Sunday, January 10, 2016

Hoke County, North Carolina

I took my birthday (December 4) off from work to visit Hoke County. Founded in 1911 from parts of Cumberland and Robeson Counties, Hoke County was one of the last two counties formed in North Carolina. (Avery County in western North Carolina was also formed in 1911.)

Hoke County Courthouse
Raeford, a town of a little under 5,000 residents, is the county seat of Hoke County. When I visited in early December, the downtown area was already decorated for the holidays, with wreaths and red bows on lamp posts and some buildings.

The Hoke County Courthouse had a nice veterans memorial in front of it, as well as a marker for a time capsule to be opened in April 2111.

Dundarrach Community Church
My favorite Hoke County discovery outside of Raeford was the tiny community of Dundarrach,
which is home to the Dundarrach Community Church and Cemetery. I love country churches with accompanying cemeteries!

The rest of my Hoke County photos are here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wilson County, North Carolina

On September 5, 2015, I enjoyed a visit to Wilson County, North Carolina. Wilson County was formed in 1855 from neighboring counties in eastern North Carolina, and named for Louis Dicken Wilson, a state legislator from neighboring Edgecombe County who was a colonel in the Mexican-American War.

Wilson County Courthouse
I spent most of my time in the county seat of Wilson, which has a population of nearly 50,000. It was the birthplace and initial headquarters of Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T). Although the headquarters has moved to Winston-Salem, the bank is still Wilson County's largest employer.

One of Wilson County's local treasures is Vollis Simpson. Although he passed away in 2013, his art lives on in the form of whirligigs throughout the area. While I didn't make it to the Wilson Whirligig Park, I saw a number of them across the city! They're delightful!

I also stopped to visit St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, which is a beautiful older church (built in 1906), and found several local geocaches.

My photo album of Wilson County is here.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cumberland County, North Carolina

Cumberland County Courthouse
Last Saturday, I enjoyed an afternoon trip to Cumberland County, North Carolina, just an hour and a half from home! Cumberland County is the fifth largest county (population-wise) in North Carolina, and was formed in 1754.

Oval Ballroom
The county seat of Cumberland County is Fayetteville, which is also home to Fort Bragg and Pope Army Airfield. I enjoyed driving around Fayetteville, where I stopped to take photos of both the old and newer courthouses. I stopped at Heritage Square, where I found a geocache and enjoyed taking a few more pictures. My favorite building there was the Oval Ballroom--the outside of the building is an octagon!

Local attractions I'd like to return to Fayetteville to visit include the Fayetteville Museum of Art, the Museum of the Cape Fear, and the Cape Fear Botanical Garden.

I also explored the Cumberland County town of Hope Mills. As I drove into town, I saw the remnants of Hope Mills Lake, which used to be full but was drained a few years ago, due to a sinkhole that was causing a leak in the dam. I enjoyed a stop at Big Rockfish Presbyterian Church, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

I really enjoyed my visit to Cumberland County, and look forward to going back. The rest of my Cumberland County photos are here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lee County, North Carolina

I had a short but nice visit to Lee County, North Carolina, back on August 16. I had driven through Lee County before, but this was my first time to stop and visit, and I enjoyed it!

Lee County was formed in 1907 from parts of three surrounding counties (Harnett, Chatham, and Moore). It was named for General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate Army. The county seat is Sanford, a city of nearly 30,000 people. One of Sanford's largest local industries in brick making, so it's fitting that Sanford, as the county seat, is home to the lovely brick Lee County Courthouse.

Driving through Sanford, a place called the Temple Theatre caught my eye, so I stopped and took a few pictures of it, too. According to the Wikipedia article about it, the Temple Theatre has been a cultural center during different periods of Sanford's history. I'm glad it's been restored and kept up.

Before I left the area, I decided to look for a geocache, and the hunt took me to Deep River Park, and the Camelback Bridge, which spans the Deep River and crosses the border between Lee and Chatham Counties. It was a lovely stop, a very peaceful place. (I also found the geocache, which made it even more fun!)

The rest of my Lee County, North Carolina, photos are here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Greene County, North Carolina

Last Saturday, I spent part of a rainy day in Greene County, North Carolina! I'd never been to Green County before, so it was a treat!

Greene County Courthouse
Greene County was named for Nathanael Greene, a major general in the American Revolutionary War. (The North Carolina cities of Greenville and Greensboro are both named after Nathanael Greene as well, but neither of those cities are actually in Greene County.) The county was first formed in 1791 and named Glasgow County, for former North Carolina Secretary of State James Glasgow. He got in hot water over his involvement in military land grand fraud, though, and had to leave the state. That's when Glasgow County's name was changed to Greene County.

