(Benjamin "Pioneer Ben" Burgin, 1741-1823)
Turn off Old Fort's Main Street onto Red Top Road and go 8/10 mile. (Red Top Road turns off Old Fort's Main Street) Pioneer Ben's house was located on the right side of the road.
Ben owned several hundred acres along the Catawba River. The earliest references are two applications dated August 1779. One is for 80 acres, the other for 150, on both sides of a branch on the north side of the Catawba River. The patent wasn't issued until 1790. He later bought more land adjoining these tracts.
Ben's Old Homeplace - J.B. Burgin's family standing in the yard
The house was eventually inherited by Joseph Benjamin (JB) Burgin, grandson of Pioneer Ben, who lived there until his death in 1913.
It was here that Locke Craig, one of the most successful and well-known lawyers in western North Carolina, met J.B.'s daughter Anna (Annie) Burgin. They were married in this house in Nov. of 1891. Craig was elected Governor of North Carolina in January 1913.
According to an article in the Marion Progress, the original Benjamin Burgin Homeplace was 150-years old when it burned to the ground in 1929. Click here to read the original newspaper article.
From an article in the Charlotte Observer dated July 20, 1930: "Near the original site of the fort stood a few years ago the 135 year-old Burgin homestead, a landmark the county over. Fire of undetermined orgin destroyed it. There, a large spring of sweet cold water bubbled. The early settlers depended on it for their water supply and it continued in constant use until Old Fort installed a municipal water works system about ten years ago. This famous spring figured in more than one dramatic story when indian attacks made it of supreme importance."
These articles, plus the memory of Jack Lytle and others helped in determining the exact the exact location of the house.
(Major Ben Burgin, 1779-1874)
Directions are from Bethel Church: Go back down Roy Moore Road and you will see a well-used dirt road almost straight across (Murphy land). Benjamin's property started there and went to the head of Cove Creek (going out Stone Mtn.) and went up what is now Mount Hebron Road to the Albert Bird property. (This is almost up to Mount Hebron Church.) Major Ben's house is thought to have sat at the Bird end. Supposedly, he and Bird donated land for the church and cemetery. Click here to see one of Major Ben's prized possessions.
(Ben Logan Burgin, s/o Major Ben, 1820-1862)
Note: Three mountains in background - Photo by Donald Burgin
Go up Mount Hebron Road, about 7/10 mile. It is the first road (driveway) on the left after you pass Gilliam Drive. In this proximity was a two-story log cabin which is believed to have been the homeplace referred to in Major Ben's will. (Ben Logan's family inherited the homeplace). It is interesting to note that the three mountains just behind this section are: "Major", "Logan" and "Bird". Remember . . . the Bird property joined Major Ben.
(Robert H. Burgin, s/o Major Ben, 1809-1896)
Robert's wife was Catherine Burgin, daughter of James. A portion of their house survived as part of an old barn. Directions to their house (barn) from Bethel Church go left from Bethel Church on Cherry Springs Road (passing in front of the fire department). Just as you come to the stop sign at Mt. Hebron Road, you'll see the old barn on your right. You might have to turn right onto Mt. Hebron Road to get a good look at it. Then just continue on up the road to see other Burgin homeplaces.
(Robert M. Burgin, 1833-1913 s/o Josiah & grandson of Maj. Ben)
Directions are from Bethel Church: Go back down Roy Moore Road and turn right onto Bat Cave Road. Go 1/10 mile, just past the first house on the left. As you pass the house, you'll see a little-used dirt road on your left. The house was built of huge logs and nestled on the left side of the hill.
(Alphonzo "Fons" Burgin, 1880-1960 s/o James Lee Burgin)
Go about 3.9 miles after you turn onto Mt. Hebron Road. A two-story white house stood on the left. A HUGE fir tree now stands in what was the front yard.
(James Lee Burgin, 1825-1901 s/o James & Leah Burgin)
Drive 1/10 mile beyond "Fons" Burgin's house to where Willard Burgin now lives. James' house was in the field a little above and behind Willard's house.
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Many thanks to Peggy for sharing this with us