The Rowan Museum recently donated a conservation easement on the historic Michael Braun House and the more than twenty-two acres surrounding it. The Michael Braun House, which is also known as “Old Stone House”, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1766 by German immigrant Michael Braun, it is widely considered the oldest house in the county. In the 1950s the home was in desperate need of repair when the Rowan County Museum stepped in and began a six year overhaul which resulted in a magnificently restored treasure. This site is open for tours on weekends. The structure serves as a prime example of stone architecture from the eighteenth century.
Located in the town of Granite Quarry, the house is an important reminder of the role German immigrants played in the settlement and development of Rowan County. Michael Braun, who arrived in America in 1737, built the house for his family, and it remained in his family after his death until early 1900’s. it has been owned by the Rowan Museum since 1959 and is currently open to the public as a museum on weekends.
With all but five acres in forest, the property retains the integrity of its natural setting. Edward Norvell, who sits on the board of the Rowan Museum and was instrumental in getting this property protected by easement, said “We owe a lot to the Brown-Fisher family and Mr. E.L. Hardin who all worked throughout the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s to restore this Piedmont treasure. I am proud that the current Rowan Museum board had the foresight to further protect the property surrounding the house so that the Michael Braun House will forever retain its frontier setting, even as new residential subdivisions surround it. The Hezakiah Alexander house in Charlotte, the only other 18th century German stone house in North Carolina, once had a similar frontier setting, but you would never know it based on the way the surrounding area has developed. We are proud to know that the Michael Braun house will not suffer the same fate.”