History of the Home
Thomas W. Patton was a 19th century Asheville major, then a leading civic leader in the 20th century. The property that the sprawling fame home was built on in 1868 – 1869 by Thomas W. Patton and three black carpenters was once known as Camp Patton. It served as a military encampment used by Confederate and Union troops during the war.
- 1861 – 1865 – served as Camp Patton
- 1869 – house was completed
- 1894 - the house played a role in the history of women’s rights. A group of women met at Mayor Patton’s house in November to plan a rally for the next day at the county courthouse. The North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association was formed and the fight for women’s right to vote was launched in North Carolina.
- Early 20th century – his granddaughter became civic leader and helped integrate Asheville YWCA chapter as the first in the South.
When owner and attorney Jim Siemens bought the Patton Parker Home in the fall of 2015, the historic home needed a lot of tender loving care. As a seven generation home to one of Asheville’s leading families, the Patton Parker Home has been a part of Asheville’s history since 1868 but was in need of major renovations.
In early 2016 an electrician working on the home came upon a fascinating discovery while wiring a backroom. He discovered a hidden compartment next to the chimney. Glimmering in the corner he found a tin box embossed with Caribbean scenes and a stack of leather-bound books covered with ash. What German Martinez, the electrician, uncovered was a lot of Asheville’s history. Current owner Jim Siemens and his wife Deborah have enjoyed going through the documents. In an interview with Blue Ridge Public Radio Jim Siemens said,
“What it chronicles is an engagement in life that is multi-faceted. He’s a solider. He’s interested in religion. He’s a hustler. He’s making money in a lot of different ways. If he’s involved with the Asheville club, then he likes to socialize. Fascinating character.”
In an effort to preserve the history that was found, Jim Siemens has donated those documents to the North Carolina room at Pack Memorial Library where they will be available to the public.