Jean Earnhardt and historic Farmstead

Lloyd-Andrews Historic Farmstead and the Headwaters of Bolin Creek– an oral history from Jean Earnhardt supplemented by various sources.

Headwaters of Bolin Creek

The headwaters of Bolin Creek, which go dry some years, are about one mile south of Union Grove Church, between Union Grove Church Road and Old Highway 86. The Creek’s modest beginning is a spring that flows into a shallow depression about 2 feet wide, on the gentle eastern slope of a ridge running southwest-to-northeast. From there, the creek runs south through a gated community called Talbryn. About one mile below   the headwaters, the brook has been dammed, forming  a large pond.The area around the pond was once part of  a  599-acre parcel that was owned by Stephen Lloyd in the late 18th century.

After the revolutionary war, in 1784, when North Carolina was desperate for cash,  Stephen Lloyd paid the State of North Carolina 300 shillings to register his deed and help the state raise money. Stephen Lloyd was the son of Thomas Lloyd. Thomas Lloyd was a powerful figure in Orange County politics whose business dealings in North Carolina began in the 1750s. The Lloyd family originally had come from Wales, and had been in Virginia for two generations before Thomas Lloyd was born (b. 1710, d. 1792). Thomas Lloyd owned 2,000 acres in Virginia before moving to Orange County. A monument to Thomas Lloyd is located on Stony Hill Road, about 50 feet east of Old Highway 86, just north of Calvander (the monument includes some inaccuracies due to the similar prominence of another Thomas Lloyd, who lived near the N.C. coast during the same period). Stephen Lloyd was said to have been shot to death on his ‘plantation’ by a slave named Isaac, around 1790. His property has remained in the family to this day.

Sometime around 1800 a hewn log house was built on the property, about 100 yards west of the Creek. The house is one of the two oldest dwellings in the Carrboro planning district.The log cabin The part of the tract that included the old house and farm eventually was inherited by Eppie Brewer (b. 1894). She married Chesley Foster Andrews, who was from an equally old Orange County family of Scotch-Irish origin. Chesley Foster (known as C.F.) Andrews was a cousin of Calvin Andrews, for whom Calvander was named (a contraction of his name). Calvin ran an excellent school (Andrews Academy) that was located behind the Calvander BP station. C. F. Andrews prospered owing to his hard work and to the farmstead’s many assets, including cotton and tobacco.

His wife, Eppie and Chesleys’ son, Troy Andrews, and his wife, Roberta (nee Chandler), settled on the property when they retired in 1961. They had prepared for retirement during the prior decade by restoring the old log cabin, turning the former barn into a residence, and putting in the pond on Bolin Creek in 1952. A federal program provided financing for the pond project. In the early 1950s, a young, aspiring Swiss architect, Franc Sidler, visited them by chance and learned of their plan to build a house on the farmstead. Recognizing that the outcropping of rocks west of the pond made for a natural setting for an ‘organic’ design, his subsequent class project as an apprentice under Frank Lloyd Wright was to draft the blueprints for the Andrews’ home. Thus, the Andrews built a unique home on the property in the 1960s. The walls of the house are made primarily of a light-colored lava (dacite felsite), which came from the farmstead. The lava came from a volcano that was active about 650 million years ago. The house is an architectural jewel.Jean Earnhardt showing the 1784 deed

Today, Troy and Roberta’s daughter, Jean Earnhardt, and her husband John live in the stone house. The Earnhardts have a large collection of American-Indian artifacts that were found on the grounds. They also have a Civil War-type miniball that was found there. The Earnhardt’s own 160 acres of the original tract, of which 120 acres have been put in a conservation easement partnered by the Triangle Land Conservancy. This property is known as the ‘Lloyd Andrews Historic Farmstead.’

Their son, David, his wife Maureen and their four granddaughters live in the old farmhouse (just off Union Grove Church Road) which has undergone a series of ‘uplifts’ during the 108 years since C. F. Andrews built it. At heart, however, it is still a typical Piedmont ‘I’ house, with a wide front porch and chimneys on both sides.Although the Lloyd-Andrews Historic Farmstead is privately owned, the Earnhardt family will show the historic property by appointment (call 929-4884). The New Hope Audubon Society holds a bird count there on New Years Day each year.

One comment on “Jean Earnhardt and historic Farmstead

  1. Pingback: Picnic at historic Chapel Hill Farm | Friends of Bolin Creek

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