Oak Grove historical marker

Oak Grove (O-39)

Built 1782. Home of James Johnston, officer in Revolution, member Provincial Congress, legislature, convention of 1788. Is 2 mi. east.

Location: NC 16 at Lucia
County: Gaston
Original Date Cast: 1952

Built in 1782, “Oak Grove” was the home of Revolutionary War officer and Provincial Congress member James Johnston. The two-story brick building stood until the 1950s, when it was demolished as part of an urban development project.

Johnston, a native of Scotland, was born in 1742. He came to North Carolina with his father, Henry Johnston, and settled in Tryon County. He quickly rose to prominence in the area, gaining a commission as a militia captain and serving as a juror on the county courts. At the outbreak of the Revolution, Johnston served in the “Snow Campaign” of 1775-1776 against Tories in upcountry South Carolina, and then took a seat at the Provincial Congress of April 1776. Shortly thereafter, he led a militia company in expedition against the Cherokee in 1776 led by Griffith Rutherford.

By some reports, Johnston commanded a Tryon County force during the Battle of King’s Mountain although there is no verifiable evidence supporting the claim. William Chronicle led the men from Johnston’s area in the battle, and none of the published accounts of individuals who served there have identified him as present. Johnston served in the State Senate from 1780-1782. He died on July 23, 1805, leaving seven children.

Lyman Draper, King’s Mountain and Its Heroes (1881)
Piper Peter Aheron, Gastonia and Gaston County (2001)
Bobby G. Moss, Patriots at King’s Mountain (1990)
Bayard M. Wootten and Archibald Henderson, Old Homes and Gardens of North Carolina (1939)

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