Old Stone House
German immigrant Michael Braun (Brown) built this house of native stone in 1766 near Granite Quarry (then called Granite Ridge). The son of Stephen Braun, he had arrived in Philadelphia with his family on the ship the “Glasgow” in 1738. The family settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for about 20 years. In the late 1750’s, Michael and other members of his family made their way south to Rowan County. Michael Braun appears on the Rowan County tax list beginning in1759. He was active in the civic affairs of Rowan County and served as a juror as early as 1758. Braun purchased 274 acres from John Dunn in 1760 and he and his sons began to build the house. He became a naturalized citizen in 1763 and was appointed constable in 1764. In 1771, he was made overseer of the road from Salisbury to the Dutch Meeting House. In 1777, his name appears as a Justice in the Rowan County Court Records. Michael Braun died in 1808, but his family occupied the house until 1904.
The two-story house is the oldest structure in Rowan County and one of few remaining stone houses in the state of the 18th and early 19th centuries. It is a substantial house for the time period. By the 1920’s, the house had fallen into disrepair. Shown here before restoration, the house underwent several restorations after the 1930’s, the most recent in 1966. The house is now owned by the Rowan Museum, Incorporated and is open to the public as a historical site.
The Michael Braun graveyard is located in the woods across the road from the Old Stone House. It contains over a dozen graves of Michael Braun descendants. The stone-wall surrounding the cemetery was restored in 1915. Two large stone posts mark the entrance where they probably once supported a wooden gate. Margareta Braun’s tombstone, dated 1771, is prominent in the cemetery.
Series No. 0150 – Raphael Tuck & Sons.
Hammer, Carl, Jr. Rhinelanders on the Yadkin: the Story of the Pennsylvania Germans in Rowan and Cabarrus Counties North Carolina Salisbury, NC: Rowan Printing Co., 1965
Hood, Davyd Foard The Architecture of Rowan County North Carolina: A Catalogue and History of Surviving 18th, 19th, and 20th Structures Salisbury: Historic Salisbury Foundation, 2000
Genealogical Society of Rowan County Rowan County Cemeteries Salisbury, N.C.: by the Society, 1989 Vol. IV, recorded by W.D. Kizziah in “Historical Notes”
The Ancestors and Descendants of Abraham (Braun) Brown, the Miller: The Ancestors and descendants of Jacob (Braun) Brown, the Wagonmaker, compiled and edited by John Burgess Fisher, Dorothy Brown Koller, Margaret Brown Anderson, Charlotte NC: Delmar Printers, 1983
Nomination Form for Michael Braun House, National Register of Historic Places, prepared by John B. Wells, 1971