c. 1780 – Newton, NC

Added to OHD on 1/15/15   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   65 Comments
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3878 Robinson Rd, Newton, NC 28658

  • $51,500
  • 2 Bed
  • 1 Bath
  • 2006 Sq Ft
  • 3.76 Ac.
2000+ square feet Historic Type home built in 1780 just out of Hickory. Large covered front porch and upper balcony. Home show characteristics of the era it was constructed. Home has large rooms with fireplaces galore on both levels. Bedrooms are on the upper level. Structure to the left of the home has no floors or ceilings. Needs some updating. Call Grant Mosteller @ 704-472-8866 for details
Contact Information
Grant Mosteller, Marc 1 Realty
(704) 489-1339

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65 Comments on c. 1780 – Newton, NC

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  1. John Shiflet says: 5356 comments

    “Needs some updating” Ya’ think so?! Looks like a roof-less shell of a structure on one side and a possible project house adjacent to it. At least it comes with 3 and three quarters of an acre of land. Priced low as well so those positives might outweigh the expected work and investment ahead for the next owners. I wish them or he or she good luck-this one is not for the faint of heart nor shallow of pockets.

  2. Laurie W. says: 1706 comments

    I’d love more info. It looks like a log cabin attached to a burned shell of a house attached to another house that may be livable, ditto the cabin. Can’t tell if any of it has been lived in for ages, though something was used for a Halloween house. It’s all very interesting & somewhat mysterious. If I took it on I’d be thinking of using the lovely old bricks from the burned house to restore and/or enlarge the cabin and the galleried house. This would be a large project, as John says. Newton is a rural town, commuting distance from Charlotte, possibly Winston-Salem.

  3. Julie says: 105 comments

    Historic Type is a style I have heretofore been unfamiliar with! 😉

  4. Ryan says: 2 comments

    I love it…great potential here.

  5. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11880 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Maybe it flashed in my head to turn the burned out portion into a secret garden/courtyard kind of thing. Would be cheaper than trying to rebuild and the right side of the house would be big enough for just us two (perhaps not for a family.) If one could buy it for as cheap as it’s listed for, seems like a good deal even with all the work needed.

    • says: 23 comments

      Kelly,, Great Minds !

      I saw the empty roofless home as a Greenhouse ,, or secret garden ,, how beautiful it would be, I am going to try to stop over this weekend and snap a few extra pics, maybe I can see whats inside the empty home

    • says: 30 comments

      Agreed, there’s a massive c. 1740 stone Georgian out my way that’s in precisely this burned-shell condition and I always have had fantasies of it turning feral into a beautiful garden of wildflowers.

  6. MW says: 902 comments

    Crazy. What on earth was going on here before someone decided to sell it? Part of it looks very outdated but recently lived in somehow. The other part looks like it was burned out and abandoned many decades if not a hundred or more years ago. Plus, it looks like someone mistook the accelerator for the brake and went straight through the back wall of the garage structure. Very odd structure and listing to say the least. All it needs is a giant dinosaur in the front yard to put it over the top, or even better, maybe inside that burned out section!

    • Keith Chamberlain says: 1 comments

      This house was owned by and lived in for years in this condition by my dear late friend Louis Nunnery. A well know nationally famous Ballet Teacher in Hickory NC. He be laughing his head off at all of these comments. He had it decorated with European antiques that look like they belong in a English Manor House. There use to be statues on the corners of the roof and what some are referring to as the burn out portion was not burn out at all but just never completed because of a shady contractor but this side of the home was meant to incorporate a chapel and was just never completed. The house always reminded me of Collinswood from the TV program and movie Dark Shadows. The house was always dark inside even with lights on and for years a huge bee hive was in the side wall near the carport area by the upstairs bedroom. The place was always buzzing of bees for years until Louis finally had some thing done about it!!! He was quite the Character. Look him up on the internet there is a little information on him still google Louis Nunnery Hickory NC Ballet

  7. joyjoy says: 68 comments

    In a precursory search I can not seem to find any history on this house. You would think that a home/structure of this size and early build date would have some historical significance to the area.

    I find this property to be intriguing; I would love to know more about it.

    I did find that this house belonged to the founder of the local ballet academy. He passed away in February of 2013 at age 92 and it looks like the executor of his estate allowed the house to fall into foreclosure. The bank purchased the property at the end of 2014. The property has been assessed at:
    Building(s) Value: $27,900
    Land Value: $45,800
    Assessed Total Value: $73,700

    • MW says: 902 comments

      Hmm, 92 yo former owner? That might explain the car size hole through the back wall of the garage too. Hopefully that is not what ended it all.

