Saturday, September 6, 2008

Person County, North Carolina

George and I hopped in the car and headed for Roxboro in Person County, North Carolina, the morning of September 5, 2008. I don't remember ever visiting Roxboro before, and I didn't any research on the county. I just looked at a North Carolina map, remembered that a co-worker (Antha) talked about a good restaurant called Clarksville Station in Roxboro, and decided to have lunch there and take a chance on the rest. With rain and wind coming into the state (compliments on Hurricane Hanna), I knew this could be a short day trip, perfect since we had dinner plans.

Our route took us straight up Roxboro Road (which happens to by Hwy. 501) in Durham. (Person County is a neighboring county to Durham County.) In Roxboro, Hwy. 501 then becomes Durham Road, which makes sense. It just so happens that Clarksville Station, the restaurant we were looking for, is on this road! Thank goodness George was looking out for me, because I managed to totally miss this sign until we were passing it, and had to turn around.

As you can see, the restaurant is in an old train station brought down from nearby Clarksville, Virginia. (Person County borders the state of Virginia.) It's a cute restaurant, serving a variety of foods ranging from steak to sandwiches. George had a sandwich and the salad bar, and I enjoyed a grilled cheese and side salad. The waitress was friendly, and helped us get oriented to the town. We explained this project of mine to visit all the North Carolina counties, and she pointed us toward town and recommended the Person County Museum of History, which sounded right up my alley! We asked about the Personality Festival, which we saw a billboard about on the way to the restaurant. She told us it was being postponed until November, because of the predicted rain and wind with Tropical Storm Hanna.

Here are a couple of interesting items that are part of the restaurant building. The item on the left, on the roof, looks like some sort of stop and go thing, perhaps to signal conductors on railroads. The item on the right was on the side of the building, and looks like it might've been responsible for turning something on the train. (Who can provide me with details?)

More pictures from the area around the restaurant.

Once we left the restaurant, we continued to head down Hwy. 501, and ended up on Main Street and the downtown district. This is a picture of a mural on the side of a building, taken through the columns of a pavilion. The mural depicts an old local hotel, the courthouse, and another building I can't remember. When I did an internet search to try to find out more about it, I was delighted to find a website called, which "provides tools for you to catalog, mark­ and visit interesting and useful locations around the world." If you follow my The Time of My Life blog, you know I'm interested in learning more about geocaching, so I'm excited to find this geographical scavenger hunt that I can do without a GPS device. (I still want to do some geocaching,though!) I registered on the website and uploaded this shot. I'm excited to have another way to find interesting sites as I travel across the state!

This building has the mural on its side (see the left side of the picture for the end of it). According to the sign above the awning, it used to house Tarheel Chevrolet Company, a far cry from what car dealerships look like now! Now it seems to house several businesses, including Greater Looks, advertised on the sign above the awning. Part of what intrigued me a little about this shot was that I thought I saw someone looking out the sixth second-story window from the left, but it turned out to be a reflection of the female in the Greater Looks sign. (Click on the picture on the left to enlargen it, and you'll see what I mean!)

Below are some more shots from downtown Roxboro. The picture on the left has the Tarheel Chevrolet building I mentioned. In the picture in the middle, the church steeple belongs to Roxboro Baptist Church. The picture on the right includes, down at the end, the marquis for the restored Kirby Theater. (Now I regret that we didn't stop and go inside!)

Here are shots of the Person County Courthouse, whose architechture style is a combination of classic revival and international. It's been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979. The statue on the left, which commemorates Confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War, honors E. Fletcher Satterfield, who fought at Gettysburg. (George commented that I seem to like taking pictures of courthouses now, and I guess he's correct! I like seeing the architecture, as well as getting a sense of what was important to the community at one time or another.

This statue of Robert Lester Blackwell is also in front of the courthouse. A Person County native, he was the only North Carolinian to win a Medal of Honor for World War I service.

On the way from the downtown area to the history museum, we passed this sweet little church, so we stopped so I could take some pictures. This is St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Main Street. The cornerstone says 1923, and the sign out from mentions three weekly services. I was glad to be able to step inside to take a couple of pictures, but didn't have any quiet time because, being Friday afternoon, the cleaning crew was there, vacuuming and dusting.

Across the street from the church was this neat old house, in some need of repair (or at least a paint job!). I love a house with a porch, and that's one big oak tree on the left side of the picture! The brick wall on the left adds to the charm quotient.

We arrived at the Person County Museum of History in time to take avantage of the docent-led tour of the museum and grounds. Adult tickets are only $5, so I knew up front that this would be money well spent. George and I were the only ones there for the tour, and we were fortunate to have Bea as our tourguide, as she was very knowledgeable about Person County History.

The museum (the former home of North Carolina Governor W.W. Kitchin) was well-furnished with period furnishings from the Victorian era to match the house. Things that stood out included period clothing, an extensive doll collection, the area about local Native Americans (the Sappony tribe), the military uniforms donated by local soldiers, and displays about famous Person County natives. We learned that Enos Slaughter, a famous baseball player (mostly for the Cardinals) who later coached baseball at Duke, and golfer Jim Thorpe, were from Roxboro.

The buildings behind the museum included a country store, a doctor's office, and a one-room school house, all moved from points around the county to the back of the museum. I especially enjoyed the doctor's office, equippped with some older equipment.

This house, next door to the museum, is the oldest house in Roxboro. We got to see inside this home as well.

On the way to and from Roxboro, we passed through the township of Timberlake. Since I like the name (very campy!), I decided to take a picture of the sign. George wanted to know if it was because of Justin Timberlake, but I assured him it wasn't! Ibelieve we heard from someone that the township was named after Bob Timberlake's ancestors.

Our waitress at Clarksville Station also mentioned the Homestead Steakhouse (after we'd finished eating at Clarksville Station!), which is also in Timberlake. We saw signs for it off of Hwy. 501, but we decided not to stop this time.

We enjoyed using George's Mio navigation system, which he pictured here on the left. It has some fun features that we're enjoying learning how to use.

After the trip to Roxboro, I noticed the September 2008 issue of Our State magazine, and it happens to have an article about Person County in the Carolina Counties section. The article isn't available online, and I decided not to buy a copy, since I've already been. Still, it's a wonderful magazine!

1 comment:

AKrause said...

We are glad that you enjoyed your visit to Roxboro and the Person County Museum of History. We see that you had a full day of seeing the sights of Person County. Thanks for the blog link. We wish you the best of luck with the rest of your travels. Please be sure to come back to this area and take advantage of a performance at the Kirby or our Personality festival in November.
April Krause,
Director - Person County Museum of History