Friday, December 30, 2011

Franklin County, North Carolina

Last Wednesday, December 21, I enjoyed a daytrip to Franklin County, North Carolina. The county was formed in 1779 (which makes it pretty old!), and named after Benjamin Franklin. My first stop was in Youngsville. Although the population of Youngsville is pretty small (less than 1000 people), it has had some notable residents, including "American Idol" finalist Clay Aiken and fitness and weight loss guru Richard Simmons.
Youngsville Mural
Old CocaCola Mural in Franklin
My next stop was Franklinton, another small North Carolina town. I enjoyed driving around town and seeing the big old homes and Christmas decorations. I also stepped into the Franklinton Library, which was a treat for me. Notable residents include comedian Soupy Sales and Wilbur Wade Card, Duke University's first basketball coach and athletics director.

WPA Mural in Louisburg Post Office
My final stop in Franklin County was in the county seat of Louisburg. It's home to Louisburg College, the only residential two-year college in the state. I enjoyed finding a WPA mural in the Louisburg Post Office, as well as the Franklin County Courthouse
The rest of my Franklin County pictures are here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Union County, North Carolina

George and I paid an unexpected, but fun visit to Union County last summer, on June 26. We were on our way back from a family reunion in South Carolina, and stopped to visit more with Junelle, Jessica, J.K., and Margie, on our way back home. Junelle and her family have a new home in Waxhaw, so that was our main destination. We had a delightful time there!

Me, Jessica, Junelle, Margie, & JK 
When we got to Waxhaw, we parked the cars and walked around a bit. George took this picture of the rest of us on a footbridge there in town. It was so good to spend more time with family, especially since Junelle is already familiar with the area.

Jessica and Junelle at Waxhaw Reading Room

We also stopped at the Waxhaw Reading Room Used Bookstore, the proceeds of which go help support the local public library. The volunteer who helped us that afternoon was very chatty and helpful!
Fried Pickles at Maxwell's Tavern
We stopped at Maxwell's Tavern for a late lunch, where I had fried pickles for the first time. Apparently, this is not a new delicacy. (I've just had my head in the sand!) Of course, I've noticed them at other restaurants since then. We had fun over lunch, talking more and hearing some stories from when J.K. and my dad (who are first cousins) were children.

Old Union County Courthouse, Monroe
Our last stop of the day was at the Old Union County Courthouse in Monroe, so that I could take a quick shot. It's one of the prettiest courthouses I've seen. Part of me wishes we'd had time to go inside. Maybe another time!

Union County was formed in 1842, its name a compromise between the Whigs and the Democrats at the time. Its location next to Mecklenburg County (home of Charlotte) seems to be helping its growth. Monroe, the county seat, was named for James Monroe, the 5th president of the United States.

The visit to Union County was short but fun! (And thanks, Junelle, for being our hostess!) 

The rest of my Union County pictures are here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pender County, North Carolina

I've had the pleasure of visiting Pender County, North Carolina, twice in 2011. The first time was on February 20, specifically to drive around the county for this blog post. The second time, I visited on June 18 to participate in the North Carolina Festival 5K, which happened in conjunction with the North Carolina Blueberry Festival in Burgaw. Both visits were delightful, though in different ways.

On my first visit back in February, I went by myself, and it was both interesting and relaxing to drive around the county, based in part on what looked intriguing! I had a plan, though, to head for the far eastern border of the county, which happens to be the Atlantic Ocean, and after exploring the coast, head west toward home, with any interesting stops I could find along the way. I had a North Carolina map and a GPS in hand, so there was some method to my madness, light on the structure and heavy on the whim.

Pender County was named for William Dorsey Pender, who was born in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, and was fatally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The county was formed in 1875 from New Hanover County, North Carolina, (home of Wilmington), and the county seat is Burgaw.

Pender County Courthouse
There are several things I enjoyed about my time in Pender County. First of all, the Pender County Courthouse Square is a pretty one. I like the courthouse architecture, and the grounds are well groomed.

General John Ashe

There are also a lot of North Carolina Historical Markers around Pender County. I pulled over and photographed as many as I could! It's the North Carolina history buff in me.

I also enjoyed getting all the way to the North Carolina coast, a d getting to see the Atlantic Ocean. It's been about 30 years since I've been to Topsail Beach on Topsail Island, so it was really nice to see it again!

Moores Creek National Battlefield
I got an additional history lesson by visiting Moores Creek National Battlefield from the Revolutionary War. I'd never heard of Currie or Moores Creek until I made this trip. What a nice treat!

2011 NC Blueberry Festival
In June, I went with Marjorie and her boyfriend to Burgaw to run in the North Carolina Blueberry Festival 5K. After the race, we walked around the Courthouse Square, checking out the vendors. We all came home with blueberries, of course!

The rest of my pictures from the North Carolina Blueberry Festival are here.

