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DISCOVER Warren County

What's Inside

Welcome, p. 3 Local History, p. 4 Getting Settled, p. 11 Education, p. 13 Vance-Granville Community College, p. 16 Warren County Library, p. 17 A taste of France arrives in Warren County, p. 18 The Arts, p. 22 Parks & Recreation, p. 24 Special Events, p. 28

The storied history of Buchanan’s Store, p. 36 Self-guided Tours, p. 38 The Lakes, p. 42 Annual tradition celebrates melon that made Ridgeway famous, p. 45 Buyers' Guide, p. 46

Cover photo by Robert Pridgen Discover Warren County is a newcomer & visitors magazine published by

The Warren Record 112 North Main St., P.O. Box 70

Warrenton, NC 27589 252-257-3341, fax: 252-257-1413 news@warrenrecord.com warrenrecord.com l facebook.com/WarrenRecord Find us on Twitter @warrenrecord ©2020 Womack Publishing Co., Inc.

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Welcome to Warren County By Tare “T” Davis, Chairman Warren County Board of Commissioners

Welcome home to Warren County! Whether you’re relocating as a newcomer or here for the weekend, we invite you to make yourself at home. Family and community engagement are priorities for us in Warren County. These values are threaded through our small business support, in our entrepreneurial efforts, and our recreation opportunities. You have decided on a beautiful place to kick back for a while and enjoy the pastoral landscape, the charm and diversity of rural North Carolina. Both Kerr Lake and Lake Gaston are two of the main attractions in Warren County, providing residents and visitors alike with unparalleled access to some of the best fresh water recreation in the state. Warren County has the most shoreline of Lake Gaston of any of the five counties the lake borders. Enjoy fishing from the shores of a North Carolina state park and campground on Kerr Lake or from the public pier at the Warren County recreation facility, Buck Spring Park. Launch your boat or rent one from several Lake Gaston businesses who welcome you. If you feel like taking on a new skill, try wakeboarding lessons on Lake Gaston from a wakeboard world champion who was born and raised in Warren County. If water sports aren’t your thing, we have ball fields and a paved exercise track at our recreation complex, trails and public swimming at our parks, equestrian-based businesses that offer riding lessons and trail rides, and seasonal hunting. Meander the streets of historic Warrenton, our county seat, touring architecture that dates back to the 1800s. Explore the rich textile and quilting arts heritage we have through the Heritage Quilters’ gallery space or Quilt Lizzy’s fabric shop, workshops, and longarm services. You can enjoy

a Saturday evening listening to bluegrass at the Ridgway Opry House, or your Sunday afternoon with world class visiting classical musicians at Cherry Hill. Attend a church service on Sunday morning; go to a coffee tasting with our micro-roaster, Lake Gaston Coffee; taste the wine from Kim’s Vineyard and Winery or the newly opened Seven Springs Farms and Vineyards. Dine with us in one of our many locally run restaurants from Norlina to Warrenton to Lake Gaston, and even the convenience store grills along the way. While exploring our countryside, you don’t have to limit yourself to a car. US Bike Route 1 is the main north/south connector bike route through North Carolina and it enters the state in Warren County, the “Carolina Connection.” Follow US Bike Route 1 down through our state to visit Raleigh, Sanford, Southern Pines, and Laurinburg. NC Bike Route 4 (the “North Line Trace”) runs east/west from the coast of NC to the mountains, going right through Warren County along both Kerr Lake and Lake Gaston neighborhoods. The agricultural economy of Warren County is part of the very fabric of our community. Family farms have existed here for generations; sons and daughters are coming of age and taking up the mantel of their family’s agricultural heritage and livelihood. And with that continuation of family farm legacies, we see innovation and growth. The land in Warren County is not only feeding our community and our neighbors across the region and the state; the land is feeding new opportunities for agricultural entrepreneurship. Our growers produce everything from shiitake mushrooms and truffles to blueberries and wine grapes to hemp and bamboo. Look out over the rolling hills of Warren County to see cattle and other livestock from our family farms. They are a source of pride for us all. We hope to see you at Warrenton’s SpringFest and Harvest Market, at the Norlina Market, the Ridgeway Cantaloupe Festival, the Wise Fourth of July Parade and Festival, and the fireworks at Eaton’s Ferry and other year-round events at Lake Gaston and across the county. Explore our network of Airbnbs, VRBOs, and a host of vacation rentals. On the behalf of the Board of Commissioners as well as the great citizens of Warren County, we welcome you in any season and for many reasons. Our resilient community has felt the impact of COVID-19, as we all have across this great nation, and we encourage you to stay safe and healthy. We’ll see you when you get here!

