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The Wallace Reinhardt House, 330 North Aspen Street, Lincolnton, was included in Marvin A. Brown’s comprehensive survey of Lincoln County architecture.1  On July 11, 1985 Mr. Brown presented to the State Professional Review Committee a study list of individual properties in the Town of Lincolnton.  Under the designation “General Robert Hoke Office,” the Wallace Reinhardt House was included on this list.

Local tradition attributes the Wallace Reinhardt House as “the office of Confederate General Robert F. Hoke.”  This tradition has been expressed in the writings of Lincolnton native Victor N. Fair who, in recalling boyhood memories of the town, stated:

“I feel that I should have some authority to talk about General Hoke since I was born in his office.  The small house at 330 North Aspen Street, now owned and occupied by Mr. Jacob J. Wyckoff, Sr., was once a part of the Hoke estate, and the first two rooms of this house were used by General Hoke as an office after the Civil War.  My grandfather Wallace M. Reinhardt acquired this property about the time General Hoke traded places with Major Burton, and that is where my parents lived when I was born.”2

Active in civic and veterans’ organizations and twice elected to the Lincolnton City Council, Victor Fair served as postmaster of Lincolnton from 1940 until 1962.  As a member of Troop A, Calvary, North Carolina National Guard, he served on the Mexican border in 1916-1917.  When the unit was later ordered to mobilize for World War I, he saw active duty in France.  Upon returning to Lincolnton in 1919, Victor and his wife Mary rented the Wallace Reinhardt House from his aunt Josephine P. Fair and resided there until purchasing a home in 1923.3

At the time on October 31, 1965 he was recognized as one of Lincolnton’s most prominent and respected citizens.

According to his statements, Victor N. Fair was born “in the small house at 330 North Aspen Street” on April 23, 1892, son of Warren Adger Fair and Irving Wallace “Irva” Reinhardt.  His father, a native of Abbeville, SC, was a newspaper reporter and, for several years, was editor-publisher of the Lincoln County News.  W.A. Fair organized the Lincoln National Guard unit in 1912, served with that unit on the Mexican border in 1916, and later in France.  As a Lt. Colonel, he became the highest ranking officer from Lincoln County to serve in World War I.4

Victor’s mother Irving “Irva” Reinhardt was a native of Lincoln County and a descendant of a prominent pioneer family.  The youngest child of Wallace M. and Frances (Johnson) Reinhardt, Irva was a popular member of Lincolnton society at the time of her marriage to Warren A. Fair on June 2, 1891.  Three years after the marriage, in property transaction with her parents, Irva Reinhardt Fair was deeded Lots 37, 62, and 84, being adjoining lots in the Northeast Square of the Town of Lincolnton and described as the lots on which Wallace and Frances Reinhardt “now reside and cultivate.”5  The purchase price for the three lots was $430.

A grandson of Lincoln County pioneer Christian Reinhardt, Wallace M. Reinhardt was born March 5, 1819 on the family farm, site of the Revolutionary War battle of Ramsour’s Mill.  In later life he became well known locally for his “accounts” of participants and events in the battle.  On October 12, 1845, Wallace was united in marriage to Frances Ann Johnson, daughter of prominent Lincolnton innkeeper Benjamin S. Johnson.  They became the parents of nine children, six of whom survived to adulthood.             

The family resided on the old Reinhardt farm, deeded to them in 1846 by Wallace’s father Michael Reinhardt, until the farm was sold in the early fall of 1870.6  In 1874 Wallace Reinhardt was elected Clerk of Lincoln County Superior Court, a position he held until resigning six years later.  Frances Johnson Reinhardt died on August 15, 1895.  At the time of his death on June 15, 1907, Wallace Reinhardt resided with his daughter and son-in-law Irva and Warren Fair and their children.

While deeds confirm Wallace Reinhardt resided on the old Reinhardt farm prior to September 1870, precisely when and from whom he obtained his North Aspen Street property is unknown.  In all his deeds for the property, Reinhardt references an 1868 deed from Samuel P. Sherrill to Albert S. Haynes.             