  8. says: 30 comments

    I love everything about this ‘Historic Type’ house listing, including the “needs updating” understatement (hope nobody ‘updates’ those killer fireplaces, the wainscoting, or that lovely green door that looks original). Must have been a doozy of a mansion complex before whenever that fire was.

    Is anyone familiar enough with local building customs to comment on what’s visible in picture 3? Mainly the platform that the door opens onto, it looks like there’s an entrance that leads below grade – into a root cellar maybe? and then there’s a tiny wooden door just to the left of that, is it an impossibly narrow crawlspace?

    Agree that this place feels very mysterious and oh-so-alluring.

  9. Steve M. says: 32 comments

    This one is fascinating because it is downright odd, in its brickwork, in the disposition of the buildings and the ways they are connected, in the cabin attached to the main block, the incredibly long fireplace, and the eerily wide chimney serving it. And not least, in the burned-out section with a facade that features small windows only at the upper level. I’m wondering if research won’t show that this complex had industry/production as its primary use, particularly in the burned-out portion, and residential as secondary, housing the owner/overseer. Can anyone in the Southeast shed some light on this?

  10. joyjoy says: 68 comments

    According to the 1886 Map of Catawba County this area is teeming with various mills. Perhaps this is the E.S. Coulter mill as found on the 1886 map in Newton township near Jacob’s Fork township? Or I might have the wrong location on the map?


    I am guessing the 1780 build date is for the log cabin and the possible mill buildings were added later?

    • Steve M. says: 32 comments

      Joy, “mill” would have been my first guess, given the windowlessness of the first floor of what I speculate would have been a factory or working area. Any waterways or sluices/penstocks nearby?

      • JimHJimH says: 5105 comments
        OHD Supporter

        Steve, there’s a stream a few hundred feet south but too low in elevation to power a mill. I think your take is probably right that this was an early “factory”, possibly making furniture or other wood products near an associated sawmill. This is still a furniture manufacturing area 200+ years later.

        Creating a sound structure out of old brick ruins is difficult but at a price close to raw land it would be fun to try (with structural engineers involved!). I’m seeing the “log cabin” as a later kitchen addition to the brick house.

      • says: 30 comments

        Also the door-sized openings on the top floor…definitely a mill.

  11. says: 23 comments

    Actually the man who owned that property I have found out was one of the main dancers of UNTO THESE HILLS my friend Jeff Reeves was a personal friend, and he is in the process of finding out more information on what happened,

    I still want to go take pics 🙂 GOING soon will post a flickr link 🙂

  12. says: 30 comments

    Another thought, is attaching the mill directly to your house common in NC? That’s not something I’ve ever seen in Pennsylvania. Close to the house? Yeah, sure. But usually not this close, and definitely not joined by a structure in the middle. I wonder what this mill produced. Every historic mill I’ve ever heard with its systems running was LOUD – way too loud for you to want to have your house this close.

    • says: 23 comments

      I have the answer to the other building, its not as old as you would think

      Late 80s he started to build that for a Chapel and a performance space for his dance recitals, the departed had a huge dance studio downtown Hickory,, Taught Ballet around NC for years . he was 92 years old. Jeff told me I sold the light fixture that was to hang in the upstairs Chapel, it was a huge HUGE Brass 24 arm chandlier dripping with crystal .

      the Downstairs of the open house is dirt floor, he never got around to finishing it ,, but as far as Jeff knows, its very sturdy.

      • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11880 comments

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        What a twist! 🙂

        Thanks for the info.

      • says: 30 comments

        Which building? The one that’s livable inside has some visibly really old features. The one that’s a shell visibly has some scorch marks from a fire, as well as some very old window remnants. The thing that presently looks like an open wagon shed/multi-car garage?

        • says: 23 comments

          There is a shed he kept his Rolls and a caddy parked I was told,

          but the empty shell is NOT old, its just moss covered and aged. linked by that arched connection ,,

          Jeff thinks he used Bricks from a building from downtown Hickory that was torn down in the 80s he paid to salvage them , but its all up in the air, since both himself and his partner are no longer with us.