Discover Warren County—Page 3


Local History

hether you are making Warren County your new home or are visiting here, you will soon discover the rich history of the area in its historic homes and buildings, and friendly towns. Warren County’s development predates the American Revolution as it was formed in 1764 from Granville County. At that time, the area was named Bute in honor of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, former Prime Minister and Lord of the Treasury.

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In 1779 a committee of Bute County patriots petitioned the North Carolina Assembly to divide the county in half, naming the northern part Warren after Dr. Joseph Warren, who had been killed at Bunker Hill, and the southern part Franklin, in honor of Benjamin Franklin. After the petition to divide was granted by the legislature, prosperity grew with tobacco, and later cotton, providing Warren County with great wealth. Two physicians were in practice, the first courthouse

was built, and churches flourished, most notably Hebron Methodist, founded in 1771. By 1860, Warren was the richest county in North Carolina. Health resorts, with their sulphur springs and hotels, brought in visitors from all across the country. Shocco Springs and Jones Spring were among the better known, and it was at the latter that Annie Carter Lee, daughter of General Robert E. Lee, stayed with her family during the War Between the States. Warren County has provided the state with four governors, six attorneys general, three Supreme Court justices, multiple superior court judges and magnates in the tobacco industry. Warren County is made up of three incorporated towns surrounded by more than half a dozen communities which share in the region’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.


With a population of more than 1,100, Norlina is located just south of the Virginia border, situated on land that was part of a grant to John Langford for his service in the Revolutionary War. In 1900, Robert F. Rose, a descendant of Langford, sold just under five acres of land in Norlina to the Richmond, Petersburg and Carolina Railroad for the building of a depot at the juncture of the Seaboard Air Line Railway and the Raleigh-Gaston Railroad. One of his sons, John Horace Rose, also sold land to the railroad. Before the town was named Norlina, a combination Discover Warren County—Page 5

of “North” and “Carolina,” the area was called Mount Regis. In 1901, a hotel was built to accommodate travelers stopping in the area, many of whom would have dinner on their way through the town. As a town located at a railroad juncture, Norlina grew rapidly. Early buildings in the town housed such businesses and offices as Watkins Dry Goods, Miles Hardware, Read and Forbes Funeral Parlor, Norlina Wholesale Grocery, a jail, Tobacco Warehouse CoOp, N.C. Cotton Association, Fleming’s Dry Goods, Haymore’s Drugstore, the Metropolitan Café run by Jack the Greek, an ice plant, J.L. Watson’s shoe shop and Hilliard’s blacksmith shop. There was a hunting club, which was turned into a private residence in the year 2000, a dentist office, churches, a printing company and a telephone exchange. Around 1909, The Norlina School was erected and

