The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is pleased to announce that two historic districts and eight individual properties across the state have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In addition, three previously listed historic districts received additional historical documentation and one of those districts received a boundary adjustment through both an increase and a decrease. The following properties were reviewed by the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee and subsequently nominated by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register for consideration for listing in the National Register, which is maintained by the National Park Service. Nominations must be approved by the federal government through the Keeper of the National Register to be included in the National Register.
“North Carolina continues to be a leader in preserving historic places treasured by their communities,” said Secretary Reid Wilson, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “Adding new properties to the National Register of Historic Places spurs local economic development, preserves community identity, and expands and diversifies the story of North Carolina.”
The listing of a property in the National Register places no obligation or restriction on a private owner using private resources to maintain or alter the property. Over the years, various federal and state incentives have been introduced to assist private preservation initiatives, including tax credits for the rehabilitation of National Register properties. As of January 1, 2021, over 4,036 historic rehabilitation projects with an estimated private investment of over $3.216 billion have been completed.
In Western North Carolina
South Asheville Cemetery and St. John ‘A’ Baptist Church, Asheville, Buncombe County, listed 9/8/2021
South Asheville Cemetery and St. John ‘A’ Baptist Church are locally significant under Criterion A as a reflection of the development of the traditionally African American community of South Asheville, weaving together the areas of settlement, community development, African American ethnic heritage, and social history. As the oldest burying ground for Black residents in western North Carolina, South Asheville Cemetery is an important repository of the African American presence in Asheville during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The South Asheville Cemetery began in the 1800s as aburial site for people enslaved by William and Sarah McDowell, and around 1920, the two community churches—St. John ‘A’ Baptist and St. Mark AME—organized a Cemetery Board/Burial Association. The vast majority of the nearly 2,000 graves were unmarked or were marked with wooden crosses, stones, or other impermanent object and fewer than 100 gravestones are present in the cemetery, dating primarily from the early twentieth century. The sanctuary of St. John ‘A’ Baptist Church, erected in 1929, is the third structure built for the congregation at this location. The one-story gable-front brick sanctuary is executed in a simple Gothic Revival style with two square corner towers, bell cupola, and lancet-arch windows. St. John ‘A’ Baptist Church meets Criteria Consideration A and the South Asheville Cemetery meets Criteria Consideration D because the properties derive their primary significance from important historical associations with the development of the South Asheville community, African American ethnic heritage, and the social history of burial practices.
Robbinsville Downtown Historic District, Robbinsville, Graham County, listed 9/3/2021
The Robbinsville Downtown Historic District is locally significant under Criterion A, in the areas of Commerce, Politics/Government, and Education. The town exemplifies the major development period and economic prosperity that existed in the community from c. 1872 through the mid-1960s. Commercial development in the town primarily served the local Robbinsville and Graham County communities, but as tourism grew in importance throughout Graham County and western North Carolina, several hotels were built for visitors to the area. As the county seat of Graham County, the town’s history is closely tied to the ongoing presence of the county courthouse. The Courthouse was individually listed in the National Register in 2007, significant in the areas of Politics/Government and Architecture. Numerous buildings in the district are related to public education and the central operations of the county school district still located within the historic district in downtown Robbinsville. The district is also locally significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture for the concentration of intact examples of commercial, institutional, industrial, and residential building types, built in vernacular, commercial, Colonial Revival, Neoclassical, Tudor Revival, and Modern Movement Ranch styles. Of particular significance in the district is the significant concentration of stone craftsmanship in buildings and retaining walls dating from ca. 1925-ca. 1958, many of which were built during the Works Project Administration (WPA) dating from 1935-1943.
In Eastern North Carolina
Earle W. Webb, Jr. Memorial Civic Center and Library, Morehead City, Carteret County, listed 8/20/2021
The Earle W. Webb, Jr. Memorial Civic Center and Library is significant under Criterion C for Architecture as a good extant example of a substantial Colonial Revival-style public building in Morehead City. It is significant at the local level with a period of significance from 1930, when it was built, to 1937 when it was reconfigured to house the local library.
Enfield Historic District, Enfield, Halifax County, listed 8/16/2021
The Enfield Historic District is significant at the local level under Criterion A for Commerce as an important trading center for the southern portion of Halifax County. Townspeople and local farmers came to Enfield’s commercial district for basic shopping and business needs, professional services, civic activities, entertainment venues. The district is significant at the local level under Criterion A for Industry as an important processing center for farmers in the southern portion of Halifax County. Farmers in the region grew primarily cotton, corn, tobacco, and peanuts during the period of significance. Enfield’s
industrial center included cotton gins, gristmills, tobacco warehouses and a stemmery, and peanut sorting and cleaning facilities. Agricultural products were then transported to other markets on the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, which was completed in Enfield in 1840 and operated a freight depot until the late twentieth century. The Enfield Historic District is significant at the local level under Criterion C for Architecture. The district includes both vernacular and high-style buildings that demonstrate national stylistic trends during the period of significance, 1833 to c.1972, and include Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, Romanesque Revival, Classical Revival, Spanish Revival, Neoclassical, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Period Cottage, Art Deco, Minimal Traditional, Ranch, and Modernist, as well as vernacular residential and commercial buildings.
