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Boxwood Estate

Then & Now

The name “Boxwood” was given to the present house (designed by the internationally noted New York architectural firm of Delano & Aldrich, which specialized in country manor houses for clients such as the Vanderbilts as well as banks, museums and other prominent structures such as the American Embassy in Paris) when it was constructed in 1933. Margaret Cunningham Craig had inherited the 1,500 acre Davie County farm from her husband, William Rabb Craig, a wealthy New York cotton broker, who assembled the property on the waters of the South Yadkin River in the 1910’s to be used as a winter hunting retreat. First known as Yadkin Lodge, the property was embellished with evergreens and English boxwood gardens by Mr. and Mrs. Craig. Following the establishment of a full time agricultural operation, the estate became known as Boxwood Farm.

In November of 1931, Mr. Craig fell ill unexpectedly and died in Salisbury, NC. The funeral party departed in a private railcar for services and interment in Yazoo City, Mississippi, his birthplace. Mrs. Craig returned to the couple’s Park Avenue apartment in New York and subsequently made plans for the construction of a new manor house on the estate.

Following completion and furnishing of the Lodge in 1934, Mrs. Craig enjoyed a charmed life at Boxwood Farm and entertained handsomely and frequently. Childless, she took young Roy Hoffner as her ward in the late 1930’s and he occupied Boxwood Lodge for a longer period than anyone. She married Walter Henderson Woodson, Jr., a Salisbury Attorney in 1943. In 1949, they established the Walter H. Woodson and Margaret C. Woodson Foundation, which in 1955 was reorganized as the Margaret C. Woodson Foundation.

After Mrs. Woodson’s death in September 1963, her body was also returned to Yazoo City for interment. Mindful of the expense of maintaining Boxwood Farm as a private estate, she directed her executors to sell the estate for the benefit of the Margaret C. Woodson Foundation. Approximately 1,500 acres including Boxwood Lodge were sold in 1964 to the C.G. Fox Lumber Company. The next year, the company conveyed a tract of 51 acres, including Boxwood Lodge, to Roy Hoffner and his wife. Mr. Hoffner died in 1993.

Boxwood Lodge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and cited for its statewide significance in the areas of architecture, landscape architecture and social history. In 2001, the 51 acre estate was divided into 9 smaller tracts in order to sell them separately at auction. In order to preserve the property and keep all tracts and structures under single ownership, the current owners purchased Boxwood Lodge and its 51 acres at the auction. Their desire was to restore the grandeur of Boxwood Estate and make this hidden treasure and its history available to generations to come.

Since 2002, the manor, cabin, carriage house and grounds have been completely rehabilitated within the “Standards for rehabilitation and is consistent with the historic character of the property or district in which it is located.” A certified historic structure, Boxwood has been designated a “certified rehabilitation" by the United States Department of Interior National Park Service.

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