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was later moved to a site on Walker Avenue. The original frame building was used until 1915 when construction on a new school was begun. The Norlina Graded School opened on Feb. 1, 1916. Norlina was incorporated in 1913, with citizens agreeing to make the town one square mile with the railroad station as the direct center. Population of Norlina in 1916 was 700, with two hotels and a newspaper. The growth of the town was at its peak just before and during the time of World War II, with the railroads playing an important part in the war by providing transportation for the troop trains, both north and south, and also to the seaports at Portsmouth and Norfolk, Va. During the war years, there were 18 passenger trains a day running through Norlina, north and south, and four passenger trains daily on the Portsmouth, Va. line. This number did not include the freight trains that transported Army soldiers, Naval seamen, WACs, WAVES, Marines and Seabees. Over the years, the town of Norlina has been the hometown of a number of citizens whose lives have made a difference in the local area and beyond. In recent years, the town honored two of its 21st century heroes, retired Naval Admiral Kirkland Donald, who most recently served as director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, and Stephanie Wheeler, a two-time women’s wheelchair basketball Paralympic gold medalist and former head coach for the USA Women’s Senior National Team, which she led to a gold medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In May 2017, she was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Wheeler was inducted into the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Hall of Fame in 2018. In September 2013, Norlina celebrated its centennial, as thousands of hometown residents, people from surrounding areas and visitors gathered for a day filled with activities that included a parade, barbecue cook-off, an art show, music, games and tours of the town’s museum. Norlina has grown since its centennial with the an-

nexation of a business south of the town limits and of Warren Corners Shopping Center and adjacent property. Developments include the construction of a Family Dollar store and AutoZone auto parts business. Now in the 106th year since its incorporation, the town of Norlina looks toward a bright future while celebrating its rich history.


Established during the fourth year of the American Revolution, Warrenton is the county seat. On July 22, 1779, 100 acres of land were purchased for the town from Thomas Christmas, and William Christmas drew the first plan of the town with 162 half-acre lots. By the 1820s, the town prospered as the center of a plantation region. Warrenton became an educational center with the Warrenton Academy chartered in 1786 by the Macon brothers, one of whom, Nathaniel, would become one of the greatest speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives. Two additional schools were founded later, the Falkener School for young ladies by 1800, and the Mordecai School by 1809. Warrenton Academy later became John Graham High School, located on North Main Street in a building that now houses the Warren County Department of Social Services. Warrentonians enjoyed fine architecture, music, dancing, horse racing and art. Discover Warren County—Page 7

Beautiful homes were built as centerpieces of the large plantations, and, later, Jacob Holt townhouses were erected. Prosperity continued to grow, thanks to the cotton gin. The town’s population by 1800 was 238, and by 1850 it had increased to 700. Today it is over 860. More than 90 percent of Warrenton’s downtown buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and with a focus on revitalization and economic development, several of those buildings now boast new and growing businesses. Warrenton’s efforts to enhance its downtown led to state recognition in the spring of 2014 with an Award of Merit for economic restructuring. Among the town’s key successes have been creating a revolving loan fund, which helped establish new businesses and create new jobs; a grant program to help local businesses pay for installation of awnings and blade signs; multiple building reuse projects that resulted in new office, commercial and residential space, as well as new jobs; assistance with state grants resulting in small business expansion; and a downtown beautification project that is ongoing. The town has been highly successful in securing grant funding for its own projects, as well as those that benefit local businesses. Warrenton won a $500,000 grant to help a local restaurant renovate a neglected downtown building for expansion, and a multi-million-dollar project to rehab the water and sewer system and renovate the historic Town Hall building, with more than $3 million of the project being paid for through grant funds. Town officials dedicated a disc golf park—HayleyHaywood Park—on land donated by a local family, and obtained grant funding to help with renovation to a Main Street building that will house a brewery and meadery. In conjunction with downtown beautification, Warrenton’s Quilters Lane Committee is continuing to work to create public art installations, as the town moves ahead with implementing a portion of a major streetscape plan. The town hosts an annual Warren County Public Arts Day and has unveiled a colorful metal sculpture on a small park area behind the Page 8—Discover Warren County

county courthouse, where future art installations are being added.