In Central and Southeastern North Carolina
Downtown Sanford Historic District (Boundary Increase, Boundary Decrease, and Additional Documentation), Sanford, Lee County, listed 8/16/2021
Building on the original 1985 Downtown Sanford Historic District nomination, this nomination provides updates through Additional Documentation, a Boundary Decrease, and a Boundary Increase. Established in 1872 at the intersection of two rail lines, Sanford grew as a center of trade and retail for the surrounding rural communities and was known for its brownstone quarrying and brick-making industries, as well as textile, tobacco, and furniture manufacturing. The Period of Significance for the original district ended in 1935, yet Sanford continued to be a center of commercial and industrial activities for the county for decades. The Additional Documentation includes additional historic background and context in the areas of Architecture, Commerce, Industry, African American Ethnic Heritage, and Civil Rights for the period from 1935 through the 1970s. The Boundary Increase expands the district in three different areas that share a development history with resources in the original district. This document also includes three small boundary decrease areas to remove excess vacant, altered, or non-historic buildings.
Elizabeth and Bowman Gray Jr. House, Lewisville vicinity, Forsyth County, listed 8/24/2021
Elizabeth and Bowman Gray Jr.’s 1950 residence at Brookberry Farm is significant under Criterion C for architecture as a remarkably intact and locally significant Forsyth County example of a William Roy Wallace-designed Georgian Revival dwelling. Although the prolific Winston-Salem architect rendered plans for many residences, the Gray House is notable due to its size and finely executed classical features. The house displays academically rendered elements of the Georgian style of the American colonies as revived during the early- to mid-twentieth century. Wallace emulated colonial Tidewater Virginia plantations as well as the manorial aesthetic and rambling asymmetrical tripartite plan of Bowman Gray’s parents’ commodious Norman Revival home, Graylyn. Significant exterior Georgian Revival features include the brick walls, slate roof, concave cornice, classical west entrance surround, paneled wood doors, multi-pane double-hung wood sash, and operable louvered wood shutters, while the interior retains smooth plaster walls and ceilings, tongue-and-groove oak floors, molded classical woodwork, paneled wainscoting; and classical mantels. Three outbuildings and designed landscape elements from the 1950s are intact.
Ella Brown Cannon House, Salisbury, Rowan County, listed 8/24/2021
The Ella Brown Cannon House, with its elegant bowed Corinthian portico, stands today as an early, accomplished, fully-developed, and intact exemplar of the Southern Colonial Revival style in North Carolina with statewide significance in the area of architecture. The mansion satisfies National Register Criterion C and embodies the distinctive characteristics of the Southern Colonial Revival in its period of favor in the state, the opening decades of the 20th century. Its design and construction represent the work of masters in those fields, James Mackson McMichael and Alfred Ross Lazenby, respectively. Mr. McMichael designed the house for Mrs. Cannon in 1904, and it was constructed by Mr. Lazenby in 1905.
Graves-Fields House, Raleigh, Wake County, listed 8/16/2021
The Graves-Fields House is locally significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture as an excellent and intact example of the Queen Anne style as exhibited by the most financially successful Oberlin homeowners in the first decades of the development of that freedmen’s village. Characteristic Queen Anne elements on the exterior of the two-story house include asymmetrical massing, a two-story polygonal bay window, pyramidal-roof tower, carved and turned decorative detailing on the wrap-around porch, faux-shingling the gable ends, and stained glass in multi-light windows. Interior details include beadboard wainscot, a stair with turned balusters and newel post, and mantels with turned colonettes, bracketed shelves, mirrored overmantels, and Eastlake-style carving. The period of significance is ca. 1886, the approximate date the two-story section was built and alterations were made to the ca. 1865 single-story Greek Revival dwelling to make it a rear wing. This house was previously listed as the Willis M. Graves House in 2002, and this nomination was prepared relist the house after it was moved to save it from demolition. The Graves-Fields House also meets Criteria Consideration B for moved properties that retain integrity and derive significance primarily from architectural value.