Records document that by January 1870 that A.S. Haynes had conveyed Lots 37, 62, and 84, Northeast Square, to Freeman Traver, but no deed was ever registered in Lincoln County showing a conveyance of these three lots to Wallace M. Reinhardt.  Despite the difficulty in documenting when and from whom Reinhardt obtained the lots, the 1880 census shows him residing in the Town of Lincolnton, his neighbors being known residents of North Aspen Street.  Beginning in January 1882, various mortgage deeds enacted by Reinhardt establish his ownership of Lots 37, 62, and 84, Northeast Square, “being the lots on which he now resides and cultivates.”7  A comparison of the language in these deeds with a plat of town lots reveals the dwelling house of W.M. Reinhardt was located on Lot 37, his stable being situated on Lot 84, with Lots 37 and 62 adjoining the town lots belonging to the Michael Hoke estate.

Written statements of Victor Fair attributed the Wallace Reinhardt House as formerly belonging to the Michael Hoke estate.  Michael Hoke (1810-1844) was a wealthy lawyer and politician, member of the North Carolina House of Representatives (1834-1842), and Democratic candidate for Governor in 1844.  His 1833 H-plan Greek Revival style residence is the earliest locally known example of the style, and the only H-plan nineteenth century structure in Lincoln County.8  While Michael Hoke’s residence was located on Lot 39 Northeast, records in the North Carolina State Archives document his law office as being Lot 13 Northeast, two blocks from his home.9

Victor Fair described the two-room antebellum portion of the Wallace Reinhardt House as being “the office of General Hoke after the Civil War.”  A son of Michael Hoke, Robert F. Hoke (1837-1912) entered Confederate Service in 1861 and rose to the rank of Major General.  After the war he returned to Lincolnton for a short time before leaving to pursue mining interests in the North Carolina mountains.  In New York City on January 7, 1869, Robert F. Hoke was married to Lydia Van Wyck, a native of Pendleton, South Carolina.  Following their marriage, the couple made their home in Raleigh where he was president of the North Carolina Home Insurance Company.  Among Hoke’s other business interests were various railroad enterprises and the Lincoln Lithia Water Company.10  Hoke was one of several partners in the water company, organized in 1887.  After purchasing mineral springs owned by Hoke’s uncle Henry W. Burton, the company began bottling and distributing water from the springs.  Additional development of the site included construction of a large resort hotel and later a summer cottage for Robert Hoke.

In further comments on the Wallace Reinhardt House, Victor Fair stated: “My grandfather Wallace M. Reinhardt acquired this property about the time General Hoke traded places with Major Burton and that is where my parents lived when I was born.”  General Robert Hoke never held title to his family home or the property on which it was situated.  At her death in 1868, Frances (Burton) Hoke, widow of Michael Hoke, bequeathed the house and lots to her son Marcus Hoke.  Upon his death in 1885, Marcus bequeathed the house and lots to his sister Mary Brent (Hoke) Smith.  In October 1887, Mrs. Smith sold the property to Henry W. Burton and his wife Sarah C. Burton.  In August 1887 Mr. and Mrs. Burton deeded mineral springs and 250 acres of land to Lincoln Lithia Water Company, a corporation in which General Robert Hoke was a partner.11

Victor Fair was born April 23, 1892. During his childhood in the  Wallace Reinhardt House the next-door neighbors who resided in General Robert Hoke’s family home were Henry Burton (1821-1898) and his wife Sarah Burton (1831-1907).  In addition, the Lithia Springs property, once owned by the Burtons, was being developed by a corporation in which General Hoke was a partner. 

