WCHS Family History
Dr. Joseph Murdock and Family, Scotland to America
by Mary Murdock Turney
There is considerable debate as to the date of construction and the location of the home of Dr. Joseph Murdock.
It should be noted that the only white people living in this area in 1779 were Tories and Outlaws fleeing the Revolutionary Armies of GA and SC. It is unlikely that these persons would have owned carpentry tools.
Saws and saw pits were unknown in this area before 1800, while saws and saw pits were readily available from 1817 forward. And the home was constructed of sawn timber.
In 1782 Col. Elijah Clarke led an expedition to the Long Swamp village of the Cherokees seeking Tories. His fources would have followed the Indian Trail from Nacoochee Valley to the west, passing within a mile of the home's current location. It is unlikely that a home of a Tory doctor would have escaped Col. Clarke's attention. Col. Clarke's forces found the Tories at Long Swamp and none of them survived the return trip to Wilkes County.
There is near Dr. Murdock's grave some non-native plants similar to those that would have been planted near a home.
Several, including Mr. Riley Kenimer, have state in the past that the Murdock Home was moved at some point. Further the timbers in the current home show evidence of being numbered, an indication that the home was partially demolished and reconstructed.
It is thought by some that the home was sold by Dr. Murdock's heirs and moved to it's current location.
In any case, the Murdock Home is the oldest intact building of Sawn Lumber in White County whether is was built in 1779 or 1822.