Sunday, June 14, 2015

Historic Carson House

Sunday (June 14):

This morning Connie and I got up and took a walk along the Catawba River that is runs along the campground here. One of the "locals" told us there has been some talk about the county/city taking over the property and making it into a nice walking trail and having it tie into another trail that already exists close to this area.
View down the Catawba River

Most of the trail looks like this

This is the river that runs into Lake James that we visited yesterday.
We said our good-byes to Walt and Tina who we had met at the RV-Dreams Reunion Rally before they left this morning. They had also stayed in this campground for a couple of weeks after the rally had ended and are moving on to a different campground than us in Tennessee.

Walt and Tina had told us about their visit yesterday to the Carson House which sits on property next to the campground and how they had enjoyed the visit. We decided that we would go to the house in the afternoon (it is only open from 2-5 PM on Sunday). The original part of the Carson House consisted of a two story house built out of maple logs that was finished in 1793. A matching two story addition was added later with a dog trot between the two, then a third story was added along with the first & second story porches to finish off the house as it looks today.
View of the front of the Carson House.
The property was owned by Colonel (honorary title) John Carson and his son Jonathan Logan Carson before being sold several times over the years. It was acquired by the McDowell Historical Society in the 1960's and renovations began a few years later. The house has quite a history: it was the place that McDowell County was formed, served as the courthouse for a few years, hosted famous guests such as Davy Crockett and Andrew Jackson, and also spend some time as a boarding house. The Carson family became quite wealthy through land purchases, raising tobacco and flax along with owning a number of slaves. One of Col. John Carson's sons, Jonathan, fathered a number of children with his wife and another set of children with one of the slaves. Both sides of the Carson family (black and white) have joint family reunions on the site every few years. The house was ransacked by Union raiders at the end of the Civil War so all of the current furniture is period pieces that have been donated.
One of the downstairs bedrooms

This was a multi-use rocker. The nanny could rock the baby to
sleep while sewing.

Master bedroom on the 2nd floor.

The dining room - also was used as a meeting room.

The parlor where guests were entertained.
There is a Texas connection with the house as well: Sam R. Carson, one of the sons of Col. John Carson, moved to Texas in the 1830's, was an individual who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico and later served as the first Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas.We had an interesting time viewing the house and hearing about its history along with finding out about the Texas connection. 

We began the process of getting The Duchess ready to travel tomorrow when we will relocate to a campground in Tennessee.