          Also hit the Zillow link and check out the aerial view

          • says: 30 comments

            I just don’t buy that about the shell – there must have been some sort of miscommunication. For one, there’s a bit of moss in places, but there is *definitely* scorching in just the places you would expect it. I say this as someone who has been working with a historic stone-and-brick house that was on fire twice and has stared at every last detail of it to make sense of the spread of the fires. You can see that the scorch marks here are concentrated to the areas around where wood and other flammable materials would have been, – around the roofs of both the shell and the small structure that joins it to the house, and if those had collapsed, the inside of the house would fairly quickly collapse and the fire would burn on the ground floor, an explanation for why windows remain on the top level but nearly everything is gone on the bottom. Even the wood holding up the platform under the door out of the log house is adjacent to a serious concentration of burn marks and appears to be scorched. Even if the heavy scorching near the roof wasn’t unambiguously scorching, it couldn’t be moss because moss grows in shady, moist areas low to the ground; there wouldn’t be so much up high near the roof. No kind of ‘aging’ would produce a concentration of black like that on a brick building with a light mortar.

            Additionally, the one chimney of the shell has two decorative caps, which seems a bizarre thing to have bothered putting on it if you were building from the ground up. And the windows. Again, these are very old multi-light windows, looks like 6/6 and then 4-lights in the small ones at the top. Seems off that he would add windows to the top part, and only the top part at that, and it seems off that if he installed old windows, the paint would be totally gone from them in a roughly 30 year period. You wouldn’t install an unpainted old window.

            And why would he leave no place for windows in half the ground floor of the building, but install door-size openings on the top on the gable side surrounding the massive chimney? A very bizarre placement for a porch, and this building obviously wasn’t executed by an unskilled builder.

            There’s a lot more amiss about this story of the shell. The closest I could believe is that it was a burnt-out building that was moved to this location, but even that I have trouble believing because of what looks very much like scorching that progressed naturally along the ‘shell’ parts of the building and came close to taking out the still-habitable buildings. These all look like they’ve been standing together for a long time.

  13. joyjoy says: 68 comments

    There was a mill here in 1886. It is listed on this map as E.S. Coulter Mills. This is a cool site that overlays the historic map with a current view. According to this map, Coulter Mills is exactly where these buildings are today.


    For various reasons, rivers, creeks, and streams can change over time. The location may not be ideal for a mill now, but it must have been in a good area at the time.

  14. JimHJimH says: 5105 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Joy, thanks for the map. Eli Summey Coulter (1818-1895) lived there and had “mills” south of the house on the stream – census info says a gristmill. It appears to be gone by the 1895 USGS map; only the house appears. The building attached to the house doesn’t look like a gristmill and doesn’t have large doors like a warehouse either. Obviously it could have been altered but no major changes are obvious. Clearly there was a fire, maybe in recent years. Perhaps the reconstructed part was just the connecting middle section. I saw a note that there is an old photo of Coulter’s Mill in Preslar’s History of Catawba County, maybe the one here.

    • says: 30 comments

      I found two separate tax records for Eli S Coulter in Newton for 1866 and they both indicate that he distilled brandy. What census were you looking at? The ones I see prior to 1880 list him as in ‘manufacturing’; 1880 says ‘miller’.

      • joyjoy says: 68 comments

        The 1860 United States Federal Census lists him as a farmer. The 1870 and 1880 United States Federal Censuses list him as a miller.

        I can’t seem to find any other historical maps of Catawba County showing homes, businesses, etc. The 1886 map really seems to indicate this is a mill, but I can’t find the other maps that indicate otherwise.

        I found this on ancestry.com:

        Eli Summey was born 16 Jan 1818 and died 28 Aug 1865. He married Harriet C Fry (cousins) on 15 Nov 1841. Both are buried at St Paul’s cemetery. On November 8, 1856, he purchased the flour and corn mill build by John Wilfong in 1825 near the site of Peter Mull’s original mill of the 1760’s, He employed a professional millwright to overhaul it completely, installing imported French burhstones for grinding wheat and a fine silk bolting cloth; altogether it had the best equipment available at the time.

      • JimHJimH says: 5105 comments
        OHD Supporter

        Transcend, Eli is listed in the 1860 Non-population/Manufacturing schedule with a Gristmill producing flour and cornmeal worth $2840; the mill is confirmed by Joy’s history info. By 1880, local gristmills had been overtaken by large regional mills so the 1886 map may show an inactive facility. Since water doesn’t flow uphill, the structure near the house isn’t a gristmill or other water-powered mill, but may have been some kind of industrial workshop (or distillery?). Or maybe it was just a second house for the Coulter clan. I acknowledge Tor’s info but agree the 2nd building appears to date with the house whatever it may have been used for, although 1780 seems early for any of it.

