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Reprinted from The Charlotte Observer, December 12, 1966

Old House Tells Historic Tales
By Joann Coker Harris

 Copy of Malcolm House.jpg (21981 bytes)
The Malcolm Munroe house, built ca. 1772 on Drowning Creek, just
outside Jackson Springs, NC.  In 1763 Malcolm received a land grant for 500 acres. 
He operated tavern and toll bridge there, but died the same year the house was built..

        BETWEEN WEST END AND WIND BLOW -- The hole in the knee of A.L. Currie’s pants in the faded old photograph seems to flip time back to the days when itinerant photographers traveled the country, posing families for stiff photographs.
        This one’s a valuable keepsake for Mrs. Robert (Florence Currie ) Henderson, for it also shows a view of the original plan of the family home, believed to date back to the late 1700’s.
        "Father had a blacksmith shop, and the photographer probably just came around and said, ‘Let’s make your picture,’ so he dropped what he was doing to pose," Mrs. Henderson said. Her mother, her sister and an aunt are grouped around the man, who is seated while two of them are shown standing, in the photographic fashion of the day.
        The house was originally built by a justice, Malcolm Munroe, who received a land grant from the King, and from deedbooks, it’s believed the house was build around 1772.  
     It was Mrs. Henderson’s father, who was responsible for putting "part of the house on rollers and rolling it up to the rest of the house." Early Southern homes traditionally had their kitchens built away from the rest of the house, to prevent fires. "I guess that’s why the floor sags," Mrs. Henderson added with a laugh.
        Also in tearing down a chimney, he discovered two bricks, one with a full deer print embedded on it and the other with what looks like the date "1810."
        But the Hendersons, and her brother, Vernon Currie, have discussed over and again what the date could be and could mean: "It could be when the house was built, it could be how many brick were made, or it could be when the chimney was built, or it just could look like a number," they agreed.
        Since the brick was made on the farm grounds, they believe that a deer probably accidentally stepped onto the wet brick during the night, leaving his paw print.
        Their house sits on what was a Revolutionary trail, and later was the scene of encampment for Civil War troops. Relics of the soldiers, found in the old roadbed and around the house, now add antique touches. The long sword is heavily inscribed with illegible makings, and the musket and long rifle are weathered with age.
        Their house sits on a slope, overlooking Drowning Creek, and near the intersections of Montgomery, Moore and Richmond counties. The creek was once crossed by a covered bridge, it wasn’t until "1939 that they tore it down," according to Mr. Henderson.
        "It had more than half of the original floor sills in it when they tore it down," Mr. Currie added, "and it lasted much longer than another one that wasn’t covered."
        Even as late as Mrs. Henderson’s childhood, the family "went to church in a surrey, pulled by two red horses," and were called to dinner from the fields by a large bell that still stands beside their house. "When we ring that, the people down the road can hear it; and they know that something is wrong," Mr. Currie said.
        An old cowbell serves as a doorbell, and Mr. Henderson reminisced that "there was a different bell and a different tone for each cow."
        Mr. Henderson divides his time between the quiet, fresh air of his country home and his business, Sandhill Furniture Co., which manufactures bedding in nearby West End.
        The Hendersons and Mr. Currie share their home with an undetermined number of cats and kittens, and the Hendersons’ son, Bobby, who attends Wingate College.
        Mr. Currie still does a little farming, "Some cotton, tobacco and corn." He houses his tractor across the road in a building that is one of a group, including an old log crib. Up the road is a slave cabin, called the "Jackhouse,"  because,  "Jack Blue used to live there, now we just keep plunder in there," Mrs. Henderson said.
        The old term, plunder, cropped up again when talking about the attic room that her mother kept, which yielded an old chest and flip-top desk that they keep in their bedroom.
        Also handed down from her mother and father are three pieces of furniture "they started out house keeping with" -- a marble-topped dresser, night stand and washstand.
        The washstand is used as a table in the dining room, where Mrs. Henderson has her mother’s "bread tray" in the table’s center. "She used to make biscuits in that bowl, and let the yeast rise."
        Another family keepsake is the ceiling-high corner cabinet in the kitchen. "It’s made of pine, and has been in the family as long as I can remember. They used to use it as a safe."
        The House originally had wide pine board walls, put together with pegs, "but we had a heating problem, so we added this sheetrock." Mrs. Henderson said.
        Her grandfather, Angus Currie, and his wife, were living in the house during the Civil War days. "When the Union Army was coming through here, they took their meat in a barrel and buried it, and then cut a tree over it," Mr. Currie said.
        "The soldiers went all around that tree and never found the barrel. The buried one of the soldier in the field, and then moved on."
        Also buried nearby are several ancestors of the present day Munroes, who live in West End.
        Another Civil War tale handed down in the family, is that the near battle fought close by the house. "The Northern Army came here and pitched for a battle, but the Southern army heard what was going on, as they used Clarke’s crossing. The war was over anyway, and they were all on their way home," Mrs. Currie said.
        He dug out and old Moore county tax book, dating back to 1879, showing the tax receipts of the day: $5.31, state and county taxes for one taxpayer, and .16 state and .17 county for another.
        "Makes you wonder about taxes today," he said.

Copyright 1966, The Charlotte Observer