John N. Smith Cemetery, Southport, Brunswick County, listed 8/9/2021
The John N. Smith Cemetery possesses local significance under Criterion A in the areas of Social History and Black Ethnic Heritage. The Cemetery, Southport’s only extant African American resource with origins in the Reconstruction era, meets Criteria Consideration D as the burial ground established in 1874 derives its primary significance from its age, manifestation of traditional African American burial practices, and the rarity of tangible resources representing the economic, social, and cultural history of Southport’s Black community from Reconstruction through the racially segregated Jim Crow era to the present. The cemetery was acquired in 1880 by trustees of what became St. James African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, which was the town’s only Black congregation at that time. The two-acre site, expanded by 1.5 acres in 1949 through the collective effort of Southport’s five African American churches, served as the Black community’s sole communal burial ground until Northwood Cemetery, established in 1936 two blocks away, was integrated in 1974. The cemetery displays physical characteristics of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century African American burial grounds, including its layout, landscaping, and types of vernacular and professionally carved grave markers.
Mount Airy Historic District (Additional Documentation), Mount Airy, Surry County, listed 9/2/2021
The Mount Airy Historic District (Additional Documentation) updates the original Mount Airy Historic District (NRHP 1985) located in the city of Mount Airy, North Carolina. The 1985 district embraces the historic commercial and residential heart of the city, which grew from an antebellum village to a prosperous marketing and industrial center during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The additional documentation provides additional context for the district’s architectural and historical development through the mid-twentieth century, thereby extending the district’s Period of Significance to 1968. It also updates the district’s inventory list to reflect the current appearance and contributing/noncontributing status.
Pilot Hosiery Mill, Pilot Mountain, Surry County, listed 8/24/2021
Pilot Hosiery Mill possesses local significance under Criterion A for industry due to its role as one of three primary textile manufacturers driving Pilot Mountain’s economy and Criterion C for architecture as one of the town’s few intact mid-twentieth-century industrial buildings. In June 1943, Pilot Mountain resident Robah B. Davis and Mount Airy residents James S. Dix and T. C. Barber incorporated Pilot Mountain Hosiery Mills, and the plant was operational within a year, but ceased production by 1946. In September 1949, High Point residents, Charles E. Sowdon and Walter B. Thomas, Jr., established Pilot Hosiery Mills, Inc., when Robah Davis leased the factory to them for manufacture of fine-gauge men’s socks. The concern twice expanded the plant and utilized it until closing in 2011. When the plant was operating three daily shifts at maximum capacity in the 1960s and early 1970s, approximately one hundred employees produced up to ten thousand dozen socks per week. The building epitomizes functional mid-twentieth-century industrial design with exposed structural system comprises concrete-block exterior walls, steel I-beams and posts, wood joists and rafters, and narrow hardwood first- and second-story floors and poured-concrete basement floors. Large multipane steel-frame casement windows illuminated the interior. Manufacturing and storage areas retain open plans and the office configuration on the 1956 addition’s second story is intact.
Saint Augustine’s College Campus (Additional Documentation), Raleigh, Wake County, listed 8/18/2021
When originally listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the Saint Augustine’s College Campus historic district’s area of significance was Education under Criterion A. This nomination update affirms the district’s significance under Criterion A in the area of Education and couples it with Ethnic Heritage: Black, which was implied but not an option at the time of its nomination. The period of significance for the district originally was 1867-1930. It was listed with statewide significance. This update refines the period of significance to begin in 1895, with the date of the oldest extant building, to 1971. During this time, St. Augustine’s matured into a four-year, accredited college with an expanded physical plant. Its development mirrors that of the successful Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including trends such as the continued support of private philanthropy, the association with organizations devoted to education and uplift for African Americans, and addressing the initial impacts of integration.
St. Stephen United Methodist Church, Lexington, Davidson, listed 8/6/2021
St. Stephen United Methodist Church is locally significant under Criterion A for African American ethnic heritage. The congregation has played an important role in the religious, social, and political life of Lexington’s Black residents from its formation in 1868 until the present. The 1921 construction of a new sanctuary and reuse of the 1892 sanctuary as a classroom wing manifest the congregation’s resilience, growth, and prosperity. St. Stephen UMC is the oldest Black congregation in the Lexington District of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, and is further distinguished by occupying Lexington’s oldest extant African American sanctuary of any denomination. Throughout the twentieth century, the congregation undertook community service projects and during the 1960s, the church became a forum for civil rights movement meetings and planning sessions. St. Stephen UMC is also significant under Criterion C for architecture as an intact example of Colonial Revival-style early- to mid-twentieth-century ecclesiastical architecture. The sanctuary has a traditional front-gable form and a projecting pyramidal-roofed entrance and bell tower. In addition to its symmetry, Colonial Revival stylistic elements include round- and flat-arched door and window openings, double-hung stained-glass windows with foliate and geometric motifs. The interior contributes to the overall high integrity. St. Stephen UMC meets Criteria Consideration A as it derives its primary significance from its architectural style and historical association with Lexington’s African American community. The period of significance begins with the 1921 expansion and remodeling and continues until 1971.