Welcome to the Mill Prong House
Built by John Gilchrist in 1795
Other Mill Prong Historical Sites:
NC County Historical Sites:
Mill Prong House, erected c. 1795 by John Gilchrist (1740-1802), has been listed on the; National Register of Historic Places (http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/NC/Hoke/state.html?target) since 1979. It received its name from the nearby stream, a tributary of Raft Swamp. McPhaul's Mill was located downstream and the location of the residence was the Mill "Prong" of Raft Swamp. Constructed in the Federal style, it was remodeled in the Greek Revival style in the 1830s by Col. Archibald McEachern. Stylish for its day, the interior contained extensive wood graining and marbling. The restoration of Mill Prong House was completed in 1993. It remains a unique survivor of the Highland Scot settlement with no renovation or changes in the fabric of the structure since the 1830s. Electricity, heat, and air-conditioning were only added at the time of the restoration. The house is owned by Mill Prong Preservation, Incorporated, a qualified 501 (c) (3) charitable corporation. Use of the structure is available to St. Andrews Presbyterian College of Laurinburg, NC, for its Scottish Heritage Center. Open to the public on the first Sunday of each month from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. and at other times to school groups and civic clubs by writing the organization. The organization will consider rental for special functions.
Restoration in 1993
Mill Prong House restoration was completed in 1993. It remains a unique survivor of the Highland Scot settlement with no renovation or changes in the fabric of the structure since the 1830s. Electricity, heat and air-conditioning were added in the restoration. Since the Scots settling the area came from Argyle, a second floor Argyle room is set up complete with clan flags of families from the area. Anyone with a Scottish name in his background is encouraged to sign his or her name under his clan name in the clan registers provided.
- Hoke County Genealogical: ncgenweb.us/hoke/hoke.html
- Moore County Historical Society: http://www.moorehistory.com/
- Chatham County Historical Society: chathamhistory.org/
- Cumberland Co. Genealogical: ncgenweb.us/cumberland/cumberland.htm
- Richmond County Historical Society: www.rchs-nc.net/index1.htm
- Harnett County: ncgenweb.us/harnett/
- Lee County: www.rootsweb.com/~nclee/
- Montgomery County: www.usgennet.org/usa/nc/county/montgomery/
- Randolph County: www.ncgenweb.us/randolph/index.html
- Scotland County: www.ncgenweb.us/scotland/
The Mill Prong House
Carolina Scots and the Settlement of the Old Southwest
The Mill Prong House, in Hoke County (originally Robeson County), North Carolina, was built by John Gilchrist, Sr. in 1795. Gilchrist was a prominent land owner and politician during and after the War of Independence who had immigrated from the Scottish Highlands shortly before the war. The house was built on the Mill Prong of Raft Swamp, which took its name from McPhaul’s Mill which is a mile or so upstream. McPhaul’s Mill was a rendezvous point for the local Loyalist militia who fought for the king against the local Patriot militia in a vicious civil war. The house and surrounding area are symbolic of the Highland Scots immigrant community that settled the Cape Fear and Lumber River valleys in great numbers, beginning in 1739, with the arrival of the 350 Highlanders of the famed Argyll Colony. The historical significance of the site and surrounding area lies not only in its status as the source of Highland immigrant resistance to the idea of independence from Great Britain, but also as the source of the economic, political, social and cultural development of this region of North Carolina. The Scottish immigrant community that arose in the region around the Mill Prong House later played a critical role in the settlement of the “Old Southwest” (the area we now know as the Gulf States) and of Texas.
- Arrival of John and Malcolm Gilchrist in North Carolina, by Steve Gilchrist: homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~steve/robertwg/carolina.htm
- A History of the Gilchrists, article by the late Robert W. Gilchrist: www.kintyremag.co.uk/2003/58/page2.html
- A History of the Gilchrists, online book by the late Robert W. Gilchrist: homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~steve/robertwg/
- MacPherson Clans of the Upper Cape Fear: www.capefearclans.com/