Edward Cox house
by W. Dale Carter, copyright 2009
The Historical highway marker located on the old Bluff City Highway at the intersection of Sells Road reads as follows: “This pioneer from Maryland built this house which stands 0.1 mile N. in 1773, bringing his bride here in 1775. Following his return from the Revolution, he opened his house to Methodist missionary preachers. Bishop Francis Asbury was a frequent visitor, and held an early conference in the house.”
The House known as the Edward Cox Home sits on land granted to John Cox by the State of North Carolina, 5 January 1779 for 364 acres. John Cox in turn sold his land grant to Edward Cox on 12 March 1788. The deed for the transaction is recorded in Sullivan County Deed Book 1, page 267.
Edward Cox obtained a North Carolina land grant on 9 November 1784 for 292 acres that adjoined the John Cox land grant on the west side. His claim was entered 9 Mar 1780 joining John Cox and Henry Cross including improvements and was surveyed 8 Mar 1780. The fact that the entry claim mentions improvements means that Edward Cox had built a house on his land grant before 1780.
The land records indicate that the Edward Cox Home as described on the highway marker was not built in 1773 but was most likely built after he purchased the John Cox land grant in 1788. Edward Cox would not have built a large two-story log home on land for which he did not have a legal title. Therefore, it is logical to conclude that the Edward Cox home was built in 1788 or shortly thereafter.
Comments about the Cox home
The old Edward Cox home has been so extensively remodeled that it is difficult to determine what parts of the home are original and what parts have been added. The corner notches of the house are constructed using two different types of notches, that is “V” notches and diamond notches. One can be sure this is not how the original log home was constructed. The craftsmen would have used the same type of notch on all the logs. Whether this house represents a replica of the original Cox home is unknown.