Timeline of the Kirkland Family

1799 – Purchase of 503 acres by William Kirkland of Ayr, Scotland
1815 – Construction of Ayr Mount completed
1836 – Death of William Kirkland
1839 – Margaret Kirkland, wife of William, dies
1840 – John Umstead Kirkland Era (with wife Elizabeth Adam Simpson Kirkland)
1879 – John Umstead Kirkland dies
1880 – Mary Anderson Kirkland dies – last surviving of the 14 children of William and Margaret
1881 – Samuel Simpson Kirkland Era (with wife Eliza Gaston Kirkland)
1883 – Last Kirkland descendant at Ayr Mount is born (Samuel S. Kirkland)
1904 – Samuel Simpson Kirkland dies
1904 – John Kirkland, Jr. Era (with wife Fanny Harriet McLarin Kirkland)
1908 – Title of Ayr Mount is passed to six of John, Jr. and Harriet’s children
1914 – John Kirkland, Jr. dies
1930 – Samuel S. Kirkland Era (with wife Emily Davis Smith Kirkland)
1960 – Seven acres of land sold to Ted & Betty Smith reducing Kirkland estate to 50 acres
1971 – Samuel S. Kirkland dies
1985 – Richard Hampton Jenrette purchases Ayr Mount and restoration begins
1989 – Emily Davis Smith Kirkland dies and is last family member interred in Kirkland cemetery
1993 – RHJ donates Ayr Mount to Classical American Homes Preservation Trust
1994 – Ayr Mount opens as a historic museum
2013 – CAHPT purchases seven acres of original land from the Ted & Betty Smith Estate



The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources has identified two prehistoric locations of archaeological importance on CAHPT property in Hillsborough. Since 1938, the University of North Carolina has also been researching a third location called the Oxbow. That location has three Native American village sites associated with the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation dating from 1400 to the early 1700s. The Oxbow (20 acres) was purchased by Richard H. Jenrette in 1986 to protect it from threatening development and to safeguard the research for future generations. In honor of this gift, the researchers named one of the villages the “Jenrette Site” (see map below). The Oxbow was then donated to CAHPT in 1993. All the artifacts recovered from these sites are curated at the UNC Research Laboratories of Archaeology. The exact location of these archaeological sites is not recommended for public release. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail along the Eno River is carefully aligned in the general vicinity of all three locations as it passes through CAHPT land.

The definitive document on this research is Time before History: The Archaeology of North Carolina, written by H. Traywick Ward & R. P. Stephen Davis Jr., published by The University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill and London) 1999.

Additional information can be found at http://www.ibiblio.org/uncpress/occaneechi/

Click here for information and a video about this “classroom with shovels”.