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History

On Homestead Road in Carrboro, nestled beside Horace Williams Airport, there is a farm with a story to tell. Deeded to the Hogan family in 1716, it is a stretch of rolling hills and whispering creeks that at one time flourished with wheat, corn, beef and dairy cattle. If this land could talk, it would tell of nearly three centuries of Hogans; it would boast of daring fighter pilots in World War II; it would laugh at the creative genius of North Carolina’s Andy Griffith; and, it would welcome Winmore, Carrboro’s first mixed-use community.

“This land is a special piece of Carrboro’s history,” says developer Scott Kovens of Capkov Ventures “and we feel Winmore, with its energizing blend of professional, retail and commercial opportunities and the architecturally classic, high-quality town and single family homes, will do what Carrboro does best – embrace life in a vibrant and sustainable way by blending the old with the new.”

An important part of that blend, and quintessential Carrboro, is leaving a light footprint on the environment. Winmore has been raised with strict architectural standards paying attention to classic style and details and using Winmore Green Building Standards; a program of environmentally sensitive construction guidelines that include improved energy efficiency through renewable and clean energy standards, environmentally-friendly building materials, fewer pollutants discharged from buildings, better indoor environmental quality, and industry and public awareness of new environmentally-protective technologies. These important standards were designed to protect communities, their environment and people. Nowhere is there more to protect than this treasured part of Carrboro’s history.

In the early 1900s, the town high school was on Franklin Street where University Square is today, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (Historic Airport Road) was unpaved, travelers followed Old 86 to get to Hillsborough, and for as far as the eye could see, Homestead Road was farmland. The University, with just 6000 students, owned the electric and phone systems; Duke Power came in 1935, bringing with it the miracle of hot water and electric lights. It was an idyllic time and place, with farmers working the land while children rambled on the rolling terrain, rode horses along the old trails, and fished the creeks. In the 1940’s, the Hogan farm was also a time of heroes. When World War II broke out, to support US allies the military hastily tossed up little airfields around the country to train fighter pilots. Because of the proximity to Horace Williams Airport, the farm was an ideal training ground. The trainee pilots would use the old bridge for bombing practice, dropping 5-pound flour sacks because the spilled flour could chart their accuracy yet wash away. The farm and Horace Williams Airport were a vital and proud part of the American effort during World War II.

In 1950, a hero of a different kind called the Hogan farm home: recent Carolina graduate Andy Griffith moved to the old farmhouse with his wife Barbara. It was here that he walked the trails, fished the creeks and launched his comedy career by writing the popular monologue “What It Was Was Football,” released on Columbia Records. For two years, Griffith and Barbara used the old farmhouse as their home base as they toured the southeast performing comedy and music in clubs. From the farm, Griffith moved on to Broadway and “No Time for Sergeants” which later became a movie, and then, into his role as cherished American icon, Mayberry Sheriff Andy Taylor of the “Andy Griffith Show.”

It is this history and character that Winmore strives not just to preserve, but to celebrate! Indeed, if the land could talk, it would have quite a story to tell! It would muse about how life in this little corner of the world has changed through the centuries; from lanterns to telegraph, telephones to Internet. But some things stay true: Winmore, like the community of yesteryear, is a place where people can put down deep roots, where kids can walk to school through rolling hills alongside gentle creeks, a place where heroes and artists, icons and just plain old good neighbors call home. Developer Scott Kovens feels Winmore exemplifies Capkov’s commitment to celebrate the essence of an area. “Carrboro is unique – historic, funky, entrepreneurial, and artsy,” he concludes. “This property is a beloved part of the town, containing so much of Carrboro’s character, history and beauty; we’ll preserve that character, and make Winmore a place where today’s neighbors will create their own memories.”