        • says: 30 comments

          Since the mark on the historic map says ‘mills’ (plural) and the snippet from ancestry says he bought the flour and corn mill built by John Wilfong near the site of Peter Mull’s original 1760s mill, it seems plausible that Eli Coulter may have owned both Wilfong’s mill and Mull’s original mill, and so conducted manufacturing business in both. The shell really does look like a mill and it seems very unlikely it was an addition to a house (the door openings on the second floor in a really awkward place for a porch, the complete lack of windows on the ground floor).

          The Mulls came to this area in the 1750s and after reviewing a few sources I can see that Peter Mull had over 2000 acres of land in Catawba and Burke Counties and apparently owned multiple mills and distilleries, and early land records for that area are not readily available on the internet, so trying to figure out what sort of mill the burnt-out structure might have originally been and how it was powered is difficult.

          I did find this on http://www.burkesheriff.org/Mull.htm : “Five years later Peter (Mull) received an additional grant from the British Crown of 424 acres. Peter settled on this property near Henry River and married his wife, Barbara (Carpenter?) around 1760. They built a home on a knoll overlooking a creek that ran into the Henry River, described by Victor Coulter in his book entitled, The Coulter Family of Catawba County. “Somewhat less than half a mile above the junction of Henry Fork and Jacob Fork to form the South Fork River, there flows into Henry Fork a small creek from a northeasterly direction. On Yoder’s map of Catawba County, the creek was not named. Locally, it was called by the name of the owner of the mill on it, first Moll’s Mill Creek, then Gross’s and so on.” I’m assuming the Coulter who authored that book is some relation of Eli Coulter, and the 1886 map shows the creek as being much larger than it is today, and since it flows into Henry Creek and not from it I’m assuming it’s spring fed – possibly was a very healthy and strong spring back in the day. The location described is of course the location of this house + shell.

          What makes you say that 1780 seems too early for this? To me, this looks fine given what we know about the family, the setting this house was built in, etc. The house is hand-fired brick, which would have been costly but was common in southern states in the 18th c decades before this house was allegedly built, and as we know, the Mull family had a decent amount of money. Still, this is only 3 bays and not remarkably grand, so it seems appropriate to new settlement in a rural area that has remained rural. Small attached building makes sense as a kitchen building, especially if the back door is above a cellar entrance, as it appears. 9/6 windows visible in some photos make sense. Simple and cute green 6-panel door looks like the kind we were popping out in rural PA German territory in the mid-18th c, and the Mull family was from Germany with a few decades’ stopover in Pennsylvania, so even if doors didn’t usually look like this in NC at the time (I have no idea), it would make sense. Sure I could believe this was ~1825, when a new mill was purportedly built nearby, but I wouldn’t be stunned if 1780 was correct.

          Anyway, I’m obviously too fascinated by this place for my own good, given that I’ll never buy it and likely never even see it in real life. Might email the Catawba County Historical Association to see what they know about it.

          • says: 30 comments

            Additional info – here’s the Perkins House, also in Newton, built b/w 1773 and 1790. Very similar in a lot of ways. Photos: http://d.lib.ncsu.edu/collections/catalog?f%5Bwork_facet%5D%5B%5D=Perkins+House National Register nomination form: http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/nr/CT0003.pdf

          • JimHJimH says: 5105 comments
            OHD Supporter

            Transcend, the Perkins house is similar but its date is in question also, a range is given from 1773 to 1811, probably about 1790. I’m just guessing this one is a little later than that. You mentioned Pennsylvania – the settlement in this region was much like that with mostly Germans settling the rural areas in the late 1700’s. The construction here is professional I think, not the work of a settler and the whole seems pretty sophisticated for rural NC before 1800.
            I’m more certain about the use. Gristmills are dusty and loud as you say, almost never were attached to a home, and were utilitarian in appearance. There’s always some remnant of the waterwheel structure and millraces – none here. The stream level is over 30 feet below the house and topography doesn’t change that much!
            I’m out of guesses as to what the second building was though I see that the 2 structures are exactly square to each other and in line, which again suggests they were built together.

