Documents and Data
Reprinted from The Charlotte Observer, December 12, 1966
Old House Tells Historic
By Joann Coker Harris
The Malcolm Munroe house, built ca. 1772 on Drowning
outside Jackson Springs, NC. In 1763 Malcolm received a land grant for 500
He operated tavern and toll bridge there, but died the same year the house was
BETWEEN WEST END AND WIND BLOW -- The hole in the knee of A.L.
Curries 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 ones 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 1700s.
"Father had a blacksmith shop, and the
photographer probably just came around and said, Lets 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,
its believed the house was build around 1772.
It was Mrs.
Hendersons 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 thats 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
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 wasnt 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 wasnt covered."
Even as late as Mrs. Hendersons
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
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 mothers "bread tray" in the
tables center. "She used to make biscuits in that bowl, and let the yeast
Another family keepsake is the ceiling-high
corner cabinet in the kitchen. "Its 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
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
Clarkes 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,"
1966, The Charlotte Observer