Hoyle Historic Homestead | Gaston Countys Oldest Home
Gaston County's Oldest Home

Help Restore Gaston
County's Oldest Home

Spring 1998

Special Thanks

Earl Withers, of Dallas, gave four tombstones that he was able to save from the old Hoyle Cemetery that was located across the road from the Homestead.  The cemetery was destroyed in the 1950’s.  Some of the stones were damaged and need new bases.  We plan to have the tombstones restored when funding is available.

John Hovis, of Dallas, (704)263-2263 and Nardy Hoyle, of Cherryville, (704)435-3976, have kept our grass cut. Give them a call if you can help.

Thanks to former board members:

Barbara H. Gutierrez, Spartanburg, SC
Benson C. Hoyle, Huntersville, NC
Charles D. Sellers, Gastonia, NC

Hoyle Homestead Association Board of Directors Executive Committee:

David W. Hoyle Jr, Chair, Charlotte
Nan Falls Bridgeman, Vice-Chair, Gastonia;
Mary Ann Antley, Secretary, Morganton;
David W. Hoyle, III, Treasurer, Salisbury
Wilma R. Craig, Historian, Gastonia.


*Robert C. Carpenter, Bessemer City
J. Norris Frederick, Charlotte;
Lois Parker Graham, Lincolnton;
Carlos D. Gutierrez, Spartanburg, SC;
*Darrell Harkey, Lincolnton, NC
Mitchell D. Hoyl, San Francisco, CA;
Doris S. Hoyle, Cherryville;
Jack T. Hoyle, Lawndale;
Norris B. Hoyle, Cherryville;
Roy Hoyle, Forest City;
Jayne S. Kennedy, Gastonia.
*Jane Dilling Todd, Gastonia.

* Welcome New Board Members!

Outgoing Chairman’s Report

by David W. Hoyle, III

Thank you for your support during this past year.  Your response to the last mailing was representative of this support and enabled us to pay the first mortgage and make an appropriate name change to Hoyle Historic Homestead, Inc. (pending State approval).  Over the last few years we have made significant progress at the Homestead.  We have had support from the descendants of Peiter Heyl, the community, corporations, local government, state government, federal government, and of course, the Homestead Board.  This broad base of support is what has made the project a success.  We have paid the first mortgage and symbolically burned it at the Gathering.  We restored the two existing outbuildings and started restoration on the main house.  We have had restoration architects and archaeologist researching the history of the site.  The board has spent countless hours working on the corporate structure to provide a sound organization to support the project.  Fortunately, this is just the beginning; we have several more years of work ahead of us.  We still have another mortgage to retire.  Our current work plan for restoration of the main house will cost approximately $50,000.  Unfortunately, this is not the total restoration cost for the house.  The total cost will be determined based on the extent of restoration and the use of the site.  Of course, any amount of money spent on this house does not come close to the historical, architectural and family history value.  We must save this piece of out past for the future.  We need financial support from numerous sources for several years to restore the house.  We always need help with the grounds maintenance and general cleanup of the site.  We need assistance writing, editing, printing and mailing this newsletter.  We need tour guides.  How are YOU going to help?

Chairman’s Report

by David W. Hoyle, Jr.

Part of the crowd of 190 listen to John Larson talk of the significance of the house

Since the September Gathering, the Board of Directors had a planning session with John Larson, Dean Ruedrich (our restoration contractor), and Lucy Penegar to plan for this year’s work for restoration of the house and future projects.

The next phase of restoration will include completion of the original front of the house.  We hope to have the front restored before the 1999 Gathering.

Children look and learn as Robert W. Hovis works his pottery wheel

The Preservationist and Archeologists will continue their work on the house and property.  We look forward to working with them and learning more about the Homestead’s history.  Thanks again for your support.  Please put September 11, 1999 on your calendar for the 8th annual Gathering.

Restoration of the Well Building

Before: With crumbling brick and rotting timbers, the well building is in decay

After: The well building has now been carefully restored

Progress at the Hoyle House

At the Gathering, John Larson, architectural historian at Old Salem, noted the progress that has been made in the last two years in securing and stabilizing the house and outbuildings.  Here are some of his remarks:

What we discovered this year is that the cellar that we thought was a later addition in fact was original to the house and that the original opening was underneath the front porch…  We have developed techniques for stabilizing the building, dealing with a lot of the sill rot issues, and beginning to establish the window and door locations on the front.  And now you can look at the house begin to appreciate some of its original lines and detailing which makes it so remarkable.”

This house is listed on the National Register, of course…  It is an incredibly significant building.  It is one of those surviving examples of the people coming down the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania and settling the back country of N.C. of which the Hoyle family was part…”

Architecturally, then, the building tells us of those building traditions that came down the Wagon Road.  It is the only example of this particular building style, this post and log construction, that survives in the state of N.C.  and I don’t know of any in Virginia either.  So you can begin to get an idea of how important this building is as an artifact.”

But like any object, the object itself is not the essence.  It’s like the vessel that our potter is making over here.  He can make a wonderful pot but it really only becomes significant with the association of the people that subsequently own it and use it.  The fact that you as descendants have come here shows that you care about this tradition and these people that occupied this house, and care about your forefathers and their legacy bequeathed.  With that caring and this site goes a responsibility: things survive only if we care about them.”

If you care about something then you end up committing yourself to it, you pay attention to it, you give up your time like you did today.  Then this house and site become part or your memories and your history, too.  And I think that is what is ultimately valuable about this house and this gathering.

Burning a Mortgage; Preserving a History

The burning of the first mortgage and accounts of progress in preserving the history of the Hoyle House highlighted the Seventh Annual Gathering at the Hoyle Homestead on September 12.

Board Member Norris Frederick welcomed the 190 persons present, saying that we all had come to celebrate those who came before us and to recapture that sense of community lost in the modern world.

Chairman David W. Hoyle, III, remarked upon the walnut tree under whose branches we gathered. This tree’s beauty and shade is made possible by strong roots; likewise, the restoration of the Hoyle House is made possible by those who support it with time and money. A very visible sign of the fruits of those contributions was the celebration of a symbolic burning of the first mortgage, a feat accomplished in less than a decade.  The second mortgage remains to be paid.

Those present for the day ranged in age from 91-year-old Lester Hoyle of Richmond to 3-month-old Catherine Jobe. Folks came from as far as California (Mitchell Hoyl) and Fort Lauderdale (Barbara and Jess Bess).

(Thanks to Wilma Ratchford Craig for her notes).


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