Fogle Brothers (1871-1932)

Variant Name(s):

Christian H. Fogle; Charles A. Fogle

Founded:

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

Residences:

  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Trades:

  • Manufacturer
  • Contractor

Styles & Forms:

Gothic Revival; Italianate; Queen Anne; Second Empire

Charles A. Fogle (1850-1892) and Christian H. Fogle (1846-1898), partners in the contracting firm known as Fogle Brothers, were leading builders during an era of major industrial and urban growth in Winston and Salem (present Winston-Salem), constructing a large proportion of the factories, civic and commercial buildings, and housing for the burgeoning manufacturing towns.

Charles and Christian Fogle were sons of Salem cabinetmaker Augustus Fogle and his wife Lucinda Schneider, who like many in the community had German forebears. Augustus was a prominent citizen who served for several years as Forsyth County sheriff.

The business began in 1870, when Charles A. Fogle and a fellow Moravian woodworker, J. Gottlieb Sides, opened a small planing mill in an old brewery in Salem. The next year, Charles’s brother Christian purchased Sides’s interest in the business, and the two brothers moved their machinery to larger quarters on Belews Creek Street. Within a decade of these modest beginnings, Fogle Brothers had risen to dominate the local construction industry as tobacco manufacturing began to transform the courthouse village of Winston and the neighboring colonial Moravian town of Salem into fast-growing industrial cities. Along with the smaller and shorter-lived Miller Brothers firm, the Fogle Brothers were responsible for building practically all the massive tobacco factories, warehouses, dwellings, tenements, and commercial structures that rose from the 1870s to the end of the century. After the founders’ deaths, the firm continued under the same name into the 20th century.

Although few records survive to document the activities of the Fogle Brothers during their first decade of business, account books from the 1880s shed light on many aspects of the manufacturing and building firm. The ever-increasing demand for buildings in Winston and Salem led the brothers to expand their operations several times, as they enlarged their planning mill, added sash-and-blind machinery, and engaged a large work force of carpenters, bricklayers, and laborers. By the late 1870s the firm maintained more than thirty men in the field during the winter months, and hired additional workers for the traditional building seasons of spring and summer. Census records show many men in the building trades who identified their employers as Fogle Brothers. In the mid-1880s, the company constructed, on average, thirty-six buildings per year, which included small frame tenements, substantial Queen Anne style residences, iron-fronted commercial blocks, and tobacco factories and warehouses.

Some of the most important buildings erected by the Fogle Brothers were from designs made by outside architects. In 1884 they erected Hylehurst in Salem for manufacturer J. W. Fries from drawings prepared by New York architect H. Hudson Holly. The large Queen Anne style frame house was hailed by a local newspaper as “one of the most convenient and best dwellings in both towns and reflects credit on the builders Fogle Brothers.” Even more ambitious was the Salem residence of Dr. Nathaniel S. Siewers, designed by New York architect Max Schroff in 1893. Known as Cedarhyrst, the stone Gothic Revival residence features elaborately carved interiors of several varieties of hardwoods.

Although generally Fogle Brothers contracted with clients to construct buildings, they also erected several buildings as speculative ventures. In these cases, the client was the market. Most of these buildings showed an overlay of standard machine-made materials and ornaments applied to traditional house types, which ranged from simple two-room dwellings for laborers to 2-story houses with several rooms and projecting wings. For more pretentious houses, Fogle Brothers like builders in other cities enlivened familiar house types by adding a bay window, a porch that wrapped around two or three sides, a turret, a wing, or a mansard roof. They employed a mixture of materials and textures—weatherboards, shingles, stone, iron, and brick—to give these buildings a more “substantial” character.

From 1885 to 1887, the firm erected nearly a dozen two-room frame cottages which were rented to tobacco factory workers, who included black as well as white men and women. Supplied with lumber and other materials from the factory and employing light frame construction, the field crew could erect these “negro cabins” and “factory tenements” in a matter of a few weeks at a cost of no more than $200 per building. Whereas typically the owners of textile mills erected housing in “villages” for their workers, whether in rural or urban settings, for the most part tobacco industrialists did not create villages or supply housing for their factory workers; generally other individuals and companies erected rental housing for these workers and their families. For the merchant and managerial class, Fogle Brothers erected houses with five to eight rooms. Unlike the smaller tenement houses, they constructed the larger houses with the intention of selling them immediately.

