The 1798 Philip and Johanna Hoehns House: In Forsyth County, They Don’t Come Much More Historic Than This

If you don’t recognize the name, various members of the family also went by Hoenes, Höhns, Haenes, Haines and Haynes. Also Hanes, which is how it’s pronounced. Eventually, this particular branch of the family started spelling it that way, and that’s how the world knows them today. Philip Hoehns, a second-generation Moravian American, was the first of the family to move to North Carolina, bringing along his parents and siblings from Pennsylvania in 1774. A few years earlier, he had bought land in Wachovia, the large Moravian settlement that contained most of what is now Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. He ultimately accumulated 1,800 acres in the area.

In 1778, Philip (1752-1820) married Johanna Salome Frey (1760-1845). “Settling on land Philip had purchased, tradition claims they first lived in a hickory-pole hut, followed by a log house,” the home’s National Register nomination states. “In the winter of 1797-1798, they began construction of their last house, a commodious and sophisticated two-story, four-bay-wide, double-pile, Flemish-bond brick dwelling.”

Philip became a prosperous farmer and distiller, and after his death it was said that “his industry and economy were accompanied by the blessing of God in an evident manner.” The blessing is still evident, as that commodious and sophisticated house of his has come up for sale at $1.695 million.

Its location is now within the town of Clemmons, 3550 Middlebrook Drive. The house has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and 2,839 square feet. The lot is 8.26 acres. At $1.695 million, the price comes to staggering $597 per square foot, but it’s a beautiful house and as historic as you can get around here. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.

“When built, the Philip and Johanna Hoehns House stood out, for there were no other houses of its caliber in the countryside outside the Moravian congregation towns of Bethabara, Bethania and, especially, Salem,” the nomination says.

“At that time, most rural settlers were building log houses, along with a few timber-frame dwellings. For its time and place, the Philip and Johanna Hoehns House was an anomaly, for it was closely aligned, architecturally, with the brick buildings constructed in Salem from the mid-1780s to the early years of the nineteenth century. In particular, it shared many of the features perfected during the latter years of that period in Salem.

“Today, the Philip and Johanna Hoehns (Hanes) House remains one of the most architecturally significant dwellings in Forsyth County from the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries – a sophisticated rural house tied architecturally to the brick buildings erected in Salem during that time. Of particular note are its large size, refined Flemish-bond brickwork with decorative treatments, and its retention of a modified Germanic flurkuchenhaus plan. In rural Forsyth County, it stands in contrast to the few surviving log and frame houses built during that period and to the later brick houses that expressed different architectural characteristics.”

Recent History

The Hoehns House has a slightly complicated recent history. “In the late 1940s, the interior of the house was remodeled according to plans prepared by Winston-Salem architect William Roy Wallace,” the NRHP nomination says. “When the current owners renovated the house in 2014-2015, they restored some of the original features based on physical evidence, retained some of the 1940s features when there was no evidence of earlier treatments, and made a few changes based on personal taste. …

“Even with the alterations of the 1940s and 2014-2015, the house still strongly projects the feeling of a substantial and sophisticated dwelling from the turn of the nineteenth century in Forsyth County.”

The 2014-15 renovation included the construction of a one-story addition behind the house, connected to the original structure by a hallway. “Although large, the one-story frame addition was designed and built to be as sensitive as possible to the historic character of the original house and to have the least impact on it. Among other things, the addition housed a new kitchen and two bathrooms, so that these facilities did not interrupt the original fabric of the house.”

The property is subject to a historic preservation and conservation covenant held by Preservation North Carolina.

The Hanes Family

Philip and Johanna had 10 children. Some of their more recent descendants, including James G. Hanes and particularly Phil Hanes, have been major figures locally and nationally.

In 1872, two of Philip and Johanna’s many great-grandchildren, Pleasant Henderson Hanes and younger brother John Wesley Hanes established a very successful chewing tobacco company. They sold it to R.J. Reynolds for $1 million in 1900. Then they went their separate but similar ways, starting the two companies (P.H. Hanes Knitting Company and Hanes Hosiery Mills, respectively) that came together in 1965 to form the Hanes Corporation. That company is still thriving today as Hanesbrands Inc. (“Comfortable Clothing Since 1901”).

3550 Middlebrook Drive, Clemmons, Forsyth County
The Philip and Johanna Hoehns (Hanes) House
listing expired October 17, 2020
relisted January 6, 2021

  • $1.695 million (originally $1.95 million)
  • 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2,839 square feet, 8.26 acres
  • Price/square foot: $597
  • Built in 1798 (per NRHP nomination)
  • Listed August 12, 2020
  • Last sale: $275,000, February 2014

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