Tag Archives: Small Towns in NC

Hiddenite, NC: “Gem of the Brushies”

hiddenite, ncSource: Associated Content

Published August 12, 2010 by:

David B. Bolick

Hiddenite, North Carolina, is located in Alexander County and in a spur of the Blue Ridge Mountains called the Brushy Mountains. For such a small unincorporated town it boasts some unusual history and interesting attractions.

The area used to be called White Plains and, at one time, was a health resort due to it’s sulfur springs. The town was named after William Earl Hidden, a mineralogist sent here by Thomas Edison to look for platinum deposits. Instead of finding platinum he found something more valuable, some emeralds and a rare mineral that was later named hiddenite. Hiddenite is also the town I live in and after living in many places in the United States I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life is slow paced in many small towns and Hiddenite is no exception. The people are friendly, crime rate is very low and most everything you need readily available.

A lot of families and school children come to Hiddenite to visit the Emerald Hollow Mine. The mine is one of just a few where the public can hunt for emeralds, sapphires, and other valuable gem stones. The mine offers much for your families entertainment and has primitive camping facilities, sluicing facilities, a creek, professional gem cutting and lapidary, and a mineral shop in addition to the main mine. For those that would rather camp in better style, or have RVs, there is the HiddeNite Camp Grounds. The camp is located along the South Yadkin River, has 37 full RV hookups, primitive tent sites, large swimming pool and over 30 acres of nature area.

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Swansboro, NC: “The Friendly City by the Sea”

swansboro, ncFounded in 1783, the “Friendly City by the Sea” offers a historic downtown district overlooking the water, numerous opportunities for coastal recreation, and a progressive town government that works to balance high quality community growth with conservation of the community’s natural and historic resources.

The home of Hammocks Beach State Park and its unspoiled beaches, Swansboro boasts a beautiful small harbor adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway and is only three miles from coastal recreational facilities in the Croatan National Forest.

The unique village atmosphere in Swansboro’s historic downtown area offers opportunity to enjoy the community’s heritage while shopping in an area alive with restaurants, boutiques, gift shops, and waterside parks.

Host to a wide variety of major events – from the Arts by the Sea Festival, the Mullet Festival, Candlelight Shopping, and the Christmas Flotilla to an annual Oyster Roast, an annual Pig Cook-Off, the Blue Water Fishing Tournament, the King Mackerel Tournament, and the Speckled Trout Tournament – Swansboro offers some of the best hospitality on the North Carolina coast.

Popular activities available in Swansboro and the surrounding area include beach-going, fishing, boating, camping, kayaking, golf, shopping, the arts, and amusement parks.

Known as a high-quality living location, Swansboro offers a wide variety of residential settings – many of which are located on or near the White Oak River, the Intracoastal Waterway, or the numerous coastal creeks that border the town – and an attractive array of business services.

Settlers first came to Swansboro around 1730, founding a community on the site of an Algonkian Indian village at the mouth of the White Oak River. The colonial port town of Swannsborough was incorporated in 1783 – named in honor of Samuel Swann, who had been speaker of the North Carolina House of Commons. The community’s early prosperity was based on shipbuilding, and its most famous shipbuilder was Captain Otway Burns. Burns, whose exploits as commander of the privateer vessel Snapdragon brought early attention to Swansboro, was also the builder of the Prometheus, the first steamboat constructed in North Carolina.

Although its shipbuilding industry declined, Swansboro found new prosperity in lumber and naval stores, and, in the mid-Twentieth Century, in the commercial fishing industry. Beginning with World War II, Swansboro, like most of Onslow County, began experiencing an economic boost from the nearby establishment of Camp Lejeune, one of the U.S. Marine Corps’ largest bases, and from the growth of coastal tourism – trends that continue today.

With its remarkable heritage, scenic views, great hospitality, and casual lifestyle, Swansboro has retained the quiet charm and unique character of a picturesque colonial port – making it an outstanding community for anyone who wants to join the “Friendly City” tradition to call “home” offers a historic downtown district overlooking the water, numerous opportunities for coastal recreation, and a progressive town government that works to balance high quality community growth with conservation of the community’s natural and historic resources.

For more info, visit http://www.swansborochamber.org/

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Brevard, NC: Charming & Tranquil

Downtown Brevard is the crossroads between Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Forest, Gorges State Park, and Bracken Mountain Nature Reserve. These are ideal for: hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, and climbing.

For 72 years Brevard has been home to the world-renowned Brevard Music Center. Downtown Brevard is also home to The Porter Center of Performing Arts (Brevard College) and the Transylvania Community Arts Council, which both bring diverse programs, concerts, and exhibits to our mountain community. The Heart of Brevard has teamed together with Transylvania Arts Promotion (TAP), in order to produce The Arts Directory of Transylvania County.

Four annual street festivals capture our hometown feeling: White Squirrel Festival, Fourth of July Celebration, Halloweenfest, and Twilight Tour. Other special events include: Annual Squirrel Box Derby, Old Time Music Competition, Valentine Get-Away Weekend, and Main Street Alive. They’re just a part of why people visit City of Brevard, Land of Waterfalls, Transylvania County.

For more info, visit: http://www.brevardnc.org

To learn more about the book, visit: InSearchofMayberry.com!

