By Janet Morrison
Did you know?
The “Did You Know?” column two weeks ago asked if you knew that most of the main roads in Cabarrus County in 1868 were named for their destinations. That practice continues today but is not quite as prevalent.
Some roads were re-routed and renamed over time. More direct roads replaced some earlier roads as bridge construction became a common practice in the early 1900s. More than 140 years after 1868, it’s difficult to determine where the early roads lay. Unfortunately, this two-part series raises more questions than answers offered.
Refer to the accompanying sidebar which lists 24 roads in Cabarrus County in 1868. The names of overseers have been included for roads known to have been in Township 1.
The “Albemarle to Charlotte road” of 1868, undoubtedly, pretty much followed the current route of today’s Albemarle Road. What about the Philadelphia Road, though? If the “old wagon road” from Charlotte to Philadelphia, closely followed the current route of U.S. 29 and Interstate 85, what was the difference between the Philadelphia Road and the Salisbury Road?
I have always been intrigued by the name of Irish Potato Road, so I found it interesting that there was a “Potatoe Road” in 1868. Hileman Road was unfamiliar to me, but I discovered that a John Hileman owned and operated Hileman’s Mill, a grist mill, on Cold Water Creek in the vicinity of present-day Lake Fisher. Lake Fisher is just west of I-85 on the Cabarrus-Rowan County line.
From the above description, we know that the Charleston Road ran all the way through Cabarrus County from Union County to Rowan County by way of Mount Pleasant. Muddy and Anderson creeks mentioned are in Township Ten, the township in which Midland lies. If you take a map and draw a line from the Union-Cabarrus County line to Salisbury, that probably approximates where the Charleston Road was. It also closely coincides with present-day Mount Pleasant Road.
Several roads are of particular interest to us in Township One. For instance, I would like to know where Rocky River Road was in 1868. No doubt, it was the road that ran in front of Rocky River Presbyterian Church, but did it follow the same route? I have been told that Stallings Road used to be called Rocky River Road.
Another set of roads of local importance comes to light as one considers the Philadelphia Road. We know from the above detail about the work to be done on the Philadelphia Road that it crossed Back and Reedy creeks to the Cabarrus-Mecklenburg County line. That means it did not go north from Concord, as I originally assumed. Therefore, there was a Philadelphia Road, a Charlotte Road, and an Old Charlotte Road in 1868.
Incidentally, Isaac B. Teeter, listed as an overseer on the Philadelphia Road was the Teeter who purchased the grist mill on Reedy Creek from Joseph Alfred C. Welch in 1866.
This two-part series about the roads in Cabarrus County in 1868 leaves more questions than answers. There is no extant county road map from that era for us to reference. As always, if you have any information to lend credence to or dispel any of the speculation presented, contact me through the Harrisburg Horizons editor.
Microfilmed minutes of Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, Lore Local History Room, Cabarrus County Public Library in Concord, NC..
By the Old Mill Stream, by The Stephen Cabarrus History Club of Harrisburg School, Harrisburg, NC, 1968.
Roads and caretakers
On Sept. 19, 1868, the Cabarrus Board of Commissioners appointed citizens to oversee each of the “public roads.” The following 24 roads (with spelling not corrected from the original Board minutes) were listed along with the designated overseers:
1. Salisbury Road;
2. Old Beth Page Road;
3. old Charlotte Road from the middle of the creek at Dotsons Mill to the Poor House to the Patton Branch to the forks of the road at the Gingles Place;
4. Statesville Road;
5. Tuckaseege Road;
6. Baties foard road;
7. Road from Poplar Tent to the Charlotte road;
8. Charlotte road;
9. Rocky River Road;
10. Old Camden Road;
11. Cheraw Road;
12. Wadesborough Road;
13. Albemarle to Charlotte road with R.G. McEachern working from Bethel Church to the Charleston Road and Samuel A. Greer working from the Bridge across the [illegible] at Mill Grove to the Mecklenburg County line;
14. On the Philadelphia Road, Joseph H. McLelland working from the Charlotte Road to the middle of Back Creek; Isaac B. Teeter working from the middle of Back Creek to the middle of Reedy Creek; and M.A. Wilson working from the middle of Reedy Creek to the Mecklenburg County line;
15. Fayetteville Road;
16. road from the Wadesborough road east of Dutch Buffaloe Creek to the Fayetteville road east of Barriers Mill;
17. Mount Pleasant Road;
18. Stokes ferry Road;
19. Gold Hill Road;
20. the Potatoe Road;
21. the Charleston Road from the Union County line to Muddy Creek to Anderson Creek to Rocky River to the Furr Branch to the Fayetteville Road from forks of road at P.B.C.Smith’s to Mt. Pleasant to middle of Dutch Buffaloe Creek of Millers Mill to Gold Hill road to Rowan County line;
22. New Salisbury Road;
23. Hileman Mill Road; and
24. New Road from Concord to China Grove.