Other speculative building projects included a brick block of apartments in Salem, built in 1886 in partnership with local industrialist Henry E. Fries. The apartments featured such amenities as electric lighting, gas heating, and running water. (Henry E. Fries, son of builder and civic leader Francis Fries, was involved in developing electricity in the city, first with a local generator and later with a pioneering hydroelectric plant on the Yadkin River, which supplied electric power to Salem.) The cost for the property, materials, and construction amounted to just over $10,000, to which each party contributed half. So successful was this venture that Fries and the Fogles embarked on a more ambitious apartment scheme five years later. They purchased a lot near the Moravian graveyard in Salem and hired Baltimore architect Charles L. Carson to design five 4-story apartment houses. The 2-story brick apartment house known as Fogle Apartments, or Fogle Flats, is also credited to the firm. In addition to these residential projects, the Fogle Brothers entered into the speculative commercial market as well. The urgent demand for tobacco warehouses and factories in the 1870s and 1880s probably led the firm to erect their own brick factory, which they leased to manufacturers in need of more space. By the end of the century they had staked a substantial interest in developing a speculative building market in the twin cities.

With connections with Winston’s and Salem’s business elite (due in part to their Moravian heritage) and a solid reputation for good craftsmanship, the Fogle Brothers developed a dominant position in the manufacture and supply of lumber and other building materials not only in town but also in the surrounding counties of the northwestern Piedmont. Contemporary newspapers and booster publications lauded their role in the increasing prosperity and importance of their community. Trained in the Moravian craft tradition, Charles and Christian Fogle were esteemed by their contemporaries not so much for their skills with hammer and saw as for their well-earned reputation as responsible and perceptive businessmen who not only knew the details of their woodworking trades but were well versed in the principles of investment and finance. Using their influence and connections with local industrialists, they created a virtual monopoly in the building trades for nearly thirty years.

After the deaths of both brothers, and despite the rising competition from new firms, the business was incorporated as Fogle Brothers Company under the direction of H. A. Pfol. Although the Great Depression forced the company to cease construction operations in 1932, Fogle Brothers continued to supply building materials from its 1883 warehouse and offices on Belews Creek Road into the late 20th century. After the firm closed, their records were given to the Moravian Archives in Winston-Salem.

Note: No systematic catalog has been made of the several hundred buildings erected by Fogle Brothers from 1871 to 1932. Most of the early buildings have been razed or destroyed by fire. In pockets of West Salem, many of the surviving dwellings from the late 19th century were probably built by Fogle Brothers as speculative housing or contract work. The brief building list here serves as a guide to the variety of work the firm executed in Winston-Salem, and further building entries may be added as information is obtained. A thorough study of their work, using their account books, local newspapers, and other sources, is needed.

  • Fogle Brothers Account Books, 1883-1885, 1885-1888, and Time Book, 1877-1879, Fogle Brothers Company Archives, Moravian Archives, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  • Brent D. Glass, ed., North Carolina: An Inventory of Historic Architecture and Industrial Sites (1975).
  • H. A. Pfol, “Fifty Years of Woodworking,” Apr. 18, 1935, Fogle Brothers Company Archives, Moravian Archives, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  • D. P. Robbins, Descriptive Sketch of Winston (1888).
  • Edward Rondthaler, The Memorabilia of Fifty Years (1928).
  • Salem People’s Press, Jan. 15, 1885.
  • Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981).
  • Larry E. Tise, Building and Architecture (1976).
  • Winston-Salem Section, North Carolina Chapter, American Institute of Architects, Architectural Guide: Winston-Salem and Forsyth County (1978).
Sort Building List by:
  • Arista Mill

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, 1880s; Francis Fries, 1836-1838
    Variant Name(s):
    Salem Manufacturing Company
    Dates:
    1836-1838; 1880s
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    200 Brookstown Ave., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Industrial
    Images Puslished In:
    Fambrough L. Brownlee, Winston-Salem: A Pictorial History (1977).
    Brent D. Glass, ed., North Carolina: An Inventory of Historic Architecture and Industrial Sites (1975).
    Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981).
    Note:
    The Salem Manufacturing Company building of the 1830s still stands along with the addition built in the 1880s when the facility became Arista Mill. The large brick industrial complex is now a hotel known as the Brookstown Inn.

  • Blair House

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, contractors
    Dates:
    1901
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    210 S. Cherry St., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    The Colonial Revival style residence is one of the few examples still standing of the fine residences that once lined S. Cherry St.

  • Carnegie Library

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, contractors
    Dates:
    1906
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    411 N. Cherry St., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Public
    Images Puslished In:
    Molly Grogan Rawls, Winston-Salem in Vintage Postcards (2004).
    Winston-Salem Section, North Carolina Chapter, American Institute of Architects, Architectural Guide: Winston-Salem and Forsyth County (1978).

  • Cedarhyrst

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, contractors; Nat Peterson, carver; Paul Regennas, carver; Peter Regennas, carver; Max Schroff, architect
    Dates:
    1893-1895
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    459 S. Church St., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
    Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981).