The remainder of the Pender County pictures from my February 2011 trip are here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Jackson County, North Carolina

Jarrett House, Dillsboro

George and I visited Jackson County, North Carolina, together, on October 28, 2010. It was part of a delightful, nearly weeklong vacation in the North Carolina mountains,  which included visiting six different counties!
The Jarrett House in Dillsboro is a historic bed and breakfast, established in 1884. The food there is supposed to be good, but George and I were too early for lunch.

Dogwood Crafters, Dillsboro

Dogwood Crafters in Dillsboro looked like a charming store, and I wish we'd taken the time to go inside!

Near Train Depot in Dillsboro

The railroad used to play a big role in Dillsboro. Now there are lots of little shops, several of them dedicated to mountain arts and crafts, it seems,

Old Jackson County Courthouse, Sylva

Downtown Sylva

Downtown Sylva

This is the old Jackson County Courthouse, in the county seat of Sylva. It's pretty majestic looking, especially with the steps leading up to the big white building. One of interesting things about the building is that it's been renovated to become part of the Jackson County Public Library Complex. When we were there last October (when this picture was taken), it was still a work in progress. It was finished earlier this year and dedicated last month. I'd love to do back and see it sometime.

This was my first sighting of downtown Sylva, very charming! As you can see, it was a beautiful fall day!

Jackson County was formed in 1851 from parts of Macon County and Haywood County. It was named for President Andrew Jackson. Sylva became the county seat in 1913.

Another shot of downtown Sylva, once we parked the car.

By the way, some scenes from the movies The Fugitive and Deliverence were filmed in/near Sylva.

While George and I were talking outloud about where to eat lunch, a woman on the sidewalk pointed out Pixie's, a local place right across the street. It used to be a barbershop!

We had a delightful time visiting Jackson County! I'd recommend it highly. Check out my Flickr set of Jackson County for the rest of the stop.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Haywood County, North Carolina

George and I visited Waynesville, the county seat of Haywood County, on October 28, 2010. It was a beautiful fall day, and the first time to Waynesville for both of us. We found the newer Haywood County Courthouse first, but I was especially charmed by the OLD Haywood County Courthouse, so you'll find a couple of pictures of it below!

Haywood County was part of Buncombe County until 1808, and was named after former State (NC) Treasurer John Haywood.

If you've read the book Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier, or seen the movie based on the book, you'll like knowing that there is a real Cold Mountain, and it's in Haywood County. George and I didn't go there, but here's a webcam of Cold Mountain.

I wonder what Wayneville's like in the spring! I'm ready to go back, but in the mean time, the rest of my Haywood County pictures are here!

Old Haywood County Courthouse

Old Haywood County Courthouse

Downtown Waynesville from Front of Old Courthouse
NC Education Association Started in Haywood County

Mural of Mountains Across the Seasons
"Old Time Music" in Downtown Waynesville

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Macon County, North Carolina

Macon County Line

George and I visited Macon County on October 27, 2010, after spending the morning and part of the afternoon in neighboring Clay County. At this elevation, and thanks to the rainfall that week, the fall leaves were disappearing from the trees, but we did see beautiful leaves in other places throughout the week.

Macon County was formed in 1828, and was named for Nathanial Macon, who served North Carolina in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate in the 1800s.

Macon County Confederate Army Memorial

This is the Macon County Confederate Army Memorial in Rankin Square, Franklin. It was erected in 1909, and is a surprisingly imposing statue. I also noticed a couple of North Carolina Civil War Trail signs in Franklin.

Rose in Franklin Square

This is one of my favorite pictures from this day trip, even though it isn't particularly unique to the North Carolina mountains, much less Franklin. I'm not a gardener, so I was surprised to see rosebuds in October, and my little point-and-shoot digital camera captured the raindrops on the bud quite nicely, I think. We saw many raindrops earlier this day in Hayesville (Clay County), and I was glad to capture a few of them sticking around on this rosebud in Franklin. 

Franklin Town Clock

The Franklin Town Clock is in a charming little area of downtown Franklin. It has the feel of a mountain town here, doesn't it?!

Downtown Franklin

Franklin is known as the "Gem Capital of the World," and is also known for having lots of outdoor activities in the area, including whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River.

Macon County Courthouse

The Macon County Courthouse is in Franklin, the county seat. I love how the area surrounding the sign is decorated for fall!

Bridal Veil Falls

Our last stop in Macon County was at Bridal Veil Falls. It is on Highway 64 between Franklin and Highlands, and is the only waterfall in North Carolina that you can drive a car under! To give you a little perspective on the waterfall's size, you can barely see George in this photo; he is on the left side of the waterfall, on the road between the falling water and the rock, taking pictures. (You may have to click on the picture to make it bigger to see him a little better.)

I really enjoyed our visit to Macon County! My one regret is not making it to Highlands. Another trip!

See the rest of my Macon County photos on Flickr.