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Lubchenko House History

Written & copyrighted by Janet Morrison, 2009


        Did you know that the Lubchenko house at 6850 Robinson Church Road was built in 1899 for Marcus "Mark" McKee Morrison?

        Mark Morrison was the third child of John Dwight and Cynthia Elizabeth Wilson Morrison.  The Morrisons were active members of Rocky River Presbyterian Church and owners of a successful farm.

        When Mark was not yet a teenager, he saw his father go off to fight in the War Between the States in Company C, Tenth Battalion Heavy Artillery.

        As a young bachelor, Mark apparently became a popular character in the village of Harrisburg.  His name appears a number of times in Harrisburg News columns in the Concord newspapers of the late 1800s.  Some of the entries may be of the "tongue in cheek" variety.

        For instance, the February 3, 1886, Concord Times reported, "We are sorry to lose our friend M.M. Morrison, who has invested in the iron manufacturing business in Birmingham, Ala.  Luck to Mark."  That possibly had some truth to it, but he remained in Harrisburg for the rest of his life.

        On April 15, 1886, the Concord Times reported that chickens were so cheap that Morrison had bought a dozen for ten cents.

        Mark Morrison bought one and a half acres of land on present-day Robinson Church Road from Charley E. and Elizabeth J. Johnston for $50 in July of 1899.  Three months later, at the age of 45, Morrison married Eugenia "Jeanie" Williams.  It is thought that he built the house in the months just prior to his marriage.

        Morrison was in the mercantile business with a Mr. Harris.  One source said it was Samuel Harris, but I have been unable to document that.  Their store was on present-day Railroad Avenue, which was known as Main Street in that time period.  The store was a wood frame building with a front porch.  The Morrison & Harris Store opened for business on January 6, 1893.  The [Concord] Standard newspaper reported on July 12, 1894, that the store carried approximately $2,500 in stock. 

        When the 1900 US Census was taken, 24-year old John M. Patterson lived in the Morrison household and was listed as a dry goods salesman.  He, no doubt, worked at the Morrison & Harris Store.

        The July 12, 1894, newspaper article indicated that Harrisburg had no municipal government; however, Mark Morrison could "be taken for mayor, were size a characteristic."   A photograph of Morrison standing on the porch of his store shows him to be a rather heavy man.

        The safe that was shipped to the Morrison & Harris Store on August 3, 1893, is now a prized possession of the Town of Harrisburg.  It is displayd in the restored D.L. Morrison/Sims Store and Old Post Office by the railroad track on Robinson Church Road.

        According to Peter R. Kaplan's book about Cabarrus County architecture, Mark Morrison was a supporter of the movement in the early 1900s to get a cotton mill built in Harrisburg.  This never came about.  If it had, Harrisburg would be quite a different, but not necessarily a better, place today.

        This started out to be the story of the Lubchenko house, so let's turn our attention to the building.  Kaplan described it as "a rambling one-story frame house with a relatively elaborate porch."

        Mark Morrison died in 1909 of bilious fever complicated by heart trouble.  His widow sold the one-and-one-half acre tract of land and house along with two small lots to Aaron F. Quay for $3,000 in May of 1920.  Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas E. Lubchenko bought the house and all the land in December of 1920 for $3,005. The house served not only as their home but also as the doctor's office.

        Many people of a certain age remember being seen by "Dr. Lube" in the front room on the right side of the house.  More recent owners have added to the house, so it isn't exactly as it was in Dr. Lubchenko's day.  Until recent years, the house had the only street sidewalk in Harrisburg.

        Dr. Lubchenko died in 1960.  The house and land have been sold several times since then and are now owned by a developer.  The house's future is uncertain.

        Peter Kaplan's description does not do the house justice.  When you have a chance, stop and take a good look at the architectural details of the house.  Notice the intricate wood trim work under the peaks of the roof and the unique woodwork on the porch.  The house would be a local treasure even if it hadn't been Dr. Lubchenko's home and office. 

        Note:  The D.L. Morrison/Sims Store is erroneously identified as the M.M. Morrison Store in Peter R. Kaplan's book, The Historic Architecture of Cabarrus County, North Carolina.  Dwight Lafayette Morrison was a younger brother of Mark Morrison.


Bibliography:

Concord Times newspapers from the dates cited.

M.M. Morrison's obituary, The Concord Times, October 9, 1909.

The [Concord] Standard newspaper, July 12, 1894.

The Historic Architecture of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, by Peter R. Kaplan, revised, 2004.

Descendants of James & Jennet Morrison of Rocky River, by Marie and Janet Morrison, 1996.

Piedmont Neighbors:  Historical Sketches of Cabarrus, Stanly and Southern Rowan Counties, From the Pages of Progress Magazine, edited by Clarence E. Horton, Jr. and Kathryn L. Bridges, 1999.

Deeds researched at the Cabarrus County Register of Deeds Office in Concord, August, 2008.        

1900 US Census of Cabarrus County.