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1774 Alexander Rock House facts for kids

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Hezekiah Alexander House
Alexander Homesite.jpg
Alexander Rock House, Fall of 2019
1774 Alexander Rock House is located in North Carolina
1774 Alexander Rock House
Location in North Carolina
1774 Alexander Rock House is located in the United States
1774 Alexander Rock House
Location in the United States
Location 3500 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina
Area 8.3 acres (3.4 ha)
Built 1774 (1774)
NRHP reference No. 70000461
Added to NRHP April 17, 1970

The 1774 Alexander Rock House in Charlotte, North Carolina is the oldest house in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Originally built by the Alexander Family who finished construction in 1774, the Rock House and its various outbuildings have had many owners over the years with The Charlotte Museum of History being its steward today.

History

Alexanders

Hezekiah Alexander (~1728–1801), bought more than 600 acres (243 ha) on Sugar Creek in 1767 and finished building the Rock House 1774. Originally from Cecil County, Maryland, Hezekiah moved to Pennsylvania, then to Delaware, and finally North Carolina. He worked as a blacksmith, a farmer, served in the Fifth Provincial Congress which wrote North Carolina's first constitution, and as a trustee of Queens College (which should not be confused with the present-day Queens University of Charlotte.)

After Hezekiah's death, the homesite passed to his wife Mary Sample Alexander (1734-1805). Mary never remarried and thus the land was divided between her youngest sons Joel and Oswald upon her death. In addition to the land, Oswald also received the Rock House and outbuildings.

In 1826, Oswald married Mary Moore only to die suddenly and without a will before the year's end. After his death, Mary Moore filled a petition for and ultimately received the estate including the Rock House in 1828. Mary Moore married William Lucky that same year and due to how property law worked at the time, the house then passed from her to William Lucky and out of the Alexander Family.

Lucky

William Lucky and Mary Moore had 3 kids, Dorcus, William, and Catherine, who all received portions of the land when William died without a will in 1845. Mary was also given a portion of the land but was not given the house which went to Dorcus. Dorcus married and moved to South Carolina in 1852, leaving the property to her uncle John W. Moore who sold it to Joseph W. Cadwell in late 1858.

Cadwell

Dr. Joseph Cadwell lived in the Rock House for 2 years until his death at age 28 in 1861. His brother Samuel Cadwell inherited the property and moved in with his parents and younger sister. After living there for 22 years, Samuel sold the property to Adam Yandle in March of 1883.

Yandle

Adam Yandle bought the house paying mostly upfront and promising the rest in January of the following year. Knowing he would not be able to pay by the deadline, Yandle mortgaged his home to Victor Barringer in order to pay Samuel Cadwell. This second loan went equally as well as the first and in 1888, Barringer took the property and sold it at auction to Joseph Reid in 1890.

Reid

Joseph Reid and his wife Rachel renovated the house multiple times including adding a large front porch and replacing the flooring on the ground level. Joseph died in 1913 without any children so the house went to Rachel who would pass 15 years later in 1928 without ever remarrying thus the house passed to the control of their estate who put it up for sale.

Cole

Eugene Cole bought the Rock House and surrounding property from the Reid Estate in 1929 though he never lived in the building himself.

Hezekiah Alexander stone house, Charlotte vicinity (Mecklenburg County, North Carolina)
Alexander Rock House, 1936

Museum

See also: The Charlotte Museum of HistoryIn 1943, Eugene Cole donated the house to the Western North Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist Church which had plans to use the site as a retirement community. In 1949, the home and some of the surrounding property is leased by members of the Daughters of the American Revolution in order to preserve and restore the historic building. The Hezekiah Alexander Home Foundation was formed in 1969 to better manage the property and fundraise for further work. After passing through several hands, The Charlotte Museum of History became independent in 1986 and maintains the Rock House to this day.

Architecture

The stone house was built in a Georgian style typical of those built by Germans who settled in Pennsylvania and by the Dutch in the Hudson Valley. Germans who moved south to North Carolina brought this style of architecture with them. The Alexander House is one of the few examples of this architecture still in existence.

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