Thursday Doors: In My Hometown

Today, for the Doorscursion I thought I would show my little hometown, now, that it is Spring!  Lot’s of daffodils at the Withers Green Cottage! It was home to Professor Frank Ernest Callum by the mid 1920’s, but built by the Withers family….

My Neighborhood, The Withers Green Cottage

This is the Icicle Cottage……..It is one of the best preserved and charming Victorian cottages anywhere…….Built by John Eli Brattain around 1883, notice the “gingerbread” trim on this home, we refer to them as icicles. Mr Brattain was a woodworker by trade and the trim was cut by hand. No two pieces of the trim are the same…

My Neighborhood, Icicle Cottage

On Main Street, there are oodles of old homes. The Stirewelt Home was built in 1871 by Valentine Stirewalt, who served as manager of Steward’s Hall, the official boarding house for the first students at the college. In 1872, Stirewalt gave up his position and built his home on a lot near campus where the college held their commencement exercises in earlier times. According to Mrs Currie, “Mr Stirewalt, hewed out the doors from solid oak planks.” His son Bynum and daughter Sallie, and the early widowed, Mrs James Paisley, lived nearly all their lives in this home. Sallie played the church organ and and Bynum sang in the choir!

My Neighborhood, The Stirewelt House

More cottages along Main Street……we only have two (big) main streets in our town, all the other streets are in neighborhoods and most are dead ended………

My Neighborhood on Main Street, Miss Margaret Adams House
My Neighborhood on Main Street, the McCutchan House

Professor William Vinson came to our town to teach mathematics at the college. He married Miss Lily Helper, one of H.P. Helpers’ large family of daughters. They settled into the antebellum Blake Home, on the curve of Main Street . After teaching for fourteen years he died and Lily moved out of the home because it was owned by the college. She built the “Vinson Home” for herself and her two children. Her daughter, Miss Maude, became a teacher of French, mathematics and Latin at the high school where she was described as, “rather more than plump, her hair long since escaped from whatever contrivance of hair pins held it together at the start of the day, her dress always green or maroon, whitened with chalk dust as the day wore on. She was energetic, good humored and outspoken, setting academic and moral standards.” I would have loved to have known Miss Maude!

My Neighborhood, The Vinson House

The next two cottages are next door to each other. Notice the similarities? The Caldwell Home was built in 1903 by John F Caldwel. By 1911, Mr Caldwell was asking the town for lights and sidewalks along “Eastern Heights,” the name he had given to his property, that originally consisted of four cottages on the other main road.

My Neighborhood, The Roy Caldwell House

By 1917, the Caldwell’s son, Roy and his wife, one of the Sample sisters, moved into the house next door.

My Neighborhood, The Caldwell-Sample House

In the Spring of 1835, a small group of Presbyterian churchmen got together in the home of William Lee Davidson, a North Carolina militia general during the American Revolutionary War. The men wanted to build a college, but the designated property had to meet strict requirements. It had to be land between two thriving big cities, Charlotte and Statesville and, “remarkably healthful, being free from malaria and other causes of sickness.” It would be established for the education of young men for the gospel ministry, as well as planned for a self supporting manual labor institution; meaning all the students at that time were obligated to work in the fields three hours a day in the Manual Labor Program…….. Davidson College, as it was known, was the town’s backbone.

The Presbyterian Church at Davidson College
The Presbyterian Church at Davidson College

The college was here first and the town was built around the college. The original name of the town was Davidson College! Most of the property here was owned by the college, but eventually they decided to dispose of some of the land opposite the campus, by selling lots for houses. They offered a 99 year lease and a great deal of control over the behavior of it’s tenants. Anyone leasing a lot “could not vend, barter, traffic, give or deal in any way in  ardent spirits, gin, porter, ale or any kind of intoxicating liquor.” Many of those lots were bought by the professors to build their homes on and in later years as the college grew, the larger homes were turned into boarding houses for the students……

The students raised most of the money to build the private meeting halls. Their social life was centered at The Philanthropic Literary Society Hall, and the Eumenean Literary Society Hall. My, try repeating that a few times! Most of the students belonged to one or the other with a passionate loyalty. Now, most of the campus buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. Davidson College is a Liberal Arts College today…….no more working the fields!

Eumenean Literary Society Hall, Davidson College

In 1837, there were three small dormitories to accommodate the students. Each narrow building had four separate rooms with each room opening to the outside.  They were called; “The Rows,” Oak and Elm.

Elm Row Student Housing Back in the Old Days

Here is a sample of some of the doors in our two block shopping area on Main Street. Two of the favorites are………..The Bicycle Shop……..

The Bicycle Shop

and the Book Shop……….

The Bookshop

Our little town is still the small town (11,000) built on the properties of the Davidson College. Most of the original houses are owned by professors at the college even now. There are still strict rules to live here. We have no fast food or drive thru establishments……Last year we did get a wine bar….but there are no liquor stores to be had…….we are all mom and pop shops on the two block long Main Street.  The folks here do a lot of walking, and bicycling and we have over 23 book clubs at last count! And the new neighborhoods have to represent the look of the town…… modern building or houses here! We also have the original name of the home or the current owner’s name on the front of our houses!

Thursday Doors

I hope you have enjoyed my Doorscursion and history today! I have a lot more stories and photos of my town, so if you are interested in this sort of thing, let me know, and I will write more posts about it!

Follow our new leader, Dan, to see doors from all over the world, or add your doors too, look HERE!

PS I am away on travels this week (YEAH) so this post has been pre-scheduled. I will not be able to read or comment on your thoughts for a few days, but I will get to them when I get back!

