The Thomas and Mary Hogan House, located on the northeast side of old NC 86 (also known as the Hillsborough Road) about three miles northwest of Chapel Hill, is one of the few remaining nineteenth century farmsteads left in the community. The rolling farmland is quickly being converted to residential subdivisions for the ever-expanding Chapel Hill-Carrboro metropolitan area. Sheltered by two massive magnolia trees, the farmhouse stands a short distance from the road, with a large bam, two sheds, and a carport a short distance to the rear. On both sides of the house is a large cultivated field. Northeast of the house stands the subdivision of Sunset Creek.
The two-story frame farmhouse, of gable-and-wing form, has one gable end brick chimney, one interior brick chimney, plain weatherboard, and a variety of window types. The first story has nine-over-nine sash windows, the second story has six-over-six sash windows. The house exhibits a late nineteenth century Victorian character on the exterior, with the exception of one feature, Greek Revival-style surrounds with cornerblocks around the first floor sash of the south wing. These provide the only exterior hint that originally the house was a one-and-one-half story Greek Revival-style house built about 1860. The remaining exterior finish dates from its late nineteenth century expansion to a two-story house. A pair offour~over-four sash windows flank the gable end chimney on the second story. The front entrance is a glazed-and-paneled door with four-pane sidelights with lower panels. Trim consists of plain cornerboards, fascia boards, and wide boxed and molded eaves with eave returns. A one-story hipped porch wraps around the gable-and-wing facade. The porch's turned posts with sawnwork brackets are recent replacements, inspired by ghost marks, for wrought-iron posts added in the mid-twentieth century. In the 1960s, Thomas and Mary's grandson Robert Clay Hogan added a kitchen, den, and carport to the rear of the Hogan House. This one-story addition has a hipped and gabled roof, a large rear, exterior brick chimney, a bay window, and plan siding.
Thomas and Mary Hogan built their homestead in a vernacular Greek Revival style. The first story of the current two-story house is this Greek Revival homestead, containing three rooms and a small entrance hall, arranged in a gable-and-wing form. (see Fig. 1: floor plan) These rooms are identified by their original wide pine flooring, horizontal wall sheathing, wide ceiling sheathing, original Greek Revival style mantels in the parlor (north room) and dining room (south rear room), original two-panel doors, and some original ovolo-molded surrounds. On the south side of the dining room chimney is a closet, with original two-panel Greek Revival door and box-lock. Originally, the house apparently had attic bedrooms reached by an enclosed comer stair in the parlor. Ghost marks for this stair are visible in the sheathing. Sheetrock covers the original sheathing in the south front room, and its mantel has been removed. A tiny hallway between the two south rooms of the first floor is a puzzling feature in the floor plan. The hallway extends only to the chimney between the rooms, and allows access into these rooms from the central hallway. This feature is definitely original to the structure, as it contains the same fabric and finish as the rest of the first floor.
In the late 1800s Thomas and Mary raised their one-and-one-half story house to a full two-stories and gave the old house a facelift by replacing the original front entrance with a new Victorian entrance sheltered by a one-story wraparound porch. The interior finish of the Greek Reviv,al section and the Victorian section remain basically intact, and tell the story of this two-stage history. Inside the entrance hall, a Victorian open-string staircase rises in two flights, with a landing, to the new bedrooms upstairs. The stair has heavy turned Queen Anne-style newels, molded handrails, and plain balusters. The second floor contains a central hall, two bedrooms on the south side, and a single bedroom on the north side. It has pine floors, plaster walls, beaded tongue-and-groove ceilings, and five-panel doors with plain surrounds. The south wing bedrooms have no fireplaces. The north bedroom has a fireplace with a Victorian-style mantel with slender turned pilasters. This trim is consistent with the late 1800s date of construction. At the rear of the upper stair hall is a bathroom added in the 1960s.