Although written statements of Victor Fair do not indicate how long his family resided in the Wallace Reinhardt House, by 1905 it had been acquired by his aunt Josephine P. Fair.  A circa 1908 photograph depicts two houses fronting on North Aspen Street and situated on Lot 37 North east: the small Hoke-Reinhardt House on the northern portion of the lot and a large two-story frame house on the southern portion.12

Deed transactions, census records, and interviews document the two-story house as the residence of Warren A. and Irva (Reinhardt) Fair.13  Statements in a letter written on January 2, 1903 by Wallace M. Reinhardt may provide evidence as to when the two-story house was built.  The letter was addressed to his grandchildren Victor and Frances Fair who, with their parents, were visiting relatives in Savannah, Georgia.  Wallace Reinhardt, who remained in Lincolnton, wrote:

“Old Jack the best dog in the country never neglected me.  He took your departure to heart, barked, howled, searched the town, then came back to stay with me.  He goes under the front rooms (old house) and sleeps there when he wishes and sleeps in my room some nights.

They are still tapping away in new house, good deal of lathing to put up yet.  Mr. Kistler’s cry now is no lumber and will not finish in my opinion until spring, March or April perhaps.”14

In 1905 Warren A. Fair and wife Irva Reinhardt Fair conveyed to his sister Josephine P. Fair the northern portion of Lot 37 Northeast.  The portion conveyed, measuring 58 feet wide by 198 feet deep, included the Wallace Reinhardt House; the purchase price for the house and land being $1,000.15  A minister’s daughter and native of Abbeville, South Carolina, Josephine P. Fair never married.  After the death of her parents she resided in Georgia and Virginia with her brother Dr. James Young Fair, a Presbyterian minister, and assisted him in his parish duties.  The Wallace Reinhardt House was occasionally rented, her nephew Victor Fair and his wife living there for several years.  In 1924, following the death of her brother, Josephine Fair moved to the Wallace Reinhardt House and resided in Lincolnton until her death on October 24, 1930.16

After the death of Josephine P. Fair the Wallace Reinhardt House was purchased by her nephew Victor N. Fair, who then conveyed the property to Jacob J. Wyckoff, Sr., an employee of the Lincolnton Post Office, and his wife Alice (McConnell) Wyckoff.17  For the next forty-seven years Mr. And Mrs. Wyckoff resided in the small house at 330 North Aspen Street.  Following their deaths the house was sold in 1980 by their sons Jacob J. Wyckoff, Jr. and William L. Wyckoff.  Over the next sixteen years the house exchanged ownership three times and, for several years, was used as rental property.  In May 1996 it was purchased by Vicki Turner Yount who currently resides in, and lovingly cares for, the Wallace Reinhardt House.18

ARCHITECTURAL DISCUSSION

Located on the northern portion of  Lot 37 Northeast Square, and unique in Lincoln County architecture, the Wallace Reinhardt House consists of an antebellum two-room front block, one room wide, to which a later period rear ell has been added.  The diminutive structure contains only 1,113 square feet.  With the exception of an alteration to the porch, a circa 1908 photograph is the earliest documentation of the house in its present configuration.

The two rooms comprising the front block retain much of their original Greek Revival style finish, with details similar to those found in the circa 1833 Michael Hoke House located nearby.  Divided by an interior chimney, the rooms have symmetrically molded post-and-lintel mantels finished at the corners with rectangular blocks.  Each room originally had a closet flanking one side of the mantel but only the east room’s closet, finished with fifteen inch wide heart pine boards, remains.  A six-panel door, similar to the front door, connects the two rooms.

The gable-front house is graced by a wide entranceway featuring a six-panel door, flanked by four-light sidelights set over panels.  Door surrounds are fluted posts-and lintels with decorative corner blocks.

While there are no windows across the front of the antebellum block, those at the side elevations are nine-over-six set in original molded surrounds, topped with incised corner blocks.  Only three of the original four windows in this block remain.  Having sustained termite damage in 1980, the original window on the east room’s south elevation was replaced with an exterior door.

