Cotton. A soft, fluffy staple fiber that dramatically shaped the history of Cramer’s Pond.
Cramer’s Pond’s 15-acre site was once composed of four tracts of land, originally a part of the Club Acres subdivision near Charlotte Country Club. Cotton broker and manufacturer Charles Barnhardt purchased the lots in 1936, alongside his wife Edna. The couple hired architect Martin E. Boyer, Jr. to design a 6,500 square foot estate home. Boyer was favored among the Charlotte elite and one of the few architects to thrive during The Great Depression. He created a Colonial Revival style estate with modern and romantic elements: Art Modene Style half-round bays, flat clay tile roofing, and sawn shutters. Personalized touches, such as steel frames shaped like cotton spindles, were planned to adorn the home.
Construction began in 1937. Tragically, Charles passed away before completion in 1938. Edna never moved into the home yet there is record of a fellow cotton broker residing there between 1940 and 1943. Edna sold the property in 1944 to Walter and Jennie Hollinsworth; they sold the property to longtime owners George and Elizabeth Cramer in 1948. The Cramer’s were textile industrialists whose family built the mill town of Cramerton in Gaston County. Incredibly, the Cramer family made no significant changes to the home during their 68-year ownership. Even today, the estate’s main footprint stands nearly identical to Boyer’s architectural drawings and on the interior you’ll find the same inspired details: niches, scallops, and pilasters.
A developer purchased the estate in 2016 and subdivided the property into 40 lots. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission purchased the original historic estate home along with its four adjacent lots, using the Historic Preservation Revolving Fund. Preservation covenants were added into the deed and the property.
In 2019, Grandfather Homes’ owner, Matt Ewers, purchased the estate home and began an extensive 2-year renovation and addition. By 2021, Grandfather Homes had proudly built 17 of the 37 surrounding homes in Cramer’s Pond. Matt and his family moved into the estate home, which remains the historic focus of Cramer’s Pond.