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Cornelius News

Deadline to save Cornelius tenant farmhouse is Feb. 1

Photo Dan Morrill Facebook

Dec. 22. By Dave Vieser. Preserve Mecklenburg, which hopes to save the tenant house at the old Alexander Farm at West Catawba and Westmoreland, would move the historic structure to a site near the Cedar Grove mansion on Gilead Road in Huntersville.

The deadline is apparently Feb. 1.

“There were many sharecroppers at Cedar Grove,” said Mecklenburg County historian Dan Morrill. “Moving the tenant house there would allow their history to be recognized.”

Major development

The Alexander Farm property will be cleared for a large mixed-use project already approved by the Town Board.

Saving the structure came up at Monday’s Town Board Meeting in Cornelius.

“Efforts are under way to secure a place to move it and a search for ways to pay for the project. It seems to be the last house of this nature left in the county,” said Mayor Woody Washam.

Morrill, on Facebook, stated that the town declined to partner up with Preserve Mecklenburg to save the structure.

Deadline looms

“Someone must agree before Feb. 1st to pay to move the house to another location, restore the house, and maintain the house,” Morrill stated.

Local history

There were hundreds of these tenant houses in Mecklenburg County a century ago but apparently the one on the Alexander Farm is the only one that remains.

The property was farmed by the late Eugene Alexander, who was the last remaining farmer on the western side of Cornelius, until 2013. He died New Years Day 2014 at the age of 96.

Fast forward

The Alexander family sought to sell the 55-acre property and after a lengthy series of public hearings, Florida based WIN development secured the rezoning needed to begin a $110 million mixed-use project.

The development will include single-family homes, a Lidl grocery store, additional retail and an age-restricted, resort-style apartment complex.

Town officials last year said the main house on the property, a two-story farmhouse with a metal roof, could not be saved.