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Hoke County development leaves little space for Raeford home

Posted May 6, 2008
Updated May 8, 2008

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— Hoke County, just west of Fayetteville, is among the 100 fastest-growing counties in America, and that growth could take out a home built in the 1800s.

William J. McNeill has lived nearly all of his life at 4555 Fayetteville Road. Soon, McNeill’s home could be gone as Hoke County’s first Wal-Mart moves into Raeford.

The home will likely be torn down. McNeill's older brother, who owns the house, signed a deal giving developers the option to buy the property. McNeill supports the development, but hopes to save the house.

McNeill’s great-grandfather, Neil McNeill, built the home in 1839 after immigrating to the area from Scotland, having been told there was a “salubrious” region just west of the Cape Fear River.

“It was a very primitive region at that time. There was virtually nothing in the way of transportation or communication infrastructure,” McNeill said.

The house is in what’s considered the Federal style of architecture, drawing from Roman and Greek influences. It’s a style Thomas Jefferson would have employed, McNeill said.

“Architecturally, it’s significant in this region,” McNeill said.

The home, with its porch columns and orchard of sprawling pecan trees, was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places, but has never officially been listed as a historic place.

“We hope we might be able to move it. We’re talking to a number of house movers. They tell us it’s feasible,” McNeil said.

It’s not clear how much it would cost to move the home to another site, though McNeill said he’s heard it would cost at least $50,000.

The Wal-Mart will be just over seven miles from a Wal-Mart Supercenter on the same highway.

Hoke County commissioners said Wal-Mart is expected to open its doors next year, but developers have not said when they plan to break ground.

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  • Vietnam Vet May 6, 2008

    Seems to me I just read an article that Wally Mart was reigning in some of its plans for new stores. Wouldn't make sense to build another one with one only 7 miles away. Maybe they'll drop the project?

  • lauraleigh May 6, 2008

    What an absolute shame! I've passed that old house I don't know how many times over the years, a significant piece of local history and a lovely home - Why must we treat such beauty - and a home built of long-lost craftsmanship and materials - as something inconsequential and disposable? A friend just returned from England, where she visited friends who live in a home built in the fifteenth century! and now this house, old by American standards, is at risk to be demolished in the name of "progress." There's something incredibly wrong with our values for such a thing to be possible.