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This Old Porch - Genealogy - History

This 5-gabled free-classic Queen Anne Victorian home was built in 1892 by former Buncombe County Sheriff William McCame Worley on 55 acres of land deeded from his father Wiley Jackson Worley, also a former Buncombe County Sheriff. The 14 room 5 bedroom 2.5 bath home consists of 3,568 square feet, 3 porches comprising of 750 total square feet, 7 fireplaces and sits on a large park-like lot just 1.5 miles from Asheville and 1.5 miles from West Asheville.

According to "A History of Buncombe County NC" by F.A. Sondley, LL.D. 1930, T.F. Reeves, Cane Worley [as he is sometimes incorrectly referred to; but actually, he was nicknamed "Came"] and Bailey V. Jones were important tobacco men in those days, being associated in the operation of one of the most important warehouses in the town. Major W.W. Rollins and J.M. Smith rented the Farmer's Warehouse from the James Thomas estate after Mr. Barnard had ceased operations there. The Buncombe Warehouse was operated by Came Worley, Dr. J.M. Stevens and L.L. Childs and a second market was operated by Mr. Barnard called the Banner Warehouse. This was around 1892-1896.

According to "Cabins & Castles", a local architectural guide, the house is a rambling two-story frame central-hallway house incorporating a somewhat earlier one-story saddlebag-plan house as ell. Nice scrollwork brackets the posts on shed porch of earlier house. Porch of later section has paired Tuscan columns. Elaborately cut-out gable ornament, boxed and molded cornice with returns. Some molded window cornices. Fine milled woodwork on interior includes mantel composition (trabeated over mantel with beveled mirror) from "Jones Lumber Co., Knoxville, Tenn., 1898." Closed stringer stairway in hall. Worley made money in lumber and tobacco before going into politics. [Factually, he became Sheriff after making money in the tobacco business.]

Special thanks go to Frank McCame Worley, grandson of William and son of Robert, for these extraordinary photographs. Mr. Worley lived with his grandparents, Frank Winter and Dora "Crisp" Russell (on his mother's side) for several years. They moved in about 1930 after his grandmother Dora had a stroke.

Also, thanks go to Mark Reese Sumner, grandson of William and son of Margaret Katherine, for the many photographs, verification and invaluable stories associated with Worley Place.