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Defining Small Town America – An interesting take…


By: David McLane

Before we begin, I need to make sure you understand what I mean by “Small Town America.” I do NOT mean “America” as in “North America,” “South America,” “Central America.” And I do NOT mean the “United States of America” (also known as United States, United States of America, America, the States, US, U.S., USA, U.S.A.), a political republic comprising 50 states. I’m referring to the social, historical and physical conditions that form the basis of lives people actually lead in small towns, and upon which everything else rests, especially the political entity, United States of America.

Due to the practical conditions of time and money, I only visited small towns in what is referred to as the “Continental United States,” also known as the “Lower 48,” which refers to the 48 states located on the North American continent plus the District of Columbia, but excludes the states of Alaska and Hawaii and all off-shore U.S. territories and possessions, such as Puerto Rico.

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To learn more about the book, visit: InSearchofMayberry.com!

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Old Fort, NC – Gateway to the Southern Blue Ridge

Since 1869 travelers through these mountains looked for the familiar sight of a tall water plume, a manmade geyser, and a resort hotel tucked away at the base of the Blue Ridge this signaled the start of the long climb to Asheville through some of the most scenic terrain in North Carolina.

When the train passes through this town again (plans call for passenger rail service to resume within 5 years), travelers will stop at the tall, hand-carved arrowhead next to the depot, signaling a stop in the historic town of Old Fort.

A town committed to preserving its heritage, and having some fun along the way. Originally a fort built by the colonial militia before the Declaration of Independence, the settlement served for many years as the western outpost of the early United States.

The fort is now being rebuilt by the non-profit corporation “Davidson’s Fort Historic Park, Inc.”

For more info, visit: http://www.oldfort.org

To learn more about the book, visit: InSearchofMayberry.com!  

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Historic Waxhaw, NC

The quaint and historical town of Waxhaw, NC is located in Union County, approximately 25 miles south of Charlotte. This beautiful community dates back to the 1700’s when the first European settlers came down the great wagon road. Most of the settlers were Scotch-Irish and German immigrants. However, the Waxhaw Indian tribe inhabited the area long before the European immigrants arrived. The name Waxhaw is thus derived from the Indians who first populated the area.

Around 1888 the railroad extended its rail line from the Atlanta area and brought with it a level of prosperity and growth to Waxhaw. The tracks still to this day run through the town dividing two rows of stores. Once dependent on cotton, it lost its popularity in the 1960’s. so Waxhaw reshaped its identity to an antique and fine dining center. The town currently has dining ranging from the good old mom and pop style to fine bistros. There are also over twenty antique shops and several gift shops.

The historical district is on the National Registrar of Historic Places. Waxhaw real estate enjoys easy access to a beautiful Town Park and the nearby Cane Creek Park, a 1,050 acre park that draws visitors with its beauty and its activities. Waxhaw is the perfect small town to raise a family with that laid back feel but not lacking in progression especially in schools, arts and sports for the families.

Its lower taxes, beautiful landscape, and quality schools have made it one of Charlotte area’s leading places to live. Waxhaw is dominated by beautiful homes, rapidly growing commercial and retail real estate, all of which has made convenience and job growth strong points for Waxhaw.

Although a fast growing area, Waxhaw is still largely rural with a forested and hilly setting which adds to the attraction as a relocation destination. This great small town is a little further south from the towns of Weddington and Marvin, but is still within reasonable distance to the big city amenities of Charlotte. In recent years, big city shopping and dining have made their way moved toward Waxhaw by way of the Ballatyne area, Blakeney, and Stonecrest Mall.

For more, visit: http://www.waxhaw.com

Farmville, NC – Preserving its past while enthusiastically pursuing its future

The area surrounding the current Town of Farmville was first settled in the mid 1760s. These early settlers were few in numbers and were almost exclusively farmers by trade. The first recorded structure inside the current town limits was a log cabin erected about 1840. In the 1850’s a church and a school were built, however, growth was quite slow up through the end of the 1860s. In 1872 the populace petitioned the North Carolina legislature to create a town named Farmville. Prior to this time the community had no formal name and was generally referred to as New Town. The Town of Farmville was formally incorporated on February 12, 1872. During the last quarter of the 19th century, the town developed as a small commercial center supporting the agricultural expansion of the region brought about by the boom in Brightleaf Tobacco cultivation.

The first quarter of the 20th century was a period of incredible growth for Farmville. The period 1901 to 1907 saw the arrival of two railroads, providing cost effective transportation outlets and bringing about an expansion of agribusiness support services. The period 1905 to 1929 saw the establishment of a number of large tobacco sales, processing and warehousing operations. Along with this commercial growth came the growth of residential areas, accommodating persons of virtually every economic class.

Tobacco sales, processing and warehousing, as well as, agribusiness support services continued to be of primary importance to Farmville’s growth and stability up through the late 1960s. With the decline of the tobacco industry beginning in the early 1970s, Farmville began an aggressive campaign to diversify its commercial and industrial base. Although agribusiness support continues to be an important part of Farmville, industrial, commercial and residential diversification continues to be the course on which this community of approximately 4500 residents is proceeding.

For more information on this awesome “Mayberry” town, visit: http://www.farmville-nc.com

To learn more about the book, visit: InSearchofMayberry.com!  

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