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Future site of active-adult community has historical significance from 1780s

The future site of Denver’s new active-adult community, Carolina Ridge by Del-Webb at Ingleside, has historical significance according to county historian Darrell Harkey.
Recently, Harkey spent a day with representatives from Pulte Homes touring the old Clark Property.
The 600 acres across from East Lincoln High School will be home to 1,650 housing units, which translates to 2.75 dwelling units per acre.
“The property was an original land grant to the pioneer Jacob Forney,” said Harkey. “That land grant came from King George II.”
According to Harkey, Forney was one of the leaders in the area in the fight for freedom from Great Britain.
Joining Forney in that fight were his three sons, Jacob Jr., Peter and Abram.
“General Cornwallis ransacked Forney’s plantation in 1781,” said Harkey. “In a twist of fate, Cornwallis encamped at the plantation and even tried to cross the Catawba River at Cowan’s Ford Dam in February of that year.”
Harkey added that Cornwallis was not able to cross for three days because heavy rains caused the river to swell.
Harkey said historical markers that sit on the property today are outside of the proposed development.
“There’s the spring that Cornwallis drank from and the rock that the General took his meals from,” said Harkey. “There’s also part of the old plantation building still there. These are tangible reminders of history that people can see.”
He could not estimate how much of Cornwallis’ camp will be part of the new development.
“Cornwallis was over between 2,000 and 3,000 men who were spread over a couple of miles,” said Harkey. “They walked on the banks of Dutchman’s Creek and were ambushed by local patriots who frequented the banks of the creek as well.”
Harkey stopped short of calling the encounter a battle.
“I’d define a battle as someone shooting at me,” Harkey said. “A skirmish is where I’m shooting at you.”
In the early 1800s, Jacob Forney’s grandson, Daniel, built what Harkey called “the finest house west of Raleigh,” which was named Ingleside.
“People named their places back then,” said Harkey. “The meaning has to do with heart and hope.”
Harkey added that the house was special because the bricks were handmade from clay dug on the property.
Recently, artist renderings were unveiled of the new Carolina Ridge entry monument and streetscape according to Kirby LaForce, Pulte Homes vice president for land acquisition.
“Both of these things were designed to reflect and respect the local history as presented by Mr. Harkey,” said LaForce. “That history revealed a traditional architecture rich with nature.”
Reflection of the area’s history will also show through in the homes designed and built there, according to LaForce.
“The homes will reflect the traditional theme of the area and we’ll work to preserve much of the natural vegetation,” said LaForce.
Groundbreaking on the new development, geared for residents age 55 and over, is expected in 2007 with the first home sales in 2008.
by Jon Mayhew

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