This report was written on June 9, 1997
1. Name and location of the property: The property known as the
Welch-McIntosh House is located at 3301 Gibbon Road in the Derita community
of Charlotte in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
2. Name, address, and telephone number of the present owner of the
property: The owner is :
Charlotte - Mecklenburg Historic Preservation Foundation, Inc.
2100 Randolph Road
Charlotte, North Carolina 28207
3. Representative Photographs of the property: This report
contains interior and exterior photographs of the property.
4. Maps depicting the location of the property: This report
contains a map depicting the location of the property.
5. Current deed book references to the property: The most recent
deed to the Welch-McIntosh House is listed Mecklenburg County Deed Book 8834
at Page 364. The Tax Parcel Number of the property is 045-372-27.
6. A brief historical description of the property: This report
contains a historical sketch of the property prepared by Dr. Dan L. Morrill.
7. A brief architectural description of the property: This report
contains an architectural description of the property prepared by Dr. Dan L.
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 history, architecture, and
cultural importance: The Commission judges that the property known as
the Welch-McIntosh House does possess special significance in terms of
Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The Commission bases its judgment on the
following considerations: 1) the Welch-McIntosh House is the best
preserved example of a transition Queen Anne style cottage in the Derita
community, 2) the Welch-McIntosh House documents the dispersal of urban
architecture into sections of rural Mecklenburg County in the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and 3) George Stewart Welch
(1867-1935) and Clara Rumple Welch (1868-1953), the initial owners of the
house, demonstrate the impact of Charlotte upon the development of truck
farming in turn-of-the-century Mecklenburg County.
b. Integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling,
and association: The Commission contends that the architectural
description by Dr. Dan L. Morrill included in this report demonstrates
that the Welch-McIntosh House meets this criterion.
9. Ad Valorem Tax Appraisal: The current Ad Valorem appraised
value of the 1.501 acres of land is $49,010. The current Ad Valorem
appraised value of the house is $4,290. The total Ad Valorem appraised value
is $53,300. The property is zoned R12MF.
Date of Preparation of this Report: June 9, 1997
Prepared by: Dr. Dan L. Morrill
Historic Landmarks Commission
2100 Randolph Road
Charlotte, N.C. 28207
Dr. Dan L. Morrill
June 9, 1997
The Welch-McIntosh House is located on Gibbon Road in the Derita
community in the north central portion of Mecklenburg County. Derita is
approximately six miles north of the city center of Charlotte. Sited on
1.501 acres of land on the south side of Gibbon Road, the Welch-McIntosh
property is located approximately one-half mile west of Derita's commercial
district, which borders the tracks of the Atlantic, Tennessee & Ohio
Railroad, now Norfolk Southern Railroad, which extend from Charlotte to just
beyond Mooresville, N.C. The Welch-McIntosh House is sited on a slight
knoll, and a lawn and a semicircular, gravel driveway separate the house
from Gibbon Road. The lawn contains mature trees. To the rear of the house,
the site descends gradually toward a creek. The only other structures on the
site are a well house to the immediate rear of the house, a privy and a
small storage shed. The proposed designation includes the Welch-McIntosh
House (interior and exterior) and 1.501 acres of land, plus the privy and
the well house.
The Welch-McIntosh House is a one and one-half story, double pile,
frame building with a one story rear ell on the southwest side of the house.
The house has weatherboard siding; a brick pier foundation (infilled except
for the porches during restoration), and a
hip roof covered in slate. A wide, balustraded wraparound porch is on
the front of the house, and an "L-shaped," balustraded porch extends across
the back of the house and along the east side of the rear ell. The front
wraparound porch has a shed, composition roof. A rock rubble stairway leads
to the front porch, which is surmounted at the front entrance by a
pedimented gable with broad eaves with returns. The main body of the roof
also has broad, overhanging eaves, as does a pedimented gable which is
located on the northwest corner of the house. The front door with transom is
original. Surrounded by a symmetrically molded architrave with corner
blocks, it retains its original screen door, which is modestly decorated
with filigree. Original doorways also open on to the rear porch, one
directly opposite from the front entrance and two along the rear projection
of the "L-shaped" porch (the door closer to the rear now opens on to an
enclosed laundry room). Two interior brick chimneys, each with a modestly
corbeled cap, penetrate the roof of the main block of the house; and an
interior brick chimney with plain cap extends above the roof of the rear el.
The predominant window type is 2/2
sash with large lights or panes. Pedimented dormers of identical design
with replacement windows are located on the center portions of the front and
rear elevations of the house. The interior of the Welch-McIntosh House is
strikingly original. The only major changes have been the construction of a
bathroom in the 1950's near the rear of a wide center hall that extends from
the front to the back of main block of the house, and the placement of
updated cabinets and fixtures (also in the 1950's) in the kitchen at the
southern end of the rear ell. Otherwise the interior features date from
1907. These include the mantels in the front four rooms, the doorways and
their hardware and surrounds, the base and ceiling molding, the
wainscoting in the center hall, and the newels, handrail, and pickets of
the "L-shaped" stairway that leads from the center hall in a single landing
to the second floor, which contains two rooms, completely paneled.