Extending across the front of the house is a hip-roofed porch with turned posts.  The 1908 photograph reveals the porch originally extended across the front and down the south side of the structure where it joined the rear ell.  The side porch was removed during the ownership of Jacob J. Wyckoff, Sr., but the turned porch posts currently on the house appear identical to those shown in the 1908 photograph.

A rear ell, consisting of a bedroom, bathroom, dining room, kitchen, and small back porch, has been added to the antebellum two-room front block.  When the Wyckoff family acquired the property in 1933, the bathroom, which contained no bathtub, was accessed through the kitchen.  A redesign by Jacob Wyckoff, Sr. added a bathtub and  changed the bathroom’s access from the kitchen to the bedroom.

In later alterations the back porch was enclosed with windows and narrow strip oak flooring was laid over the existing floors in the antebellum front rooms.

 SUMMARY

The Wallace Reinhardt House is comprised of an antebellum two-room front block, one room wide, with an attached real ell dating from the latter part of the nineteenth century.  The attribution of the antebellum rooms having once belonged to the Michael Hoke estate is based upon statements of the late Victor N. Fair who was born in the  Wallace Reinhardt House in 1892, and during childhood resided there with his parents and grandfather Wallace M. Reinhardt; his grandmother Frances Johnson Reinhardt having died in 1895.  In a 1905 deed the house is described as an “old dwelling house formerly owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. W.M. Reinhardt.”  No deed is registered in Lincoln County for Reinhardt’s acquisition of Lot 37 Northeast; nor is there any indication of the property being obtained through inheritance.  Although his acquisition of the property is unclear, records document his move to North Aspen Street occurred between late 1870 and the 1880 census.

In addition to the statements of Victor Fair a comparison of Greek Revival details found in the antebellum rooms of the Wallace Reinhardt House with those of the circa 1833 Michael Hoke House suggest a possible connection between the two structures, originally separated by only a single town lot.

While local tradition refers to the antebellum rooms of the  Wallace Reinhardt House as “the office of General Hoke after the Civil War,” this attribution again appears based on statements made by Victor Fair.  General Robert F. Hoke had established his residence in Raleigh before Wallace Reinhardt’s move to North Aspen Street.  In addition, the house and lots comprising the Michael Hoke estate was the property of General Hoke’s brother Marcus H. Hoke, having been bequeathed to him in 1868 by the will of his mother Frances Burton Hoke.

Although evidence suggests a possible connection between the antebellum portion of the Wallace Reinhardt House and the Michael Hoke estate, exactly when and from whom Wallace M. Reinhardt obtained these rooms, and the original purpose for which they were constructed, has not been established.


Footnotes:

  1. Marvin A. Brown and Maurice C. York, Our Enduring Past, A Survey of 235 Years of Life and Architecture in Lincoln County, North Carolina (Charlotte, NC: Delmar Co., 1986) 158.

  2. Victor N. Fair, The Hills of Home.  This unpublished and undated book is primarily a compilation of sketches of Lincoln County written by Fair’s grandfather Wallace M. Reinhardt.

  3. 1920 Lincoln County census.  In 1923 Victor N. and Mary D. Fair purchased a house at 918 South Aspen Street, Lincolnton, which served as the family home until 1982.  Lincoln County Deed Book 129, p. 299.

  4. “Obituary of Warren A. Fair,” Lincoln County News, Monday, May 12, 1947, Lincolnton, NC.

  5. Lincoln County Deed Book, 45, p. 247-248, December 17, 1894, W.M. and Frances Reinhardt to Irving W. Fair, Lots 37, 62, and 84 Northeast Square in the Town of Lincolnton.

  6. Lincoln County Deed Book 46, p. 410-411, W.M. and Frances A. Reinhardt to John E. Close, Sept. 29, 1870.  A subsequent deed for John E. Close, recorded in Lincoln County Deed Book 48, p. 7, confirms that property was “the place where W.M. Reinhardt formerly resided.”

