When I was a small child we drove to Yadkin County to visit relatives several times a year. The route we took was 801 to Farmington Rd., which connected to Huntsville Rd. There was an old house that always fascinated me. It was a short distance from where Farmington Rd. ended at Huntsville Rd. The house sat back from the road on acreage. I don’t remember it ever being occupied. The house was unpainted but had a front porch with large square columns. The porch supported a balcony of the same size. The roof was tin, so the house was well preserved. It had a hint of past greatness.
I asked my father about the house. The story he told was that the house had belonged to a Dr. L. G. Hunt. He had bought the house with land that he had sold for home sites and developed into the community of Huntsville. He was married to Mary Martin Hunt and they had only one child, a daughter named Daisy. Dr. Hunt died while Daisy was a teenager.
Mrs. Hunt continued to manage the farm with the help of a handyman, Will Kelly. Will had been with them several years. He had been seeing Daisy without Mrs. Hunt’s knowledge. When Mrs. Hunt learned Daisy was pregnant with Will’s child it was rumored that she shot Will in the barn. Her brother was the sheriff at that time. My father’s version of the story was that she shot Will and set the barn on fire to cover up the crime. The sheriff did not press charges.
Daisy is said to have witnessed the barn burning with her lover inside. When her son was born he was covered with scaly or scarred looking skin, as if he had been burned. He was named Joseph Hunt but was always called Jack Hunt. Daisy never married and Jack was rumored to have been kept locked in the house when he was a child.
I researched this story and found other versions of the story. One story did not mention a fire. It said his body was frozen to the ground and had to be pried loose with a shovel. Will had been born to Ann Juliette Kelly who was also an unmarried mother. In one source Will is said to have been the son of Dr. Hunt. Will was ten years older than Daisy. He was born before Dr. Hunt married Mary Martin. I found no proof that Dr. Hunt was Will’s father.
The cause of Jack Hunt’s skin condition was due to the absence of sweat glands. He spent all of his life in the Huntsville community. Another reference claimed that Jack had murdered one or two men, but I found no proof of truth. He did outlive his mother by over thirty years. Daisy died one year before Mrs. Hunt. Jack, Daisy, and the Hunts are all buried at Huntsville Baptist Church. Will Kelly was buried there also. Their findagrave.com sites had much of this history on it.
The biggest surprise for me was finding that Dr. Hunt did not build the house. It was built by a Mr. Dalton, who was a plasterer by trade. Some sites referred to the house as the Dalton Hunt house. The story of the Daltons is a sad one as well. The Daltons had a young son who died at an early age. One version says Mr. Dalton had died before the son. When she lost her son Mrs. Dalton began to see him in the house. She would run around chasing him and calling his name.
She was out on the second story balcony and fell or jumped over the balcony. Mrs. Dalton was impaled on a stake that was used a means of securing their cow. This resulted in her death. I did not find graves for the Dalton family and was unable to establish the truth of this story but there were several references to it.
Many times I have considered researching the Hunt history and writing a book about it. Frances Casstevens wrote about this. Her book is titled Death in North Carolina’s Piedmont: Tales of Murder, Suicide and Causes Unknown. Roadside Revenants and Other North Carolina Ghosts and Legends by Michael Renegar also relate stories of the Hunt house.
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