On my way back from the Casino I stopped for a quick second at the Carson House on the outskirts of Marion. It was the home of Col. John Carson, and served as the McDowell County courthouse at the county's founding. It is now a house museum and a stop on the Civil War Trail as a place where the Stoneman Raiders skirmished before moving on to Asheville.
Built in 1793, the Carson House is one of the oldest standing structures in McDowell County. Large walnut logs were harvested from nearby Buck Creek to construct the three-story plantation. Upon Colonel Carson’s death in 1841, his youngest son, Jonathan Logan, inherited the homeplace and oversaw extensive renovations which resulted in the structure that survives little-changed today.
The same generations that built the house played prominent roles in local politics and society. Col. Carson and three of his sons served in the state legislature. One son, Samuel Price, served four terms in the United States’ Congress and went on to become first Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas
For many years, the house served as a stagecoach inn and social center, and was a stopping point for important historical figures such as Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and Andrew Jackson, the seventh president, who reportedly lost money gambling on the horses that raced at the Carson Plantation. Dan Kanipe, one of only two survivors of General Custer's unit in the Battle of Little Bighorn lived in Marion, and spent some years living at the Carson House.
|Carson House in 1908|