March 16, 2024 at 5:39 p.m.

“Spring Open Doors Tour” Is April 20

Event presented by Lincoln Landmarks organization
Ingleside is just off NC-73. Built in 1817 in the Federal style and possessed of two storeys and enormous Ionic columns, the house was built by Daniel Forney, son of the early settler, U.S Rep. Peter Forney.
Ingleside is just off NC-73. Built in 1817 in the Federal style and possessed of two storeys and enormous Ionic columns, the house was built by Daniel Forney, son of the early settler, U.S Rep. Peter Forney.
(Contributed Photos)

THOMAS LARK | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

LINCOLNTON––It’s all about preserving the glories of the past.

It’s the Lincoln Landmarks “Spring Open Doors Tour,” and it’s coming up April 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets are $22 each at the door of any site on the tour.

The tour will feature four historic sites in Lincoln County. First up is Woodside, located at 1217 NC-182, just outside of Lincolnton. According to the National Register of Historic Places, this two-storey structure was constructed in the Federal style in 1798. Built by Lawson Henderson, it’s also known as the James Pinckney Henderson House, as he was born there. The latter was the former’s son. James Henderson would go on to become the first governor of Texas.

Woodside once had Jean Lafitte as a long-term guest.

The Hendersons were a powerful family, famous as Southern aristocrats. Besides owning land in Lincoln County, they also owned vast holdings in Texas and Mississippi. It was in the latter state that the Hendersons met Louisiana-based pirate Jean Lafitte, regarded as a hero of the War of 1812 and one of history’s most mysterious men. On the run from his many enemies and using the nom-de-guerre of “Lorenzo Ferrer,” Lafitte used his Henderson connections to make his way to the obscure backwater of Lincoln County: an excellent hiding place, rather like a briar patch for rabbits.

As local historians Dr. Ashley Oliphant and Beth Yarbrough detail in their recent groundbreaking work, Jean Lafitte Revealed, which rewrites history and solves a mystery 200 years in the making, the old pirate stayed incognito for a time at Woodside, shortly before the War Between the States. But one of his enemies tracked him down nevertheless. However, Lafitte may have been old by then, but he wasn’t weak. He got the better of the man, killing him, hacking him to bits and burning his remains in one of Woodside’s three chimneys.

Many local folks will recall Woodside as the longtime home of the late Jack and Sue Ramseur, well known as patrons of Lincoln County’s arts scene. Another local spelling of the surname is “Ramsour,” as in the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill in 1780. That Anglicised spelling reflects a closer approximation of the German pronunciation of the correct spelling. A “Ramsauer” (say “RAHM-zow-uh”) is one who comes from Ramsau in Bavaria. There’s another Ramsau in nearby Austria.

Next on the tour is St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 315 N. Cedar St. in the leafy neighbourhoods of downtown Lincolnton. It was founded in 1841, and the current building dates to the 1880’s, making it among the Piedmont’s oldest churches. The sanctuary interior is very striking, dominated by lots of brown wood and possessed of very colorful stained-glass windows: all very English and very Victorian.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church’s current building dates to the 1880’s.

Talking of Ramseurs, St. Luke’s historic cemetery is the final resting place of Gen. Stephen Dodson Ramseur and other Confederate heroes of the War Between the States. And, as has now been proven, thanks to the work of Oliphant and Yarbrough, the generations-long rumors are in fact true, and the cemetery is also the last repository of Jean Lafitte, buried as “Ferrer,” and his former slave-cum-lover, the enigmatic and beguiling biracial beauty, Louisa.

And speaking of the War Between the States, next up is Machpelah Presbyterian Church at 226 Brevard Place Road, where more Confederate soldiers are buried in a small gated graveyard dating to 1801. Whilst of course for postal code convenience it’s officially listed as being in Iron Station, the church is actually in the rural village of Machpelah, named for the place of the same name, connected with Abraham and cited in the Book of Genesis. Local Presbyterians still hold services at the little church once or twice a year.

Machpelah Presbyterian Church still has services once or twice a year.

Built in 1848, Machpelah Presbyterian is famous for being one of several churches associated with Dr. Robert Morrison: founder of Davidson College and the First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte and also the father-in-law of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, one of the greatest generals in all the annals of warfare and Robert E. Lee’s righthand man. In 1857, Jackson married Morrison’s daughter, Anna, at the family’s farmhouse, Cottage Home, not far away, down the Old Plank Road. Alas, some 60 years ago, the house was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. The site is now owned by Duke Power and home to a turbine plant. Though surrounded these days by an impenetrably thick cluster of close-growing loblolly pines, locals say Cottage Home’s chimney still stands.

And rounding out the tour is Ingleside, located at 716 Latrobe Drive, just off NC-73. Again erroneously listed as being in the unincorporated rural village of Iron Station (in fact several miles east), Ingleside is actually just out in the county, entirely closer to Denver and not far from East Lincoln High School. Built in 1817 in the Federal style and possessed of two storeys and enormous Ionic columns, the house was built by Daniel Forney, son of the early settler, U.S Rep. Peter Forney. The home was long associated with the Forneys and Latrobes, both Huguenot families. And for two generations, beginning in the Eisenhower Era, Ingleside was associated with the Clark family, members of the local landed gentry.

Lincoln Landmarks is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving Lincoln County’s historic structures. With a history of European settlement that goes back to the 1750’s, the local area has many structures that date from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The group’s mission is to document and protect the county’s architectural heritage and to help educate local residents on the importance of what structures still remain, all in the name of preserving that past for future generations.

To learn more, travel on over to the Website at


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