property is:
2100 Randolph Road
Charlotte, N.C. 28207
Telephone: (704) 376-9115
3. Representative photographs of the property: This report
contains representative photographs of the property.
4. A map depicting the location of the property: This report
contains a tax map that depicts the configuration and location of the
5. Current Deed Book Reference to the Property:
6. A brief historical sketch of the property: This report contains
a brief historical sketch of the property adapted from the National Register
of Historic Places registration form prepared by Frances P. Alexander and
Richard S. Mattson.
7. A brief architectural sketch of the property: This report
contains a brief architectural sketch of the property adapted from the
National Register of Historic Places registration form prepared by Frances
P. Alexander and Richard S. Mattson.
8. Documentation of why and in what ways the property meets the 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 Ephraim Alexander McAuley House and Farm does possess special
significance in terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its
judgment on the following considerations: 1) the McAuley House and Farm
represents the development of a typical Mecklenburg County farmstead in
the 19th and early 20th centuries, 2) the McAuley House and Farm is
significant for its illustration of traditional log building types and
methods of construction, 3) The McAuley House and Farm is further
significant for its expression of typical early 20th-century farmhouse
architecture and outbuilding types in the county, and 4) John Ellis
McAuley, who inherited the McAuley House and Farm from his father, was a
locally important craftsman and homebuilder in the Long Creek Community.
b. Integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling
and/or association: The Commission contends that the attached
architectural description by Frances P. Alexander and Richard S. Mattson
demonstrates that the Ephraim Alexander McAuley House and Farm meets this
9. Ad Valorem Tax Appraisal:
Date of Preparation of this Report: October 1, 1999
Prepared by: Dr. Dan L. Morrill
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission
2100 Randolph Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28207
Telephone: (704) 376-9115
Statement of Significance
Adapted from the National Register of Historic Places Registration
Form Prepared by Frances P. Alexander and Richard L. Mattson for the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission
Comprising a log house, a complex of associated outbuildings of both log
and frame, and 16.8 acres of pasturage and cropland, the McAuley Farm
represents the development of a typical Mecklenburg County farmstead in the
19th and early 20th centuries, and is therefore eligible for designation as
a local historic landmark. The McAuley Farm is also significant for its
illustration of traditional log building types and methods of construction.
It is further significant for its expression of typical early 20th-century
farmhouse architecture and outbuilding types in the county. Finally, John
Ellis McAuley, who inherited the property from his father and who
substantially remodeled the house in 1914, was a noted craftsman and
homebuilder in the Long Creek Community.
Note: This report was written in October of 1999.
The house has since been moved to 14335 Huntersville-Concord Road and is
currently undergoing restoration. None of the outbuildings, (with the
exception of the wellhouse) survive.
Located in a rural setting with rolling, wooded terrain and pasturage
surrounding the property, the McAuley Farm represents one of the more intact
agricultural complexes surviving in Mecklenburg County from the 19th and
early 20th centuries. The McAuley Farm consists of a two-story log house
(subsequently weatherboarded and then aluminum sided) built in 1881, an
assortment of log and
frame outbuildings arranged in a loosely defined square behind the 1881
McAuley House, and 16.8 acres of pristine fields north and south of this
farmhouse. The house, outbuildings, pasturage to the south and cultivated
fields to the north total approximately 16.8 acres. Contributing properties
consist of the two-story McAuley dwelling, the "old ell"(a workroom), an
auto garage, privy, a log corncrib, a log barn, and a brick well. The
farmland also contributes to the historic significance of the property. The
non-contributing buildings and structures consist of a wooden ca. 1940 well
canopy, a mobile home to the west of the 1881 farmhouse, as well as a frame
tool shed, pump house, and chicken coop. These three outbuildings are
located in the farmyard behind this house, and in form, materials, and
construction reflect outbuildings having the same functions as those built
during the early 20th century in the county.
The 1881 McAuley farmhouse is one of seven two-story log houses
identified in the county, and the only one erected after the Civil War.
Although remodeled and expanded to the rear, and now aluminum sided, the
house retains its original I-house form and central-hall plan. The principal
renovation of this 1881 house occurred in 1914, and many of the features
added at this time survive to portray a middle-class farmhouse of this
period in Mecklenburg County. Designed and crafted by Ephraim McAuley's son
John Ellis McAuley, a local house builder, the wraparound turned-post front
porch, mantels, doors, and staircase are notable features of this 1914
remodeling that survive essentially intact.
The 1881 McAuley House is a traditional I-house and represents the
numerous stages of remodeling and expansion. The original log, three-bay,
two-story main block flanked by
common bond brick end chimneys is an exceptionally late example of log
construction for farmhouses in the county. The house was weatherboarded
probably at the date of construction in 1881, and a frame real ell with
central corbelled chimney was added before the turn of the century. In 1914,
John Ellis McAuley, a house carpenter and son of the original owner Ephraim
McAuley, remodeled both the exterior and interior. Evidence of the exterior
modifications include the hip-roofed, turned-post front porch which wraps
around the front facade, the second-story window centered over the porch,
and the standing seam metal roof. John Ellis McAuley replaced the late
19th-century rear ell with a new one, and moved the "old ell," as the
McAuley family termed it, to a site west of the house where it still stands.
