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DESIGNATION AS NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE HELPS TO PROTECT RUINS OF ROCK HOUSE IN REEDY CREEK NATURE PRESERVE
 

February 25, 2009

Charlotte— Ruins of "Robinson Rock House," a colonial era stone residence built in what is now Reedy Creek Nature Preserve, 2900 Rocky River Road, have been placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The registry, administered US Interior Department's National Park Service, is the official list, commissioned by Congress, of American properties deemed to merit preservation.

The rock house was built in the late 1780's by James Robinson and his family. His grandfather, Robert Robinson, who bought the property, had been one of the first Europeans to live in this area. The house was typical of the time for a well-to-do farming family: three-story with large stone entry steps, two large living rooms with fireplaces, an attic, and hand-split wood shingles. Also on the site were a woodworking shop, summer kitchen, blacksmith shop and slave quarters. 

 
National Historic Site helps to protect ruins of Rock House in Reedy Creen Nature Preserve

 The Robinson family developed the surrounding land along Reedy Creek as a farm. Years later, the farm became part of a cotton plantation. The rock house is of the same style and is believed to have the same architect as Charlotte's well-known Hezekiah Alexander House off Shamrock Drive.

Over years the Robinson property passed through many hands. In 1899, the house was abandoned and eventually a forest grew up around it. 

Ruins of the structure were re-discovered in 1982 by a class from UNC-Charlotte. The class cleaned-up the site and create maps of the area, paving the way for future teams of archaeologists who recovered many artifacts from the 1700's and 1800's. In the 1980's and 1990's, the property was acquired by Mecklenburg County to become a park and a nature preserve.

 

Today, the foundation and crumbling walls of the Robinson house remain an important piece of Mecklenburg County history. Just behind it are ruins of another building, possibly an outbuilding or kitchen. These ruins have not been excavated and remain much as found in 1982. Also on the property is a recently fallen Osage Orange Tree, one  of the oldest trees in the nature preserve. This magnificent tree was brought down by a storm about 4 years ago.

Listing in the National Registry is a formal recognition of a property's historical, architectural, or archeological significance. It can also provide opportunities for federal preservation grants and/or tax credits, and designated properties are usually marked with a special bronze plaque indicating their significance



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