When people think of historical attractions near Lake Norman, one might think about the Historic Latta Plantation or Rural Hill. Not many people may know, but there is another property that has deep roots to the area, specifically the town of Davidson. We'll take a closer look at one of the area's lesser-known historical landmarks, the Beaver Dam Historic Home.

It all starts with the Revolutionary War

General William Lee Davidson's son, William Lee Davidson II, built the historic home in 1829. General Davidson was killed in the battle of Cowan's Ford when he attempted to slow down Lord Cornwallis's northward progress. Davidson II was only a month old at the time his father was killed, and when he was about 28 years old, he purchased the Beaver Dam property from a family relative.

Rural Hill

Rural Hill

The stately Beaver Dam Historic Home is surrounded by beautifully manicured lawns.

Beaver Dam Historic House


Ties to Rural Hill

On October 30, 1805, Davidson II married Major John Davidson's youngest daughter, Elizabeth. Major Davidson was the owner of the Rural Hill property and was the last surviving signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.

Land expansion

After a while passed, Davidson II had expanded the property from 451 acres to 785 acres and built the home that still stands today in 1829. The following year, Major Davidson was called upon to confirm and testify that the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence had actually been a true event because people had been skeptical. He signed an account of events stating he was confident that the document was made public at least a year before the US Declaration of Independence. The letter was marked with Beaver Dam's address!

Beaver Dam operation

William Lee Davidson invested a good amount of money into the production of silk. He planted mulberry trees and even built silk houses, but the experiment didn't turn into a financial success. The home serves as a great reminder of the early days of North Carolina when it was seen as a "fine house" and added elegance to William and Elizabeth's lives. 

Deep roots with Davidson College

Beaver Dam also has a connection with the founding of Davidson College. Davidson II was a Presbyterian elder and a member of the committee of Concord Presbytery which had a purpose to select a site for the Manual Labour School. Davidson II decided to sell 469 acres of another property he owned to the committee. A few months later on August 26, 1835, the committee decided to call the new school, Davidson College. It's said that Davidson II actually gave the land to the new college after they decided to name the college after his father. 

A wedding party poses for photos on the porch of the Historic Beaver Dam Home in Davidson

Wedding @ Beaver Dam Historic House

Davidson College Presbyterian Church

Davidson College

Beaver Dam in present time

Today, the home has turned into a wedding venue that offers the perfect historical atmosphere and backdrop for couples. You'll still see a few mulberry trees on the property which helps provide a vision of the home during its early days. Although there aren't any public tours one can go to see the historical home, it's still important to recognize the landmarks that are part of the history of the Lake Norman area.

We hope you gained a little bit of knowledge and if you happen to have a wedding planned for 2021 and need assistance in finding the right venue, let VLN help you. We've got a comprehensive venue guide listing all the venues in the area, including historical ones like Beaver Dam. If interested in the venue guide, please email Travis Dancy or call (704) 987-3300. We encourage you to tag us in your historical trips around the area on social media @VisitLakeNorman.