NC Dairy Barn 1930s. Two-and-one-half story frame barn, set on a cast concrete foundation. The gambrel-roofed facade faces the house. A wide runway extends from front to rear, with animal pens opening to either side. Wide openings at the second and third levels allow for hay access. The barn has rectangular window openings and wide plain siding. Arthur Hogan and his nephews Glenn, Jack, Henry, and Hubert Hogan built the barn in the 1930s. Along the south side'is an open shed where farm vehicles are stored. The barn originally sheltered cattle. Now that the dairy farming operations have ceased, the Hogan's ram,_ Ramses XVI, lives here. Ramses is the official mascot of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A fenced two-and-one-half acre pasture extends from the rear of the barn to the rear property line.
NC Shed ca. 1965, One-story, side-gabled shed located on the north side of the barn. The two south bays are enclosed with artificial siding, the two north bays are an open vehicle storage shed. It was built for raising small animals, including rabbits, but is now used for storage.
NC former Playhouse 1960s. Small one-story gabled building with artificial siding, located between the house and the barn. This was built as a playhouse for Susan Hogan. Now unused and overgrown.
NC Carport. 1960s. Prefabricated metal carport of gabled shape, with metal pole supports.
Statement of Significance
Historical Background The Hogan family has lived in the Calvander section, northwest of Chapel Hill, since at least the late eighteenth century. A large tract of land on this site was inherited by two brothers, Daniel Hogan and CoL John Hogan, in 1772 from their father-in-law, Major Thomas Lloyd. Daniel was one of the founding trustees of Orange Methodist Church. Daniel Hogan's will, written in 1787, leaves his home plantation to his wife, and after her death to his sons, Thomas L. Hogan and Darnel Hogan.In 1849 when the son Daniel died, he left his plantation to his wife Betsy during her life or widowhood, and to his three sons James, Thomas and Daniel. James, the oldest, received the southeast section, Thomas J. the southwest section, and Daniel R. the north section that included the homestead, or "mansion lot."
In 1849 Thomas Jefferson Hogan (1832-1909) was seventeen years old. He and his two brothers lived at home, and farmed the family land. By 1860 James had established his own household, but Thomas and Daniel were still single and lived with their mother and sisters in the old homeplace. The value of their land made them wealthy in comparison to their neighbors. Thomas's land was valued at $2,000, while Daniel's was valued at $1,500. Both continued to farm and to support their mother and sisters.3 Thomas was active in the life of his community. In 1855, just after the construction of the new North Carolina Railroad, he was one of the incorporators of the Hillsboro and Chapel Hill Plank Road company. Living right on the road, its improvement would have helped him and his neighbors to transport their farm produce to the new depot at Hillsboro, but the road was apparently never planked.
About 1860, Thomas married Mary, nearly ten years younger. Their first child, Henry Clay, was born in 1862. According to family tradition, he was born in the house on Hillsborough Road, thus the couple must have built it about the time they married. Tradition has even preserved the name of the carpenter, Moses Hutchins, the husband of Thomas's sister Isabella. That same year, Thomas enlisted with the Moore Independents, a Confederate infantry company, and went off to fight in the Civil War. In 1863 he was wounded at Gettysburg, then returned to duty. In 1864 he was captured in Virginia and, held until his release in March 1865, when he returned home. According to family tradition, the two magnolias in front of the Hogan House were planted by a Confederate soldier who received shelter at the house on his way home from the war.
After the war, Thomas resumed farming his land, but its value had dropped to $700. By 1870 Thomas and Mary had an infant daughter Novella A., and an eleven-year-old boy named Emm Blackwood also lived with them. His brother Daniel still lived and fanned at the homeplace and took care of his aged mother Elizabeth, described by the census taker as II most helpless. II Three of their unmarried sisters, Emeline, Elizabeth B., and Louisa Ann, also lived at home. By 1880 Thomas and Mary's family included two additional children, a daughter Correy and a" son Arthur. Eighteen-year-old Henry Clay helped his father with the farm. 7 Thomas was a locally prominent farmer, and represented his community on the Orange County board of commissioners from 1896-1898.8 In the late 1800s Thomas and Mary subdivided some of their land into one-acre lots and sold them.9 Sometime during this period, the Hogans enlarged their one-story house into a stylish two-story dwelling with three upstairs bedrooms.