            • says: 30 comments

              There are entire runs that have completely disappeared from my area – I mean there’s not even a trace of them above ground or below – but that are present and quite significant, supporting mills, visible on 18th and even as late as mid-19th century maps. Dams (and there are *84,000* in this country now) and increases in population and thus water usage have done some pretty wild things to some waterways in this country. I have no idea whether that’s happened here.

              As I said earlier, I definitely agree that this is work done by a professional mason, and I know that in rural areas of PA in the 18th c, as new settlement occurred, masons and carpenters traveled across the counties to build houses commissioned by wealthier settlers while the less fortunate stuck to simple log cabins with few frills. I would think something similar could have happened in this area. I still do think that the idea of a mill so close to a house is a bit nuts, but I can’t make sense of the building any other way. Who knows. Well, maybe somebody does, so I did email Catawba County Historical Association to see what information they might have.

              • joyjoy says: 68 comments


                One can see on the 1886 map that there are several creeks/streams feeding into the river that are nowhere to be seen on current maps.

                Could the shell be some sort of storehouse associated with the mill complex?

  15. says: 103 comments

    WOW!!! This is one of the most fun house topics EVER! Was it Tor that was going to try and get more pictures? I really hope you’re able to!

    Did we have the name of the 92 year old owner that passed? I’m wondering about this. It seems he was pretty well heeled, with a Caddy and a Rolls. I wonder what it was about this particular house that made him want to settle in it? This does not (to me) look like the home of a very well to do person, even if it was in the 1700s! Gentry possibly, but not way up there gentry. With this man’s achievements and money, I wonder what made him decide on this property?

    • joyjoy says: 68 comments


      The owner was Louis Wallace Nunnery. He established the Hickory, NC Louis Nunnery School of Ballet in 1952. There is an old photo of him- on the Louis Nunnery School of Ballet facebook page- standing on a swing on the front porch of this house.

      I imagine that perhaps the local story is that he was going to convert the old shell to a dance performance space and that turned into he built it? As with most old house dreamer commenters, I believe that the shell is actually old and not just built in the 1980s. Transcend goes into great detail as to why.

      The shell does look like a mill. Or perhaps some sort of warehouse or storehouse associated with the mills?

      • says: 23 comments

        well I talked with the neighbor today ,, she knew Louis and sorry to tell you all , the building was started in 1982 walls finished about 2 years later as money allowed, AND IT IS NEW NOT OLD I took pictures close up to show you all. LOL but believe as you want,

        BUT Three phases to this property ,, 1780 cabin in the back portion with original well house, and ROOT Cellar, yes, the old back porch picture is the door to the cellar, which is dirt floor, the realtor did not have the key for that today 🙁

        The second part 1827 the house with the porch ,, in sad shape BUT salvageable

        and then the unfinished Chapel / performance space

        Mr Nunnery was quiet the character, had a 1935 1936 era Rolls Royce he was seen running all over NC in 🙂 Jeff my friend who knew him is trying to find the pictures ,, he was a wonderful and fun person.

        Anyhow, Here is a link to some pictures I took today ,, Im meeting with my contractor this week after he goes over it to see where we stand on fixing it up to fun times again 🙂


        • JimHJimH says: 5105 comments
          OHD Supporter

          Tor, thanks for the photos and info. Proves (once again) it’s difficult to draw hard conclusions from a few listing photos. Obviously a great effort was made to match the new to the old which is difficult to do with brick. Interesting. The modern structure could fairly easily be adapted to whatever – more living space, workshop/studio or a garage.
          I see some vandalism in the old part of the house. Was the fire set recently also?
          And where did the 1780/1827 history info come from? That’s not the kind of thing that neighbors usually know!

        • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11880 comments

          1901 Folk Victorian
          Chestatee, GA

          Thanks Tor! So this is something you are really considering buying then?

          • says: 23 comments

            Yes Kelly, Matter of fact ,, two friends have come forward and want to do it with me ! im not going to talk money ,, but its not a cheap investment ,, but when done, it could be a wonderful get away home

        • says: 30 comments

          Tor – thanks for posting all the great detail shots you took. So many interesting things about the house (and what the HECK is that figure with all the limbs lying on the ground?! creepy!). For many reasons I remain unconvinced by what the neighbor’s said about the shell, though I am completely willing to believe the previous owner did repairs incl. repointing with the goal of bringing a new life to it. I do see what looks like it could be a more recent wall (like maybe an extension of a wall that was having structural issues, since it appears you also have a close-up of where the two meet and it looks a little iffy) in photo ‘DSCN0361’ (the wall around the plastic-sheathed window). Could that be the 1980s build in question?

