Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Crossing the Cape Fear

Hay Street Methodist, my first stop
Ancient home near the location of Job's Lot in need of repair.
Unusual shaped buildings line Old and Hay Streets
I love the Market square roundabout
I crossed the Cape Fear River on Thursday, but no less beautiful than the Catawba, which I crossed on Friday, or the Yadkin-PeeDee, which I cross everyday. I had ventured into Cumberland County to do research in Fayetteville and to plot out an 1825 deed detailing the purchase of a house and land on Hay Street in downtown Fayetteville of my Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather and the namesake of this blog: Job Davis. 
The Edgar Allen Poe House
The deed was fairly clear in its description, and I had hopes, that even now, 188 years later, I might be able to acertain a reasonable estimate of where the house had been located, although I had no actual hopes that the house still stood. 

View heading into town. 
near the foot of HayMount, where Job's lot would have been located is Davis Street. A Coincidence? I would like to think not. 

Liberty Point is still recognizable from old pictures. 
The description read that the house was brick and located on the "South side of Hay Street near the foot of HayMount" and that one corner was at the "intersection of Hay St with the Orchard Alley in the new brick buildings on the south side of Hay street running with arched alley south 70 and a half feet east and 20 feet to  a stake and partition of the Brick house beginning being Lot # 4".  It also mentions the property having been a deed from William Moore to Abel Turner, Abel Turner being the gentleman from whom Job had purchased the property. 
The Huske family was one of Fayetteville's Oldest and Most inflluential
The Arts Building, an old Courthouse, I believe
The library in Fayetteville is an impressive,  modern, high tech building. Well-staffed and very organized, it was a delight to explore. The History Room is one of the better ones I've visited, and the librarian reigns there is one of the best, most professional and helpful I've ever encountered. It is easy to see that Ms. Arletha Campbell loves what she does and I loved meeting her.  
The Lawyers Building
Hay Street
In 1844, Job Davis, then 71 years old, would sell the house and lot to his stepson, John Winfield Howell, as he and his wife Sarah were presumably getting too old to make the 93 mile trip from their plantation in Stanly County to Fayetteville. 

I found Fayetteville to be enchanting. I had been there several times before, but never to her historic heart and center and what a treat I was missing. 

Downtown Fayetteville reeks of history. A large number of historic retail buildings and historic homes have been lovingly maintained and restored. Beauty abound. A trip to the library allowed me to copy off a collection of historic maps. Although much has changed, the general layout of the streets and the location of the creeks from which the town gained its original name of Cross Creek were still there and traceable. HayMount Hill rises clearly from where Hay street crosses Rowan and an Inn on the side of the hill stills stands and is marked as such. 

The last thing I was looking for on my trip was the old Crosscreek Cemetery where I know from an old cemetery book, holds the grave of my (several greats) Uncle John Winfield Howell, and most likely his wife Clarrisa Harlow Phelps Pearce Howell as well, and probably his brother Jordan Howell whose obituary in the Fayetteville Observer noted that he had been interred in "the usual place", which one could assume would be the Cross Creek Cemetery.

Link to the Fayetteville Observer

It was getting dark as I arrived at Cross Creek Cemetery and the first grave I encountered was that of a Mr. John L. Kennedy, which makes me want to look into who he was.

Link to Cross Creek Cemetery

Cumberland County now makes the Nineteenth County in which I've traveled for Genealogical Research. Begining with Stanly, Anson, Cabarrus, Rowan, Davie, Davidson, Montgomery, Union, Richmond, Moore, Hoke, Guilford, Forsyth, Burke, Iredell Counties in North Carolina and Marlboro, Chesterfield and Lancaster Counties in South Carolina. I feel like I am forgetting a few.

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