I knew it was coming but I still felt a pang of sadness when I saw the bright red number spray-painted on this quaint and historic landmark. As I read in the Charlotte Observer months ago: “The last home remaining from the long-ago community of Mayhew Town is about to be leveled for the widening of Brawley School Road In Lake Norman.” The bright red number is the last thing this house will see before the tractors mow it down.
I wrote a while back about a wonderful old store that had just been torn down as well. But, this isn’t just a building. This home represents the decendants of all of the Mayhew family who settled in our area in the late 1700’s. Over 200 years ago the small town of Mayhewtown had about 40 farming families who raised cotton, soybeans, oats and corn. Most of Mayhewtown and their farmland is now under Lake Norman. This house and a small historic marker erected by the Mayew family in 1970 are all that remain to remind us of a town that once had more people than Mooresville.
John Love William Mayhew, the original settler, was a veteran of The Continental Army and moved here from Prince George’s County, MD where he became a preacher. He founded Mayhewtown in 1793. It is likely that he chose this spot along the Catawba River because of the river itself and the fact that it looked down on the “bottomland” that could be farmed.
One of the true ironies is that folks used to bartered things like muscadine and “scuppernong” at the local store who would then turn around and sell them in Charlotte….the present day Brawley School Rd ran all the way to Charlotte back then! Hundreds of years later we are widening this very street in order to enable the thousands of residents who live down Brawley School Rd. to get to….Charlotte. Ahhhh, don’t you love progress!