Downtown Snow Hill
Snow Hill, chartered back in 1828, is the county seat and largest city in Greene County, with a population of a little over 1600 residents. The downtown area looked pretty sparse during my visit, but it was a rainy Saturday. Once I found and took a photo of the Greene County Courthouse, I decided to look for some geocaches in the area, and was delighted to drive through part of Snow Hill's historic district and other parts of the county. Greene County is definitely an agricultural county, as I passed many crops, mainly tobacco, but others too, possibly soybeans or sweet potatoes. Snow Hill will host the 2014 North Carolina Sweet Potato Festival in mid-September. (I love sweet potatoes, so maybe I'll go back for that!)

Maury Train Station
I made a quick stop in the quaint unincorporated community of Maury on my way back home. There are a few businesses in this quaint crossroads area. To the right is a photo of the old Maury Train Depot.

These and the other photos I took last Saturday have been posted to Flickr. You can find them here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Warren County, North Carolina

I thoroughly enjoyed my January 4 visit to Warren County! Since I'd never been to Warren County before, I did some quick research beforehand. The county was formed in 1779, and named for John Warren. The county seat is Warrenton. Warrenton was one of the wealthiest towns in North Carolina from 1840-1860, so there are some nice old homes and buildings there. As a result, over half of Warrenton has been designated as a National Historic District.

On my way to my first planned stop in Ridgeway, I passed through Manson, thanks to the small post office! I saw a sign about Soul City, near Manson, but didn't stop to explore.

Church of the Good Shepherd
Although I missed the Ridgeway Cateloupe Festival (maybe I'll go back in July), I did find the future home of the Ridgeway Historical Museum, as well as the Church of the Good Shepherd, a beautiful Episcopal church, built in the Gothic Revival style. The church was locked, so I couldn't see inside, but I enjoyed taking pictures outside and around the cemetery.

Next, I found Macon, birthplace of Reynolds Price, author and Duke professor, who passed away in 2011. It's a small place, but I snapped a picture of the post office and a sign.

Warren County Courthouse
I ended my trip in Warrenton, county seat. I found the Warren County Courthouse, as well as the Fairview Cemetery. I also enjoyed taking pictures inside the Warrenton post office, which has a WPA mural. I enjoyed a late lunch in the Hardware Cafe (across from the courthouse) before heading home.

The rest of my photos of Warren County are here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Columbus County, North Carolina

George and I took a daytrip to Columbus County last Saturday as part of our 10th anniversary celebration week. Why Columbus County, you ask? Because it's an easy 2.5 drive from home, a place we'd never been before, AND because the North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival was happening in Whiteville.

Getting ready for this daytrip prompted both of us to clean out our cars and get oil changes, since we didn't decide which car to take until late Friday night. (Being busy with work, grad school, and life in general, it's good to have little deadlines like this to get you motivated to take care of the important, but little stuff that can fall through the cracks!)

So, we headed for Whiteville later than expected, but had plenty of time to look around the NC Pecan Harvest Festival when we got there. We missed the parade (too bad) and the tour of homes (would've been interesting), as well as the cooking contest (yum!), but looked around at the arts and crafts, car show, and listend to the Band of Oz. We did look at the pecans, but decided not to buy any.

Whiteville (population 5000+) is the county seat of Columbus County, and was named for Columbus County's first state senator, James B. White, who also founded the city. One place we didn't visit in Whiteville but wish we had os the North Carolina Museum of Forestry. Maybe next time!

Poet A.R. Ammons was born in Whiteville, and grew up on a tobacco farm there.

After walking around the NC Pecan Harvest Festival, we decided to head for Lake Waccamaw State Park near Bolton. The park looked very pretty, but since neither one of us were up for a hike, we decided to hit the Visitor Center. It was unstaffed, but we found the exhibit area, which turned out to be one of the highlights of the day! We watched a very interesting film about Lake Waccamaw, which is a Carolina Bay, and looked at all of the displays too.

After leaving the Visitor Center, we decided to head out and drive the perimeter of Lake Waccamaw. We checked the GPS and headed out of the park to drive around the lake. It was even prettier than I imagined it would be! It was fun to look at the houses too, large and small, vacation and permanent. I stopped and took several pictures.

Although we had a few other places on our list of potential stops, we decided to head home from Lake Waccamaw. It was such a peaceful and pretty way to end our visit to Columbus County.

Columbus County, named for Christopher Columbus, was formed in 1808, and sits on the North Carolina-South Carolina border.

For all of my Columbus County photos, click here.