          The livable brick building is interesting. Clearly a very, very old brick that appears to be facade only, since the mortar lines are very thick (unless that’s largely the result of a sloppy remortaring job) and I don’t see any headers at all. And it looks all the interior walls are painted wood. So, a log house sheathed in early brick (and the roof raised) as a visual ‘upgrade’, I’m guessing. I love vernacular buildings so I think that’s awesome, but I would hire a mason to make sure all the brick facade is stable though since the one chimney is part rubble and part brick (hard to say which was the original material) and the other has been replaced altogether, until you get to the bottom part that probably would have been under the floor in that connecting structure (you know, if there had been a floor…). Do you know what those wood-lined niches in that chimney are? I’m not familiar with that.

          Pretty millwork and plaster detail, vernacular charm, some definite ‘projects’ (it’s tricky to tell from here, do some of your photos show evidence of wood-destroying pests?), but the price is great for a place this unique.

          Fascinating property that’s obviously had a number of ‘lives’. Hope to learn more about it from the local historical association. Please do update us with anything else you find out!

        • Elaine says: 103 comments

          Tor, your pictures were WONDERFUL! I was kind of confused as to what the realtor didn’w have the key to–was it the root cellar? But were any of these pictures of the cabin? I didn’t see any I thought were the cabin, so I thought maybe it was the cabin he didn’t have the keys to? (But would you even NEED keys for a cabin?)

          What IS that piece of statuary on the ground? Did you get to look at that close up at all? VERY interesting picture, that one!

          Thanks for giving us the link to look at all the pictures. I’m wondering now, if that room in the house with all the weird curtains in it, maybe he used that room to practice dancing?

          Hope it was a fun trip for you. The weather looked beautiful! I am really loving this post about this house, and both of these owners!

          • says: 23 comments

            Thanks Elaine

            the cabin is not your regular log cabin, being a post and beam construction. the statuary on the ground was just one of those thing I saw inside the open building that I found photographically interesting

            the curtain room was his small practice room , but the bigger room on the other side, where the front door was, was when he had many students up or lots of friends to hang out ,,,

            its always a fun trip to photograph homes, now to wait to see what the contractor says this week to me on the reno costs

    • says: 23 comments

      Louis Nunnery ,, someone posted some links to this wonderful mans memories and articles written about him AND YES I posted a flickr link

      the open structure contrary to everyones opinion is NOT OLD,,

      and going to the back of the property ,, was not possible cause of recent rains, I will stop back and try to get to the back of it, as the neighbor who hopes I buy it or someone who loves the house does, said there was a mill way back there, she pointed into the woods where the stream is

  16. mark majors says: 8 comments

    Thanks for making the road trip for all of us curious folk! Sorry that many don’t believe the 1980 construction date (using older salvaged bricks). Maybe we can get Nancy Grace on the case, and test the DNA of the mortar.

    • says: 23 comments

      Well Mark if I go back up ,, I know you are close enough , you should come with for the ride ! The unfinished building is new, when that was done, the back of the 1827 part was rebricked OVER the antique brick, if I could post just that one picture I would ,,

      • MW says: 902 comments

        Actually, you can easily tell the open roof structure is new brickwork because none of the openings have keystoned lintels as they would if they were. The lintels clearly have a steel support holding them up (hopefully anyway). Also, in some of the doorways, you can see the modern double layer of face brick with likely hollow center and steel reinforcing. Old walls would have been solid with cross bricks holding it together.

        I was trying to see the openings on the older brick structure for comparison and all I could see was the back wall which also looked to not have keystoned lintels. So, that was confusing and I was also questioning that as being old or not. But, the added extra layer of modern brick over the old would explain that.

        Honestly, none of the brickwork looks all that high quality for any of it and is of questionable condition at this point from what I can see. Some of it looks fairly amateurish actually. Some of it clearly needs some notable repair work at least.

        Even still, why someone would build a structure like that, put windows in it, but not a roof and then let it go is a bit strange. If nothing else, put a roof on it before you do the windows.

        I’m also still wondering if the previous owner accidentally took a ride in the vintage Rolls out the back wall of that garage. Sure looks like it.

