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For the Monitor
Published: 3/23/2020 5:55:07 PM

The year 1799 greeted the citizens of Concord kindly. The warm breezes arrived from the south announcing the season of spring. Our ancestors gathered around and set plans for planting their crops as the merchants stocked their shelves after a long and cold winter. The citizens of our young nation were still feeling the spirit of independence from England and the future was indeed very bright. As the people of Concord gathered on Main Street to enjoy a mug of flip at the taverns, they read of nothing but opportunity. Stories such as the adventures of a young boy in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, that acquired great wealth for his family simply by chance. He was playing along the creek when he discovered a heavy yellow rock, young Conrad John Reed unknowingly found a large gold nugget and sparked the Carolina Gold Rush.

Everywhere our ancestors wandered they encountered tales that encouraged them to succeed and believe in our great nation. Gen. George Washington was held in the highest regard for leading his people to independence and had served his nation as president with honor.

With the economy in a positive way, the people living in Concord continued to prosper and construct buildings for their homes and businesses. Young Dr. Carrigan was in the process of building a beautiful mansion on North Main Street for his fiancée and employed some of the finest craftsmen for the project. As the timber frame was constructed and positioned for raising many people arrived to assist, as was common in the early years. Just as the men stood on a cold December day, ready to raise the frame a single man on horseback quickly road up the middle of the Main Street shouting to call the attention of all.

The man upon horseback delivered some devastating news quickly and continued to move towards the next town spreading the word. Gen. George Washington has passed away on Dec. 14, 1799, at his home in Mount Vernon, Va.

Upon the news arriving all of the men and their families immediately ceased to work on the Carrigan house. They gathered their tools somberly and returned home to mourn the man that they revered and loved, the father of their country. George Washington was eulogized on Dec. 26, 1799, where he was remembered as the “First man in war, First man in peace, in the hearts of his countrymen”.

In time, the national Congress moved to call an assembly of the citizens of the United States. This assembly was held on Feb. 22, 1800, where the people continued to mourn and pray for their beloved Washington. The idea was born to honor Washington on his birthday with a funeral service here in Concord at the First Church Meeting House across from the Old North Cemetery. The event was attended by everyone in Concord as the solemn service concluded and provided closure for those attending. The church was adorned with heavy dark mourning dress at the pulpit and galleries and the attire of the people mournful too.

Each and every year the people of Concord continued to gather and celebrate the life of Washington on his birthday at the First Church Meeting House. Life continued to improve for the foundation of this young nation was built most solid. The warm spring of 1800 arrived, the Carrigan Mansion was completed with much style and still stands to this very day as a tribute to the quality craftsmanship of our forefathers. The next time you travel the area of North Main Street, take a few moments to view the large yellow mansion known as the Carrigan House. Appreciate the quality construction well, for it was built by people that shed tears on these very grounds. Tears for a great man that they trusted and respected.

Both the Carrigan House and Gen. George Washington have similarities to this very day. The Carrigan house still stands sentry in the north end of Concord while the memory of a great man still stands to this day too.

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