The Welch-McIntosh House has been modified. A modern bathroom was
installed in the 1950's, and the kitchen was updated in the same decade. At
some point in time the rear porch was extended over the well house -- a
feature which was eliminated during the recent restoration of the house --
and portions of the front porch were demolished -- the missing portions of
the front porch were rebuilt earlier this year. The spring house no longer
exists, nor do most of the outbuildings used during the years when George
Welch occupied the property as a farmer. The brick pier foundation has been
infilled with block which has been recessed. New cabinets have been placed
in the kitchen, and the house has a new central air conditioning and heating
system. On balance, however, the Welch-McIntosh House, both inside and
outside, is largely original. The house has individual significance
architecturally because it is the best preserved example of its stylistic
genre in the Derita community. Also, it demonstrates how an essentially
urban style, the transitional
Queen Anne style cottage, spread into rural Mecklenburg County in the
early twentieth century, especially into areas which were closely linked to
Charlotte by the railroad.
A History of the Welch-McIntosh
Dr. Dan L.Morrill
June 9, 1997
The Welch-McIntosh House was built in 1907 as the home of George Stewart
Welch (1867-1935) and his wife, Clara Lee Rumple Welch (1868-1953), whom he
had married on April 9, 1894. She was a native of Mecklenburg County and
Derita.1 This was not the couple's first home in the Derita
community. Previously renters, they decided to construct a residence on farm
land that Mr. Welch had already purchased.2 It is also reasonable
to assume that Welch and his wife needed a larger abode to rear their seven
children -- three sons and four daughters.3 The oldest child was
only 10 years old when the Welches moved into the Gibbon Road house.
A large, convivial man who enjoyed joking with and teasing his children,
George Welch was a resourceful and imaginative truck farmer. In addition to
raising crops, he was a dairyman and tended peach, apple and pear orchards.
He regularly delivered milk, butter, fruits and vegetables to customers in
Charlotte. One of Welch's stops was the Berryhill Store in Fourth Ward,
where he would deposit his farm products and pick up supplies for his wife.4
Another of his enterprises was establishing and superintending the North
Derita Poplar Springs, which was situated at the bottom of the hill behind
the house. "I wish to announce that I have opened the above Springs near
Derita and am prepared to properly fill orders in any quantity at reasonable
prices," Welch declared in an advertising circular that appeared in 1911.
The circular contains a photograph of a gable-roofed spring house (no longer
extant) and a horse-pulled delivery wagon. The product, of course, was pure
drinking water.5 Later the spring house was used to refrigerate
milk produced by Welch's cows.6 George Welch took an interest in
community affairs, especially education. He was the School Committee
Chairman of the Derita School for many years.7 The Derita
community grew up along the tracks of the Atlantic Tennessee & Ohio Railroad
in the second half of the nineteenth century.8 Now almost totally
engulfed by Charlotte's suburban sprawl, Derita was once a distinct trading
center for farmers in the region. The centerpiece of the neighborhood was
the commercial district beside the railroad tracks about one-half mile east
of the Welch-McIntosh House.
A leading storekeeper and the first postmaster in the community was Amos
L. Rumple, Clara Welch's father. He gave Derita its name. He named it after
one of his best friends, Derita Lewis.9 The Welch-McIntosh House
is situated on Gibbon Road, which parallels the tracks of the railroad just
northwest of Derita. Consequently, even in 1907, it stood on a well-traveled
road and was, therefore, readily accessible from the outside world. The
house is a more or less standardized early twentieth century dwelling,
suggestive more of urban or small town building forms than those found in
the countryside. It is of balloon-framed construction with mass-produced
sawn lumber and nails.10 Stylistically, the Welch-McIntosh House
is a Queen Anne style cottage. Part of the picturesque movement, the Queen
Anne style had been gaining popularity in Mecklenburg County since the
1870's. "Contrasting sharply with simple square or rectangular folk house
types, Queen Anne dwellings displayed consciously irregular forms, with
jutting wings and bays topped by interlocking hip and gable roofs," writes
architectural historian Richard L. Mattson.11 George Welch, a
diabetic in his later years, died in the Welch-McIntosh House on November 7,
1935, and was buried in the Sugar Creek Cemetery immediately across Sugar
Creek Road from the Church.12 His daughter, Ona Welch Puckett,
described her father thusly:
George Welch was a large man, usually weighing about 185-200 pounds.
