City Directories and History: In case anyone should be interested, my son is renovating the old home place of William Henderson Carroll in Cherokee County – formerly in York County. W. H.
Carroll was my wife’s g-grandfather and from what we’ve heard and read, he was somehow involved in the petition process that led to the formation of Cherokee County. He was also a soldier of the Confederacy serving first in the Senior Guard and later on active duty in Virginia. He was wounded and captured at Fort Stedman near Petersburg Virginia at one of the last major battles before the surrender. Treated in a union field hospital at City Point, he was transported by ship to Washington DC and later to Elmira N.Y. where he was imprisoned until the war’s end. It was there he signed his oath of allegiance.
Near as I can figure, the house was probably built about the time Carroll acquired the Jumping Branch property in 1856 and married his second wife Susannah Bostic from Rutherford Co, N.C. [Interestingly, a portion of the W.H. Carroll property was owned by a William Carroll who sold it to a Seapock (Sepok, Seapaugh) family in 1810. It changed ownership within the Seapock family several times and was later sold along with additional acerage to W. H. Carroll in 1856. Makes me wonder if the Seapocks were related to the Carrolls and begs the question – was the house built by the Seapocks?] He previously had lived near Carroll’s Ford on Kings Creek on the Carroll family farm he purchased at auction about 1846 after his father Thomas Carroll died and his mother remarried. According to land records, that property also contained a gold mine.
In peeling away the layers during the renovation process we realized the house is all post and beam construction using mortise and tenon joints secured with wooden pegs. The framing displays some fine workmanship. Floors, ceilings and walls are all covered with t&g boards. Main sills of 12″x12″ oak 30+ ft long ran the length of the house but one has had to be replaced due to insect damage. The main body of the house had four rooms – two below and two above. Also, a shed roof off the front and back, each having one room with the remainder of the porch open. The back porch had earlier been removed to and the remaining back room was recently removed.. The four petition walls that formed the rooms were constructed of single thickness vertical boards. A massive stone chimney served a large fireplace on the lower level and a smaller one upstairs. The house is underpinned with stone on three sides and has a root cellar underneath.
The kitchen was said to have been separate from the house as was common in that day and time. Water was obtained from a spring about 1/4 mile away using a bucket, rope and pulley system devised by Carroll to avoid the long walk and steep climb back to the house. A well was later dug behind the house.
The current owners, have removed most of the “improvements” that were added since 1907 when W. H. Carroll, deeded the
property and house to his son J. G. Carroll and moved to Virginia. The house is now down to the basic structure except for vinyl siding that was applied in recent years. Considerable insect damage necessitated replacing the some sills, posts and wall boards. I’ve tried to document as much of the process as time would allow and have lots of photos, notes and measurements. Brian hopes to be adding onto the original structure with new construction later this year – 2014.
W. H. Carroll also operated a water powered mill below the house on the East Prong of Jumping Branch where some of the rockwork from the original dam can still be seen. My wife’s dad told me that the original mill built by his grandfather used a water powered turbine such as shown in one of the Foxfire Books. My wife’s grandfather, Johnson Goforth Carroll, built another mill near the same site using a conventional water wheel and used it to power a grist mill and a shingle mill. We have some photos of that mill and the dam that formed the mill pond but which was washed away about 1943. Using a metal detector we’ve uncovered lots of metal parts from the mill and also have three of the mill stones. There was also a kiln near the house where W.H. Carroll produced circular drain tiles, some of which have been unearthed in the bottoms and along the creek banks. The farm and house have now been in the family for going on six generations. [ Information written and shared by M. Ware – 10.4.14 Most images courtesy of M. Ware.]
Footnotes: Upon close examination, R&R preservationists, believe the Carroll house dates to the 1820’s period, if not earlier, having been constructed by a previous owner of the farm. The house shows exceptional craftsmanship in construction and joinery and the floor plan is similar to late 18th century designs found using log construction rather than more modern timber framing which became prevalent in the 19th century.
Carroll’s first wife Hannah Eliza Bird died Nov. 01, 1854 on or about the very day they were to leave with a wagon train going westward. They, along with several other families, had been removed from the Antioch Church roll in preparation for their westward journey. Carroll remained on in York Co. He later married 2nd Susannah Bostic of Rutherford Co. July 08, 1856. Then bought the land (with house?) Oct. 01, 1856.
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