        • says: 421 comments

          …why someone would build a structure like that, put windows in it, but not a roof and then let it go is a bit strange…

          I can tell you from my house hunting experiences, people do some exceedingly strange things. Oddly enough, I fell in love with a brick house that had some odd quirks. The house inspector finally figured out that the woman and her “architect” daughter had the whole thing built around a timbered log cabin. And not in a good way.

        • says: 23 comments

          Cause he was a very artistic man , with HUGE dreams ,, a very successful business man in the Hickory Area and lots of other places,

          I am going I hope tomorrow with some friends to see what they think,, if I am crazy or not LOL

  17. says: 23 comments

    OK to all interested parties, I AM NOT going after this property ,, and unless you have about 200k to put into this ,, upfront do not do it.

    We found the keys to get under the house, almost ALL the joists are rotted in one spot or another. Some you can put your finger through . The engineer that went with told me that house is a gut and rebuild from scratch. As much as I love the property , and if I could get it for 1.00 and a grant from the historic people I would think about it.

    That said, I have sent the information to the Catawba Historic society, which one of my wonderful friends supports big time. So if they can see if it has any good historic value they might go after it , they have the funds to deal with this restoration

    Peace !

    • My Aunt lives in NC and I am casually looking for something there. I contacted the listing agent and he says he has no knowledge of an engineer inspecting the property, and no knowledge of any defect in the wood beams. Did you go to the listing agent or no?

      • Tor says: 23 comments

        We had our realtor with us, we found the key to the basement, and inspected it ourselves, When you can poke your finger through the beams in the basement, there is no engineer needed. The old old part, where the back cabin is, the beams are much cleaner, but its still in need of supporting it.

        I wish you luck with it, The listing agent is suppose to sell it , he should investigate it thoroughly and its not a big dollar property . Matter of fact he had a helper from the agency there the first day I went to look.

  18. says: 103 comments

    Hey Tor! Sorry it didn’t work out for you; I know you were disappointed!

  19. P Moon says: 1 comments

    This property “spoke”to me too.I enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. We brought a Victorian back to life 30 years ago and any quotes should be multiplied by 2 or 3. Simple foundation work could run $20,000 and up. I will visit the property again to see if someone takes on the challenge – so look for company to drop by when you buy it. I love old homes too. Would be a fun place to own. If I was wealthy, I would tackle it. Best of luck to whoever “saves” that structure and makes it a home once again. Love the photography too. P Moon

  20. JimHJimH says: 5105 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Looking at this again, a couple of thoughts:
    This is an irrevocably altered old house with a lot of character that could be the basis of a unique new structure, not purely a restored historic one. A combination of old and new, if you will.
    There wasn’t a fire here – what some of us thought was scorching and the roof burned away is just an unfinished shell with moss growing on it – perhaps there was wishful thinking that it was very old.
    Replacing rotted floor joists and such is straightforward and not very expensive – in the context of the overall project, it’s not a big deal at all.
    Compared to the price of raw land, this property is fairly priced if someone wants to use the structure as the template for a new home. The restoration of the main house with additional space in the new parts wouldn’t cost any more than building from scratch, so $200k plus would be expected. There’s enough authentic detail to give the place a feel of old times that a new home never could.

  21. says: 23 comments

    Well Passed by this home over the weekend, there is now a cattle gate to keep people out ,, every trip to Hickory and beyond I will run by to see if there are any big changes, I PRAY the buyers will keep the houses and restore the property

  22. Deienaria former ballet mom says: 1 comments

    The unfinished structure was started as a mausoleum to honor his beloved mother. He adored her. He ran out of funds to finish it. He was too trusting and would prepay workers who never came back to finish the work. It is so sad how his executor who was supposed to be like a son to Louis let his house fall into ruins after selling off his beloved collections from around the world. Then he and a few former adult students destroyed his ballet company vision by turning it into everything he was against. There was a mill but behind the house. There is not much left of it. There was no fire.

  23. Donna Cline says: 1 comments

    Thanks for all your insights and ideas plus I am on the Board for Historic Cabarrus Association and we are constantly on the look out for preservation of historic properties. I am researching Eli Summey Coulter… DAR ancestor… and have read numerous articles about him and the mills. Unfortunately, I can not find primary documentation of his father. DAR will not accept the Boone Family History or the Coulter history by Victor Coulter as evidence of his father. If anyone runs across Daniel Coulter was his father evidence, PLEASE let me know!

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