History on the Move

Robert Wyatt
July 21, 2005 12:15 am

MCDOWELL COUNTY – An 1830s chestnut and heart pine farmhouse became a “mobile home” when an Asheville house mover, Crouch-Mitch, was contracted to transport it more than 1 1/2 miles to an eco-tourism bed-and-breakfast in McDowell County.

Arthur and Zee Anne Campbell, owners of The Cottages at Spring House Farm, discovered the home.

Arthur Campbell was greatly surprised by the good condition of the building.

“When I was told there was an old house in the middle of a field near our bed-and-breakfast, I frankly wasn’t expecting much,” he said. “We drove, then walked, then bushwhacked our way out to the house. It was almost totally camouflaged by kudzu and other vines.”

The home was on land belonging to the Harris family, and as the story of the house unraveled, it became even more interesting.

“The house was built between 1835 and 1840,” Campbell said. “I immediately noticed a good deal of German influence in the intricate work. As it turns out, there was a family of German immigrants living here. They moved out of the area, but one of the girls stayed behind and married into the Harris family. The intricate work was her German influence to the project.”

Zee Campbell even learned of a connection to the Campbells’ own home at Spring House Farms.

“As it turns out, one of the Harrises’ grandson’s married the niece of the builder of our home. I guess you could say we’re keeping the house in the family,” she added.

The house was moved to the farm and placed on a foundation built to resemble an 1800s foundation. Once the house is restored, the Campbells will add it to the collection of cabins and rooms available for rent.