  • Charles A. and Senah Critz Kent House

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, builders; Charles Barton Keen, architect; Thomas W. Sears, landscape architect
    Dates:
    1922-1923
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    1016 E. Kent Rd., Reynolda Park, Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981).
    Note:
    Senah Kent was a niece of R. J. Reynolds and one of four Critz sisters who commissioned Keen houses in Winston-Salem. The building was cited in The American Contractor, Nov. 4, 1922.

  • Christ Moravian Church

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, builders
    Dates:
    1895-1896
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    919 Academy St., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Religious
    Images Puslished In:
    Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981).
    Note:
    The Gothic Revival brick church was built before the Moravian church leaders adopted the "Salem Revival" style developed by local architect Willard C. Northup (see Northup and O'Brien).

  • Christian Fogle House

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, contractors
    Dates:
    Ca. 1898-1900
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    514 Banner Ave., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981).
    Note:
    Part of the Washington Park suburb south of Salem, the rambling frame house with expansive porch was built by contractor Christian Fogle as his own residence.

  • Cicero Lowe House

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, contractors
    Dates:
    1911
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    129 Cascade Ave., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • Edward W. and Nancy Critz O\'Hanlon House

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, builders; Charles Barton Keen, architect; Thomas W. Sears, landscape architect
    Dates:
    1926-1929
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    1056 W. Kent Rd., Reynolda Park, Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981).
    Note:
    Nancy O'Hanlon was a niece of R. J. Reynolds and one of four Critz sisters who commissioned Keen houses in Winston-Salem. Plans survive.

  • Fogle Apartments

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, contractors
    Variant Name(s):
    Fogle Flats
    Dates:
    1890s
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    300 S. Church St., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    The brick, 2-story apartment block is a rare surviving example of a 19th century row house type in North Carolina. It is one of a number of apartment houses built by Fogle Brothers.

  • Fogle Planing Mill and Sash and Blind Factory

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, contractors
    Dates:
    1883
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    Belews Creek Rd., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Industrial
    Note:
    Fogle Brothers' first building, constructed in 1871 and no longer standing, was a frame structure in which they re-used timbers from the 1755 mill in Bethabara. They soon built and later expanded their brick factory and other buildings. Their complex stood until the late 20th century.

  • Henry Elias Fries House

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, contractors
    Dates:
    1914
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    104 Cascade Ave., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
    Note:
    The brick, Colonial Revival style home of civic and industrial leader H. E. Fries is one of several houses built by the Fogle Brothers in the Washington Park suburb, laid out in 1892 south of Salem.

  • Hylehurst

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, builders; Henry Hudson Holly, architect
    Variant Name(s):
    J. W. Fries House
    Dates:
    1884
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    224 S. Cherry St., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
    Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981).
    Winston-Salem Section, North Carolina Chapter, American Institute of Architects, Architectural Guide: Winston-Salem and Forsyth County (1978).

  • James R. and Diana M. Dyer House

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, contractors; Mayers Murray and Phillips, architects
    Dates:
    1929-1931
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    1015 W. Kent Rd., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Heather Fearnbach, Winston-Salem's Architectural Heritage (2015).

  • Park Hall

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, builders
    Dates:
    1890
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    Salem Academy, Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Unknown
    Type:
    Educational

  • R. W. Neilson House

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, builders
    Dates:
    1906
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    Cemetery St., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Unknown
    Type:
    Residential

  • Richard G. and Hortense Stockton House

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, builders; Charles Barton Keen, architect; Thomas W. Sears, landscape architect
    Dates:
    1924
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    1020 W. Kent Rd., Reynolda Park, Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    Cited in Biographical Dictionary of Philadelphia Architects (1924). Brothers Richard and Norman Stockton both built Keen houses in Reynolda Park.

  • Rondthaler Memorial Building

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, builders; Northup and O'Brien, architects; Willard C. Northup, architect
    Variant Name(s):
    Home Moravian Church Sunday School Building
    Dates:
    1913
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    500 block S. Church St., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Religious
    Images Puslished In:
    Molly Grogan Rawls, Winston-Salem in Vintage Postcards (2004).
    Note:
    Northup planned the additional building for Home Moravian Church (1797-1800; see Johann Gottlob Krause and Frederic William Marshall) in an early example of his Salem Moravian Revival style with the distinctive bonnet hood repeating the motif from Home Church.

  • Salem Town Hall and Fire Station

    Contributors:
    Fogle Brothers, builders; Northup and O'Brien, architects; Willard C. Northup, architect
    Dates:
    1912; 1915
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
    Street Address:
    50 Cemetery St., Winston-Salem, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Public
    Images Puslished In:
    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
    Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981).
    Note:
    In this red brick municipal building, Northup created one of the first of Winston-Salem's "Salem Revival" buildings featuring the distinctive "bonnet" hood at the entrance. It was built shortly before Salem formally became part of the city of Winston-Salem.

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