At Thomas's death in 1909 and Mary's death in 1919, their youngest son Arthur Hogan (1879-1951), inherited the house. Arthur married in 1919 at the age of forty. In 1920 the census taker documented Arthur and his wife Betty living at the homeplace. Betty died young, leaving Arthur childless. Arthur was a productive and progressive farmer in the community. His older brother Henry Clay, who had established a farm around the comer on family land, was killed by a bull in 1926. Arthur and Henry Clay's four sons, Glenn, Jack, Henry Saunders, and Hubert Hogan, ran the family land as one fann. In 1929, on Henry Clay's land, they dammed Bolin Creek to create Lake Hogan, one of the largest lakes in Orange County. This seventeen-acre lake functioned primarily as a fann pond, but has served the students and staff of the University of North Carolina as the site of outings and picnics. The lake remains today a serene fishing spot. The Hogans switched from cotton and tobacco cultivation to dairy farming in the 1930s. They built a grand gambrel-roofed dairy barn behind Arthur's house at this time, doing all the construction work themselves. The Hogan barn was probably built according to plans and specs provided by the Agricultural extension Service or by North Carolina State University. Picturesque gambrel-roofed frame barns like this are the most prominent buildings typically associated with Orange County dairy farms.
The Hogan sons began a tradition of attending the nearby university in the early twentieth century. In 1924 the Hogans began another tradition that continues to this day, housing the pet ram that serves as the University of North Carolina's mascot. The entire line of rams, all named Ramses, from Ramses I to Ramses XVI, have attended every home football game and many bowl games of the Tarheels, UNC's team, with a Hogan family member. In 1996, Ramses XV was murdered at the dairy barn behind the Hogan House, a crime that has remained unsolved. Ramses XVI is now in residence at the barn.
The Hogans were leaders in bringing a higher standard of living to rural Orange County. Their close association with the University of North Carolina in nearby Chapel Hill facilitated this effort. In the early 1930s, as farmers struggled to get through the Depression, cows at the Hogan Dairy and other area dairies were milked by hand. Since the mid-1920s the university had worked to promote rural electrification in North Carolina. Farmers needed electricity in order to take advantage of electric-powered agricultural equipmenC-One of the earliest rural electrification programs in the state was in Cleveland County in 1925, when a community-funded program erected 90 miles of power line. Other pilot programs took place with local funding or, in a few cases, with funding by municipal power companies. By the early 1930s rural electrification became a big issue in the state. In 1933, Henry Saunders Hogan and two of his neighbors secured the first rural electric power line built in the United States using federal funds. It was run from Chapel Hill three miles to Calvander. When money ran short, the Hogans cut thirty-foot cedar poles for the power lines off their farm. Soon after, the line was continued ten additional miles from Calvander to Orange Grove, using federal funds supplemented by donations from local farmers. When the Hogans had saved enough money to buy milking machines, they installed these at Hogan Dairy and hooked them up to the new power line, allowing the dairy operation to expand. Such pioneering efforts in rural electrification enabled 1,609 farms in Orange County to receive electricity by 1950.
The Hogans were also leaders in the agricultural cooperative movement in Orange County in the 1930s. To assist themselves and their neighbors with marketing their milk and livestock, they helped to establish the Central Carolina Farmers Exchange, with farmers' markets and exchanges in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill. It is still in operation today.In the mid-twentieth century the Farmers Cooperative Dairy, Inc. built a large milk plant in Chapel Hill. This plant provided a market for the milk produced by dairy farmers in the area. Another step in rural progress initiated by the Hogans in the 1930s was the construction of a community airstrip. Arthur and Henry Hogan built an airfield on Arthurs land directly across the road from the house. It served as a private airstrip for many years and was popular with the local aviation community. Although not active today, it is maintained for emergency use. Another sideline of Arthur Hogan's was the sale of lumber and railroad cross-ties, cut off his land, to the community.
After Arthur's death in 1951, his nephew Henry Saunders Hogan acquired his farm from the estate, and gave it to his son Robert Clay Hogan. In 1951 Robert married Dorothy Sloan Hogan, and they moved into the old homeplace in 1953., As their family grew in the 1960s, they added a large family room to the rear of the old farmhouse. They lived here for the rest of their lives, raising two children, Robert C. Hogan, Jr. and Susan Hogan. Following the deaths of Robert and Dorothy Hogan in 1995 and 1998, Robert (Rob) and Susan inherited the homestead. The current Hogan generation continues the 140-year-old tradition of the Hogan House as an agricultural landmark in the Calvander community. They allow countless school groups to tour the dairy bam, and offer hay rides, farm tours and Ramses parties. Rob, a farmer who grows hay and wheat, and his wife Ann Leonard are restoring the homeplace as a dwelling for their own family. They will be the fourth generation of Hogans to live in the homeplace and the eighth generation to farm the land.