The interior has unique 1914 mantels in the two main rooms as well as in
the bedroom of the rear ell -- evidence of John Ellis McAuley's
craftsmanship and standards of design. These mantels have subtly curvilinear
shapes and hand-carved brackets and floral-patterned motifs. The mantels in
the two front rooms also feature mirrored overmantels. Five-panel doors with
box locks representing the 1914 renovation are evident throughout the
residence. John Ellis also altered the original plan of the main body of the
I-house, removing the original central hallway that divided the two front
rooms to enlarge the living room.
The 1881 McAuley House underwent modifications once again in 1968. During
the ownership of Murray McAuley, the weatherboards were covered with
aluminum siding, the
six-over-six windows that were installed in 1914 were replaced by larger
one-over-one panes, and the floors were covered with black-and-white tiles.
Murray McAuley also added an additional wing to the east side of the rear
elevation and enclosed the rear porch.
The McAuley farm complex also includes a ca. 1880 log corncrib and log
barn that represent in their basic forms and half-dovetail notched
construction outbuildings constructed of log in the county from the earliest
period of white settlement to the early 20th century. They are basically
intact vestiges of such log barns and cribs which once prevailed on
farmsteads across rural Mecklenburg but which are now rare. The contributing
early 20th-century frame auto garage and privy also represent in their forms
and construction these buildings types as they appeared locally in this
In 1859, Ephraim Alexander McAuley (1826-1909) bought a 98-acre tract
from Samuel Garrison for one thousand dollars, which began the since
uninterrupted McAuley presence on this land that continues today.1
The farm contained a small log cabin, which McAuley and his family lived in
until they built a larger, two-story log house in 1881.2
According to family tradition, MeAuley preferred to build the house out of
logs, even though such construction was long out of favor. The logs were
acquired from a neighbor, Columbus McCoy (1834-1912), and with the help of
other neighbors, the house was raised in April, 1881. 3
The year after he bought the 98-acre farm, E. A. MeAuley is shown in the
1860 census records as having 2 horses, 2 milk cows, 1 other cattle and 5
hogs. He raised 117 bushels of wheat, 200 bushels of corn, 10 bushels of
oats, 1 bale of cotton, l 0 bushels of peas and beans, 20 bushels of Irish
potatoes, 30 bushels of sweet potatoes, and produced 100 pounds of butter, 4
pounds of beeswax and 50 pounds of honey.4 Ten years later, his
production was still quite similar. In livestock, he had 2 horses, 1 mule, 3
milk cows, 2 working oxen, 5 other cattle, 7 sheep and 6 hogs; and produced
70 bushels of wheat, 300 bushels of corn, 30 bushels of oats, 3 bales of
cotton and 6 pounds of wool.5 In both crops and livestock, this
picture is typical for Mecklenburg County farmers in the post-bellum
At E. A. McAuley's death, the farm passed to his son, John Ellis McAuley
(1861-1929).6 John Ellis McAuley was a well-known builder,
master carpenter and toolmaker in the Hopewell area. He built a number of
houses in the Long Creek community that are still occupied today, including
Osborne House and the Lindsey Parks House; he also made the brick for,
St. Mark's Episcopal Church and its rectory.7 Taking great
pride in his work, McAuley was meticulous about his tools, many of which he
His tools were his great pride. They were stored in a special chest,
which fit on the back of his wagon, and when the chest was loaded, it
weighed five hundred pounds. Each tool was cleaned and polished and
whetted. . . At the end of the day's work, the tools were cleaned again,
cared for like favorite friends, neatly laid in their places again in the
Sometime in the 1890s, he moved in the two-story house to care for his
father, and, on the senior McAuley's death in 1909, inherited the family
farm. In 1914, John Ellis made extensive changes to the two-story house,
which is the appearance that it has today.9 Since John Ellis
usually stayed with the family for which he was building a house, coming
home only on weekends, and was not interested in farming, the farmstead was
successfully managed by his wife, Alice Eugenia Johnston McAuley, who put
five children through UNC-Chapel Hill.10 After John Ellis's
death in 1929, Alice McAuley received a life estate in the farm, and at her
death in 1960, Murray McAuley (1900-1982) received the two-story house and
farm as an inheritance and Murray's brother Cecil R. received the adjoining
parcel that had a smaller log cabin, which has subsequently been removed
from the property.11 Murray McAuley farmed the land, and in
addition to raising cotton and corn, also had cows, mules and chickens.12
The two-story house is presently owned by Evelyn R. McAuley, widow of
Murray. Although threatened by rampant development and the outerbelt highway
route, the McAuley farm remains as a fragile example of a post-Civil War
Mecklenburg County farm that has been in the same family for three
1 Mecklenburg County Deed Book 42, p. 395.
2 Interview with Paulette (Mrs. Cecil R.) McAuley and Evelyn
(Mrs. Murray) McAuley by Mary Beth Gatza, 1988.
4 1860 U.S. Census, Agricultural Schedules, Mecklenburg
5 1870 U.S. Census, Agricultural Schedules, Mecklenburg
6 E. A. McAuley is buried in the Gilead A.R.P. Church
cemetery. There is no record of the transfer.
7 William H. Huffman, "A
Historical Sketch of the St. Mark's Episcopal Church," Charlotte
Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, 1983. Mary Ellen Droppers,
"John Ellis McAuley: craftsman-builder of Hopewell," Mecklenburg Gazette,
May 28, 1981, p. 16.
8 Droppers, cited above.
9 Interviews with Evelyn McAuley by Richard Mattson and
William H. Huffman, 1989.
10 Droppers, cited above.
11 Mecklenburg County Will Book 19, p. 394; Deed Books 2148,
p. 262 and 4407, p. 446.
12 See note 2.