Farm remains a family jewel
In a handwritten deed dated Feb. 13, 1794, John Mayfield transferred a large tract of land to William Hogwood. The land, which straddles Oine Road northwest of Norlina, has stayed within the family ever since.
Margaret Brame, who lives at 118 Cedarbill Lane on the portion of the property on the west side of Oine Road, has preserved property and family records. She has a copy of the deed and a number of family pictures. On a recent weekday, she traced the 220-year history of the property as it passed from one family member to another.
William Hogwood’s daughter, Lucy, married William T. Paschall. Because there were two William Paschalls in the area at the time, he was known as “Cedar Bill” because of the cedar trees that were prominent on his property. That designation led to the current name of the lane where the farm is located.
Lucy and Cedar Bill’s son John and his wife Rosa had several children. When the farm was passed on, a 93-acre portion went to Verna Thomas Paschall, Brame’s grandfather. Another portion went to another son, William Paschall. Both portions are still owned by family members. Oine Road separates the two farms.
Verna’s portion came to John Richard Paschall, Margaret’s father. He died in 2002. The farm is now in his wife’s name.
William Paschall’s portion is now, two generations later, worked by Hal Paschall Jr. and his son Jeremy, who also work the Brame farm since John’s death.
Brame said it was once a diverse farm with tobacco, mules, chickens, hogs — “everything they had on a farm back then.”
“Soon after I came along, Dad decided to go into the dairy business,” she said. Dairy farming demands attention every day. In order to take their vacations near to home, her parents bought a place on Kerr Lake.
“We had to take vacations near enough so Dad could get back to do the milking everyday,” she said. “I never traveled much as a girl.”
Now the farm produces field crops such as milo, corn and wheat. The fields on both sides of Brame’s house are cultivated with soybeans.
Standing among 20th-century buildings is the original farmhouse. It was built shortly after the property was bought by William Hogwood. Brame is not certain of the date. It stands now, empty of human occupants but used to store family and farm items of yesteryear.
It originally had only four rooms, two down and two up. The kitchen was in an outbuilding. At some point, Brame is not sure when, several rooms in back were added. They are reached with a step down. The kitchen was brought into the house. When electricity was brought into the building, it illumined one bulb hanging from the middle of the living room.
Brame pointed out notched beams in the attic, which she believes indicate that they came from another structure.
An extension at the back of the house was once the porch, Brame said.
“We’d sit there and fix the vegetables,” she said. “That was my job.”
Brame grew up on the farm, graduated from Norlina High School and attended Peace College for a year. She worked for a local bank for a year and then went to work for the City of Henderson, first as secretary to the mayor and city manager and then in the finance department. She retired in 1999.
Brame is married to Jimmy “Chip” Brame. He worked for Harriet & Henderson Yarns, took early retirement and now works for Point Guard Marketing in Henderson.
The farm, which the family obtained while George Washington was president, has survived a war that divided the nation, a redrawing of county boundaries to form neighboring Vance County, two world wars and ups and downs of the economy.
“I’d like to keep it in the family,” Brame said. But she’s not sure that will happen. Her son lives in Charlotte.
“You have to go where the opportunities are,” she said. “He’d love to come back here if he had the chance.”
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