  7. Lincoln County Deed Book 45, p. 247-248, S.P. Sherrill and wife Barbara to A.S. Haynes, Feb. 11, 1868; Lincoln County Deed Book 46, p. 339, A.S. Haynes and wife Emily to Freeman Traver, Jan. 19, 1870; 1880 Lincoln County census, listed in the household are W.M. Reinhardt, wife Frances, and three daughters; Lincoln County Deed Book 53, p. 468, W.M. Reinhardt to Michael Hoke, Trustee, Jan. 20, 1882; Lincoln County Deed Book 58, p. 2, W.M. Reinhardt to J.E. Reinhardt, Feb. 1, 1886; Lincoln County Deed Book 65, p. 82, W.M. Reinhardt to W.L. Long, March 3, 1891.

  8. Brown and York, Our Enduring Past, 160.

  9. North Carolina Supreme Court Case 2227, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.

  10. Daniel W. Barefoot, General Robert F. Hoke’s: Lee’s Modest Warrior (Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, Publisher, 1996).

  11. Will of Frances Hoke, Lincoln County Will Book 3, p. 101; Will of M.H. Hoke, Lincoln County Will Book 4, p. 321; Lincoln County Deed Book 60, p. 106, Henry W. Burton and wife Sarah C. Burton to Lincoln Lithia Water Company, a corporation, August 5, 1887; Lincoln County Deed Book 60, p. 177, H.H. Smith and wife Mary B. Smith to Fulton County, Georgia to Henry W. Burton and wife Sarah C. Burton of Lincoln County, NC, Lots 38, 39, 61, 75, 76, 77 in the Northeast Square of Lincolnton, October 22, 1887.

  12. Circa 1908 photograph of the Wallace Reinhardt House and the Fair House.  Photo courtesy of Jeannette Fair Frazier, daughter of Victor N. Fair.  Family members shown in the photograph are Warren A. Fair, his wife Irving Reinhardt Fair, Victor N. Fair, and Frances Fair.

  13. Lincoln County Deed Book 131, p. 111, W.A. Fair and wife Irva Fair to Kemp B. Nixon, Mar. 12, 1920; Lincoln County Deed Book 142, p. 458, W.A. Fair and Irva Fair to Nina Nixon, Feb. 19, 1932; Lincoln County census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930; Jacob J. Wyckoff, Jr. interview by author,  Lincolnton, NC, Feb. 3, 2003, hereinafter cited as Wyckoff interview; Frances Buff interview by author, Lincolnton, NC, March 19, 2003, hereinafter cited as Buff interview.  Mrs. Buff was born in the Michael Hoke House and resided there fourteen years.

  14. Letter from Wallace A. Reinhardt to his grandchildren Victor and Frances Fair, January 2, 1903.  Letter courtesy of Jeannette Fair Frazier.
     
  15. Lincoln County Deed Book 99, p. 91, W.A. Fair and wife Irving W. Fair to Josephine P. Fair of Chatham County, GA, Sept. 12, 1905.

  16. Lincoln County News, Lincolnton, NC, issue of Monday, October 27, 1930.

  17. Lincoln County Deed Book 166, p. 344-345, W.H. Childs, Trustee, to V.N. Fair, Dec. 26, 1930; Lincoln County Deed Book 167, p. 342, V.N. Fair and wife Mary Fair to J.J. Wyckoff and wife Alice Wyckoff, Aug. 14, 1933.

  18. Lincoln County Deed Book 571, p. 849, Jacob J. Wyckoff, Jr. and William L. Wyckoff to C. Aubrey Stone, October 23, 1980; Lincoln County Deed Book 575, p. 311, C. Aubrey Stone to Thomas M. Shuford, Jr., January 27, 1981; Lincoln County Deed Book 685, p. 600, Thomas M. Shuford, Jr. to Mollie A. Taylor, March 3, 1988; Lincoln County Deed Book 944, p. 522, Mollie A. Taylor to Vicki Turner Yount, May 14, 1996.
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