He was grey at a very early age. He had a mustache part of his life, but
shaved it off in his late years of life. . . . He had blue eyes and fair
Clara Welch lived until June 3, 1953, when she too died in the house.14
Clara, a life-long member of Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church, is buried
beside her husband. According to her daughter Ruby McIntosh, Clara was a
"quiet, gentle person" who spent most of her years performing the routine
chores of homemaking -- cooking, washing, cleaning, etc. She enjoyed the
services of an African American maid, named Edna, for many years.15
Canning of vegetables from the garden lasted throughout the summer. Animals,
including pigs and horses, had to be fed. A typical meal for the family
would consist of corn, squash, beans, pork and cornbread. Clara never
complained and, according to her daughter, never had an argument with her
husband.16 According to Maurice McIntosh, Clara adamantly refused
to have a bathroom put in the house. She simply did not think it appropriate
to use indoor facilities. Consequently, the family continued to use the
outhouse, which still stands behind the dwelling, until after Clara's death
In 1936, Ruby Welch (1908 - ) married Fred Campbell McIntosh (1899-1953),
a native of Sanford, N.C. The two had met several years earlier on the front
porch of the Welch-McIntosh House, when he had accompanied a friend from
Charlotte on a visit. The next year Ruby and her husband established
residency in the house on Gibbon Road, because Ruby's sister, Ona, had moved
into Derita, leaving Clara alone. Fred McIntosh resided in the house until
his death in 1953, and Ruby stayed on until 1995, when she moved to a son's
house on Shasta Lane in Charlotte. Fred and Ruby McIntosh had two children,
both sons. They are Alfred Welch McIntosh (1939- ) and Maurice Daniel
McIntosh (1940- ).18
Fred McIntosh was a marble and tile setter. An employee of Renfrow Tile
and Marble Co. in Charlotte, he would lay tile in bathrooms of new homes,
install broken-tiled porches at houses, and place marble and tile floors in
commercial and industrial buildings, including the River Bend Duke Power
Plant in Gaston County. An outdoorsman, he loved to go fishing with his two
sons and tell them what to do. "Don't go to close to the shore." "Row over
that way." Ruby McIntosh, a nurse, worked outside the home after her
children started to school in the mid-1940's. She continued to rear her
children after her husband's death and met her many responsibilities with a
quiet but resolute demeanor. Maurice McIntosh remembers his childhood in the
Welch-Mcintosh House as an almost ideal, rural existence. He and his brother
Alfred used to catch all sorts of animals, pin them up, and nurture them.
These included frogs, birds of all sorts, squirrels, and snakes. Maurice was
also fond of guns. He would "ping bees" from the beehive that was always at
the corner of the house with his BB gun and shoot rats with his 22 rifle
when they ran across the fields of neighboring farmers at hay harvesting
time.19 In 1995, the Welch-McIntosh House became rental property.
The following year the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Preservation
Foundation acquired the house through donation from Ruby McIntosh and began
restoring it. That effort is still underway at the time of the preparation
of this report.
1 "Welch Family History," compiled by Ona Welch Puckett
(April, 1972). A copy of this manuscript is in the files of the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Mecklenburg County
Marriage Book 47, p. 646.
2 Interview of Ruby Welch McIntosh and Maurice Daniel McIntosh
by Dr. Dan L. Morrill (May 28, 1997). Hereinafter cited as "Interview."
3 The children of George and Clara Welch were Earl Parks Welch
(1895-1984), Oscar Blaine Welch (1897-1984), Waldo Pharr Welch (1901-1953),
Ona Marie Welch Puckett (1904-1996), Mabel Bertina Welch Ellis (1906-1994),
Ruby Hazeline Welch McIntosh (1908- ), and Beulah May Welch Dean (1912- ).
See "Welch Family History."
5 "Welch Family History." An original copy of this advertising
circular is in the files of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks
Commission. A concrete pad still marks the spot of the spring house at the
edge of the creek behind or south of the house.
6 Interview. Maurice McIntosh says that there used to be a
"churn house" immediately behind the main house, where milk was turned into
butter. He also remembers a row of milking stalls behind the house.
7 "Welch Family History."
8 The Atlantic, Tennessee and Ohio Railroad opened in 1860.
The tracks were taken up during the Civil War, because the Confederacy was
in desperate need of track for its heavily traveled railroads. The line did
not reopen until 1874 as part of the Atlanta & Charlotte Air Line. Its
auspicious name notwithstanding, the Atlantic, Tennessee and Ohio only ran
from Charlotte to Statesville, N.C. See Thomas W. Hanchett, "Charlotte And
Its Neighborhoods. The Growth of a New South City, 1850-1930" (1986), p. 16,
an unpublished manuscript in the files of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic
9 Christina Wright and Dr. Dan Morrill,
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Tours. Driving and Walking
(Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Preservation Fund, Inc., 1994), p. 30.
10 According to Ruby Welch McIntosh, the house was built by a
"Mr. High." Also, the lumber was fashioned from trees cut from her uncle's
farm on Beatties Ford Road (Interview).
11 Richard L. Mattson, "Historic Landscapes Of Mecklenburg
County,"(1991), pp. 20-21, a manuscript in the files of the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.
12 Mecklenburg County Death Book 47, Page 646. Charlotte
Observer (November 8, 1935).
13 "Welch Family History."
14 Charlotte Observer (June 4, 1953).
17 Telephone conversation with Maurice McIntosh by Dr. Dan L.
Morrill (May 29, 1997).