32 Comments Add yours

  1. MousumiSays says:

    Please do share with us, the stories and photos of your town. Feel good to see the photos of the elegant 🏘️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pádraig says:

    Most interesting, a chara. Thanks for the tour! 23 book clubs? Crikey, that’s a bit divisive! I’m thinking there may be some sideways looks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pádraig, we live in little pocket neighborhoods! Each neighborhood has their own bookclub, so people can get to meet the neighbors. I would say that most clubs have around twenty or so members in their club, because that’s how many folks you can comfortably sit and feed at one time in your home or cottage! Ha ha! Once a year, there is a “Main Event” and all the bookclubs come together for it and it is held at the fancy retirement home social club There is always an author as the guest speaker and there is lots of competition between the clubs to out-do each other. The clubs rotate on the BIG EVENT! We also compare each others food and decorations! Women will be women! Cady

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sheree says:

    You live in a simply gorgeous neighborhood

    Liked by 3 people

  4. tgeriatrix says:

    I like your neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. margaret21 says:

    Thanks for taking us on a stroll round your attractive town and sharing so many stories. I enjoyed myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. restlessjo says:

    That’s a very beautiful neighbourhood you have! And so many book clubs! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a good post, the town is wonderful. It is so nice to hear they are preserving the past

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, we are not getting away from that any time soon! Southerners are very proud of their past! Cady

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m crazy about the bookshop door!! Very interesting to read about your town (your little town is still bigger – only just – than our little town … only about 10,000 people living here in Langebaan!)
    I love the idea of no fast food or drive thru places … but I love the idea of having a wine bar even more 😅.
    And yes, please show more of your home town … you can probably have one post dedicated just on the book clubs!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We also don’t have a grocery store in town either……Have to go out to the main highway! We once had an old fashioned gas (filling) station, but that is gone now. The town has maintained the old buildings and they can not be changed.When the gas station was sold and torn down the new building had to have the look of the other buildings in town……it is now a restaurant. Personally, I thought the gas station was the best! We also have some real characters in town as well… gentleman (a woodworker, who made elves and such) but was world famous, had a studio in town and a small museum, when we first came here. He wanted to add a small park between the shops and outdoor seating and a small parking lot in the back of the shops on Main Street. We have very, very, very limited parking. Well, the city council turned him down. When the new city council was elected, one of the council members (the new mayor) and owners of one of the shops on Main Street, built a parking lot and park just as the woodcutter has suggested and reaped the benefits of course, and the woodcutter was furious. He closed his shops and left them to decay. They were neglected for years! He even left it in his will they were to be left an eyesore for the town! His estate was sued for repairs and repairs were made painfully slow………We have been here 16 years and they are just now being remodeled for new establishments! Cady!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, what an interesting story about the woodworker! I can understand his frustration and anger … and what a long time to restore his old estate.
        Yes, that’s the stories of a typical small town – these things happen everywhere, doesn’t matter where in the world it is 😉.


  9. Toonsarah says:

    What an enjoyable walk around your home town! I love the old houses and the fact that the history of them is so well documented. And you Main Street sounds like just the sort of place we like to explore when in the US, especially as it now has that wine bar 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The history of all the homes and cottages has been documented in the Davidson College Library Archives……isn’t it neat to know about all these folks and how the houses came about? I think so……There are strict guidelines for new housing here……every new neighborhood( ours was the last to be built in the Old Davison neighborhood) has to have a green space (park) every ten houses or so. In my neighborhood of 13 cottages we have three parks. There also has to be family housing and townhouses in every new build. If a church is placed in the neighborhood your chances of getting a permit to build are much greater……..Also, a home or cottage is provided about every 30 houses or so for families that needs supplemental funds to live here (aid from the town) Very interesting concept! Cady

      Liked by 1 person

      1. PS, the Wine Bar is fairly new and I haven’t been there!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Toonsarah says:

        It sounds as if your town has been developed in a very thoughtful and inclusive way. It must be a pleasure to live there! May I ask its name? We once did a road trip in NC and I’m curious to see if we were in the vicinity!


      3. Toonsarah says:

        And PS you owe it to your audience to check out the wine bar at some point in the future and report back 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Toonsarah says:

        We weren’t too far away then – we flew into Charlotte but then drove west via Asheville to the Blue Ridge Mountains, north into Virginia, back east to the coast and down the Outer Banks and on to Wilmington before driving back to Charlotte and flying home. It was a great trip!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You went right past us! We are on that lake you crossed over on Highway 77!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Nothing like look around our own town to find its beauties.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What an attractive neighborhood! I’ve never lived anywhere where so many houses were called “The ________ House.” But better than the cutsie names people give to their vacation homes/cottages. 🙂 I like all the houses, but I really like the two cottage…and the bookstore,of course.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I like the cutsey names too! I live at “The End” Cottage! Cady


  12. Mmm….sounds like my kind of small town, the quintessential Southern small town neighborhoods without the grandiosity of ante-bellum mansions.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dan Antion says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of your lovely town. I love history and learning about how your town formed and grew (a bit) was fun. I like the notion of a walkable downtown area with little shops. I wish more towns were like that today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The kids walk to school here too! Cady

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Looks such a great place. Thanks for the history, too, and I love that bookshop, so inviting.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Teresa says:

    What a lovely hometown you have, thanks for sharing. I notice that it is very elegant and very clean.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. slfinnell says:

    Small town girl here and Yes!, more please 🙂


  17. How delightful to stumble on this and see the beautiful homes of Davidson, my old stomping grounds! A charming place that holds many enduring memories and friendships for me. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Where did you live? We have lived in Davidson about 15 years now! Cady


      1. I lived on the college campus, but used to jog through the neighborhoods of town. That was more than 15 years ago, though.


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