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Cornelius News

Streets are a route to our past

Beatties Ford Bridge was demolished during the construction of Lake Norman. Photo: Davidson College archives

FOUNDING FAMILIES | By Tonya Rivens. January’s column about local street names generated quite a bit of interest.  Here are more streets that not only point to the history of the town but also reflect its culture and identify some of the founding fathers.

Washam Street-Washam Potts Road

In addition to JV Washam Elementary and our current Mayor Woody Washam, there are several other Washams around town, including Washam Street near downtown as well as  Washam Potts Road which runs parallel to Statesville Road. Washam Park Drive and Washam Green Lane are both new streets off Washam Potts.  Dr. William Washam, a graduate of Davidson College, known then as North Carolina Medical College, was the much beloved mill doctor and the general practitioner in town, performing everything from obstetrics to dentistry.  Some of the families covered health care expenses by paying $1.25 per week for a health care plan, according to “A Town By Any Other Name” by Leslie Rindoks.

Westmoreland Road

Westmoreland Road is a popular alternate route for drivers to access Statesville Road from West Catawba Avenue. Robert Westmoreland was an owner of a general merchandise store on Catawba Street (co-owned with Jacob Smith, Smith/Westmoreland Co.) Members of the Westmoreland family farm to this day in Huntersville, just east along Hwy. 73.

Betty Stough Road and Stough Farm Road

The Stough family dates back generations in and around Cornelius.  Betty Stough Road and Stough Farm Road are located off Meta near The Peninsula.  Richard (RJ) Stough was a slave-owner and great-grandson of Martin Stough, who fought in the Revolutionary War. RJ Stough was one of the town’s first entrepreneurs with multiple streams of income.  Stough was the first to establish a school, own a gin and mill (Stough-Cornelius Mill) and own a general store with groceries, hardware, clothes and shoes.  He was also one of the first directors for the first bank in town, according to “A Town By Any Other Name.”

Feriba Place

Feriba Stough was the youngest of RJ Stough’s three daughters.  Feriba Place intersects with Aftonshire Drive and is near Meridian Street. Mrs. RJ Stough kept a list of all the donors, but little Feriba unveiled the Confederate Soldiers Monument in August 1910. The dedication almost took place without the statue, according to “Commemorative Landscapes (https://docsouth.unc.edu/). “It had gotten lost in transit from Vermont and only arrived two days prior to the dedication.”

Beatties Ford Road

According to a map from the 1800s, several roads converged at Beatties Ford Road, named in honor of the Beatty family. In the 1700s, John Beatty purchased more than 900 acres of land. When North Carolina seceded, some locals joined the Beattie’s Ford Rifles, a Lincoln County militia company. The Beatties Ford River bridge, built in 1912, was crucial to trade, commerce and history in the area. Lakehouse Pointe Drive was once known as Beatties Ford Road. It’s near the intersection of John Connor and Jetton.

According to the 1993 Census Report, the 10 most popular street names in North Carolina included: Dogwood, Park, Oak, Pine, Ridge, Cedar, Maple, Sunset, Church and Second. We have three from the list: Church, Pine and Oak.

Tonya Rivens

Tonya Rivens is a multi-skilled journalist in radio and television and is currently heard on Streetz 103.3/100.5 FM, blogs at tonyarivens.com.