BANKS OF THE ENO / POPLAR HILL

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BANKS OF THE ENO / POPLAR HILL

209
,
Hillsborough
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1790-1794
/ Modified in
1891
,
1980
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
Type: 
Use: 

Originally the house of James Hogg, the house and farm were purchased by Industrialist Julian Carr in 1891

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  • Wed, 03/27/2024 - 10:26am by sevy

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209
,
Hillsborough
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1790-1794
/ Modified in
1891
,
1980
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

The property that became Julian Carr's Occoneechee Farm was part of an English land grant given to William Churton. Prior to Carr's purchase, the farm and house had been called "Banks of the Eno" by James Hogg, who owned the property from 1779 until 1803 or 1804; his daughter, Robina, renamed the house "Poplar Hill," due to the several large Poplar trees on the hill around the house. From her the property to her son, John Wall Norwood (1803-1885), and then to his (and his wife, Annabella's) children, James Hogg Norwood (1839-1912) and Margaret Yonge Norwood (1838-1925). James Hogg Norwood was famous for his fighting cocks, known as the "Norwood War Horses," that he developed, bred, and raised at Poplar Hill.

The 663-acre property was purchased by Julian S. Carr on April 25, 1891 from James and Margaret, for $10,000.

Julian's Carr's wife, Nannie, died in the house August 18, 1915. The farm suffered significant damage due to a tornado in 1919, although Poplar Hill itself was relatively unscathed.

When the property was subdivided in the 1920s, John Graham Webb purchased the section with Poplar Hill on it and the racetrack. The Webbs lived in the (Poplar Hill) house until the mid-1930s, when they rented it to various families (Olander P. Cole rented the house in the late 1930s). The Rittenhouse family purchased the circa 1948, and they renovated the house and clubhouse (the racetrack property was sold to Bill France in 1947 by Marion E.
Holloway). Their daughter, Peach Rittenhouse, married Harold Culbreth in 1951, they moved into the house with her parents, and purchased the house from them in 1954. The Culbreths lived in the house until 1965, when they had a new house built behind the Poplar Hill house (which still stands). James Freeland obtained Poplar Hill from the Culbreths.

Poplar Hill was moved to the other side of the Eno River (to the southern end of Cameron Street) by Freeland in 1980. He intended to turn it into a steak house/restaurant, but a group of Hillsborough residents were opposed to it (instead, he ended up opening the Occoneechee Steak House on South Churton Street, across from Daniel Boone).

"Banks of the Eno," circa 1880s (courtesy OC Museum)


Poplar Hill, at right, circa 1900 (courtesy Durham County Library)


Circa 1910 postcard of the farm, with house at left (courtesy Orange County Museum)


Relaxing on the front porch, circa 1900 (courtesy Durham County Library)

"Man holds alfalfa on the farm of General J. S. Carr 17 April 1903" with house at left (via the Albert Barden Collection)

1945 ad for Poplar Hill (from the July 26, 1945 News of Orange)

News of Orange article excerpt from April 24, 1980, showing Poplar Hill being moved south to its current location (courtesy of Rich Shaw)

The former Poplar Hill on Burnside Drive, just north of the Eno from its former site, 05.25.14 (G. Kueber)
 

From the NRHP Hillsborough Historic District Additional Documentation, OR0077, listed 2014 (not verified for accuracy by this author):

"The core of this impressive, two-story, side-gabled house was built around 1794 on the south bank of the Eno River, within the historic district. However, the current design of the house was achieved in 1891-1923 by Julian S. Carr, the second owner, and the move almost due north to its current location in 1981 entailed further alteration. The house is four bays wide and single-pile with a wide, two-story gabled wing at the right rear (northeast). It has a brick foundation, beaded weatherboards, an interior brick chimney in the left (west) gable and an exterior brick chimney in the right (east) gable, and boxed eaves with partial gable returns. Two front doors are centered on the façade, each a nine-light-over-two-panel door accessed by a common brick stair.
A pair of four-light French doors with a small wooden balcony is located on each end of the first-floor façade and flanks the chimney on the left elevation. Other first- and second-story windows are six-over-six, nine-over-nine, or four-over-four double-hung wood sash. A full-width, monumental, two-story, shed-roofed porch dates from 1981 when the house was moved; it is supported by fluted square columns on brick piers with a brick porch floor at grade level rather than at the first-floor level of the house. The porch it replaced was flat-roofed with a prominent turned balustrade and behind it there was a wide attic gable that was removed when the house was moved. At the second story, a deep wooden balcony extends across the middle three-quarters of the façade
and is accessed by three pairs of French doors identical to those below; it is supported by large chamfered knee brackets and has a railing with square posts and balusters. The balcony, along with fluted corner boards, dentil moldings in the gables, Victorian-era windows in the gables (two single short-eight-over-tall-one windows flanking the chimney in the east gable and a Palladian window in the west gable with flankers identical to those in the east and the taller round-arched center window framing the exposed face of the interior end chimney), and French doors were part of Carr’s remodeling. There is an enclosed porch that extends the depth of the wide rear gable on its left elevation. An entrance on the left elevation of the rear wing is sheltered by a gabled roof on square posts and one on the right elevation is sheltered by a shed-roofed porch on slender columns. There is a stone retaining wall across the front of the house with stone steps accessing the porch. Another low stone retaining wall extends along the driveway behind the house. Only the wide pine floors and some wall sheathing dating from the original 1794 finish now remain on the interior. The Federal mantels, the attic stair, flush wainscots and molded chair rail, and some woodwork were probably installed in an early refurbishing. The main stair appears to have been added circa 1900 as suggested by its Victoria style newel post. Beaded sheathing covers the stair hall walls."

 

For an interesting (albeit somewhat embellished) story about Poplar Hill, see bittersoutherner.com/we-salted-nannie-southern-ghost-story

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