North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Graham, James G. (ca. 1817-1860s)

Birthplace: North Carolina, USA
Residences:
  • Rowan County, North Carolina
Trades:
  • Carpenter/Joiner
NC Work Locations:
  • Rowan County
  • Rowan
  • Barber, Rowan County
  • Rowan
  • Bear Poplar, Rowan County
  • Rowan
  • Cleveland, Rowan County
  • Rowan
Building Types:
  • Residential
Styles & Forms:
  • Greek Revival

Biography

James G. Graham (ca. 1817-1860s), a Rowan County carpenter and farmer, is associated by family tradition with building three antebellum farmhouses, all 2-story frame dwellings with Greek Revival detail influenced by Asher Benjamin's Practical House Carpenter (1830). Part of the Scotch-Irish, Presbyterian rural community in western Rowan County, he married Nancy Burke in 1849 and in 1850 was listed in the census as a head of household and carpenter, aged 33, with $1,600 in real estate plus five slaves. In 1860 he was identified as a farmer and head of a household that included Nancy and daughters Mary, Martha, and Emma. He evidently died during the 1860s, for in 1870 Nancy Graham headed a household that included their children and other members.

The houses attributed to Graham were built for leading local farmers. Though similar in form and detail, they follow different floor plans common in the region. For Robert and Catherine Knox he built a traditional 3-room plan house; for Newberry and Mary Shuford Hall, he built a 3-room plan divided by a center passage; and for Jacob F. Barber he built a center-passage plan dwelling one room deep plus a rear shed and ell. Working for his neighbors, as did many farmer-artisans, Graham may also have built other Greek Revival houses in the county.

Author: Catherine W. Bishir.

Published 2009

Building List

Robert Knox House (Cleveland, Rowan County)

Rowan Cleveland

1854

Contributors:
Dates: 1854
Location: Cleveland, Rowan County
Street Address: Knox Rd., Cleveland vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Davyd Foard Hood, The Architecture of Rowan County North Carolina: A Catalogue and History of Surviving 18th, 19th, and Early 20th Century Structures (1983).

Newberry Hall House (Bear Poplar, Rowan County)

Rowan Bear Poplar

1856

Contributors:
Dates: 1856
Location: Bear Poplar, Rowan County
Street Address: NC 801, Bear Poplar vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

Jacob F. Barber House (Barber, Rowan County)

Rowan Barber

1856

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1856
Location: Barber, Rowan County
Street Address: Redmon Rd., Barber vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Davyd Foard Hood, The Architecture of Rowan County North Carolina: A Catalogue and History of Surviving 18th, 19th, and Early 20th Century Structures (1983).

James G. Graham's Work Locations

Bibliography

  • Davyd Foard Hood, The Architecture of Rowan County North Carolina: A Catalogue and History of Surviving 18th, 19th, and Early 20th Century Structures (1983).
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