The Thomas and Mary Hogan House stands as a symbol of the agricultural and social leadership of the Hogan family for the betterment of rural life in Orange County. The Hogans, whose history in this area begins in the eighteenth century, are an example of the kinship clusters for which Orange County is particularly significant. By the 1850s Orange County was a stable area of Scotch-Irish, German and English yeoman farming families who owned small farms, had few slaves, and lived in close association with each other around grist mills, country stores, and other community institutions. 13 The Hogan clan were clustered around Calvander crossroads, located just north of the Hogan House, one of numerous crossroads that developed with a country store in the late 1800s and early 1900s. By 1915 the Calvander Academy was located here. This later became a public school.
Thomas Hogan and his son Arthur Hogan held significant positions in the Calvander community as farmers and as public officials advancing the agricultural opportunities in rural Orange County. These two generations of Hogans advanced living conditions for rural Orange County citizens by their participation in Orange County government, their constant support of the University of North Carolina, located three miles away in Chapel Hill, and in the movement for better roads, rural electrification, and rural airplane transportation. Since the late eighteenth century when a Hogan ancestor donated land for the University campus, the Hogan family have utilized their farmland to assist the university in carrying out its mission. For seventy-five years they have kept its mascot, Ramses, on their farm and served as his escort to football games. For many years they have allowed the university community to recreate on Lake Hogan, located on another Hogan family farm. In this sense they can be considered rural ambassadors.
The house that Thomas and Mary Hogan built in the 1860s as a one-and-one-half story house, then raised to two stories in the 1890s during their prosperous elder years, is significant as an example of the changing fortunes of Orange County fanners during the second half of the nineteenth century. The original house represents the young couple's first homestead. Thomas and Mary Hogan's house, of milled lumber, with sturdy pegged joints and modest Greek Revival decorative finish, was an unusually large and fine house for the community. It marked the Hogans as relatively wealthy in comparison to their hardscrabble neighbors, most of whom owned smaller farms and resided in small log houses. Almost one-third of the pre-1940 buildings documented in Chapel Hill township are one-room log houses of nineteenth century construction, nearly all identical one-room~log houses with lofts. Saw mills were scarce and milled lumber was expensive, thus the community banded together to build log houses for themselves.
The enlargement of the Hogan House in the late nineteenth century makes it impossible to consider it architecturally significant as an antebellum ~ouse. Nevertheless, it is worthy of note that only a small number of antebellum houses still stand in the county. Only about fifty out of some 700 Orange County dwellings identified as historic during the comprehensive 1991-1993 survey are antebellum. Only two other farmhouses in the Chapel Hill Township, the Sam Couch House and the Smyth House, are of frame construction with Greek Revival finish. Both are two-story frame houses built about 1850, with cornerblock surrounds around the windows. The Couch House has a hall-and-parlor floor plan, with an enclosed stair in the hall to the upstairs bedroom, and is finished with wide handplaned sheathing, doors with two flat panels, and simple Greek Revival style mantels. Thus the interior finish of the Couch House is very similar to that of the original Thomas and Mary Hogan House.
As enlarged in the late 1800s into a vernacular Queen Anne farmhouse, the Hogan House has architectural significance as one of a small group of modest early houses that were enlarged into substantial Queen Anne dwellings as families prospered during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For example, the Lindsey-Wilson House, Carrboro vicinity, is a log house that was expanded in the early twentieth century into a frame L-shaped house. The Long House, Chapel Hill vicinity, was a one-story frame hall-and-parlor house enlarged around the turn-of-the-twentieth century by the addition of a stylish tri-gable house to the front, and the conversion of the original house into the rear ell. The hybrid architectural character of such houses provides a visual symbol of Orange County's gradual agricultural progress.