The smallest of the county’s incorporated towns, Macon is located northeast of Warrenton. It was settled in the early 1800s, and its post office was established in 1839. The area started out as Macon Depot. In the 1880s, the name was changed in honor of Nathaniel Macon, a prominent county native who was three times Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and a U.S. Senator from 1815-1828. He and his brother, John, were both active in founding The Warrenton Academy in 1786. Macon was the hometown of the late Reynolds Price, a well-known North Carolina author. Today, the town is home to people of all ages, from families with young children to retirees. In recent years, families seeking activities for their children gained a new option with the dedication of

the Joseph Blaine “Little Man” Reese Memorial Park off Highway 158 inside the Macon town limits. The park was dedicated in 2010 in memory of Joseph Reese, son of Macon residents Blaine and Joanne Reese, and is located on land donated by Joseph’s grandfather, Joe Ross. Joseph died in July 2006 of spinal muscular atrophy at the age of 5 months. In 2008, the Little Man Foundation was established in his memory. The foundation is known for sponsoring the Little Man Memorial Golf Tournament and Dinner benefiting Duke Children’s Hospital and Families of SMA. The Macon park that bears Joseph’s name, part of the county’s parks and recreation satellite park system, features a playground with a jungle gym, swings, seesaws and spring riders. Among Warren County’s incorporated towns, Macon might have the smallest distance between the town limit signs, but makes up for its small size through its reputation as a prime example of the close-knit type of community that is typical of the local area.

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With such a rich heritage, Warren County offers many places of interest for history buffs of all ages and for those looking for a beautiful area to spend the weekend.

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Discover Warren County—Page 9

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Just for newcomers

Getting Settled Day, the Eaton’s Ferry site will be open seven days a If you’re about to move into your new home, you’ll week, 12 hours a day; Warrenton-Norlina Road/Highneed to know where to call to get your lights way 158 Business: Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-6:30 turned on and your phone service connected. The p.m.; Sunday, closed; Afton: Monday, Wednesday, following list of contacts can help get you settled. Friday, Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, closed; Arcola: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, closed; Five Forks: Sunday, 2:30-6:30 p.m.; Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Friday, closed; Macon/ Duke Energy Progress: To apply for electrical serVaughan: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 7:30 vice or ask billing questions, call 1-800-452-2777. To a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, closed; report a power outage, call 1-800-419-6356. For more Inez: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 7:30 information, customers also may visit the website a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, closed; progress-energy.com. U.S. 1-Wise: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Halifax EMC: Customers may call 252-445-5111 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, to set up electrical service. To report a power outage, closed; Drewry: Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-6:30 call 1-800-690-0522. Account information is availp.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Many sites also accept able 24 hours at 252-445-6700. For more informasome recyclable items. The landfill is located off tion, customers may visit the website halifaxemc. Baltimore Road in Warrenton and is open Mondaycom. Friday from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call Warren County Public Works at 252-257-3795.

Electric service

Water/Sewer: County Water/Sewer/Garbage: Residents Town Residents Water/Sewer: For residents outside the territorial service boundaries of the towns of Warrenton and Norlina, apply to the Public Utilities Office at 712 Hwy. 158 Business West in Warrenton or call 252257-3645 for water and sewer service. Garbage: A number of convenience sites are located throughout the county. Sites and hours of operation include the following: Eaton’s Ferry: Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Monday, Friday, Saturday, 7:30 a.m.6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 12:30-6:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, closed. From Memorial Day through Labor

Norlina: All services (water, sewer, and garbage) are combined on one bill. To set up service, go to Town Hall, located at 139 Hyco St., and fill out a water agreement. There is a $40 set-up fee on all new water accounts and a $150 deposit. For more information, call 252-456-3325. Warrenton: Water/Sewer: To set up service, go to Town Hall at 113 S. Bragg St. and complete the necessary forms. A deposit is required: $175 for in-town Discover Warren County—Page 11

residents, and $225 for out-of-town residents, which includes activation fee. Garbage: For residents living within the city limits, once-a-week backyard service is provided. A landfill fee is included on the water bill. For more information, call 252-257-3315. Macon: Garbage: For residents living within the city limits, garbage is picked up twice a week. Water: Many Macon residents have wells. Any citizens who want to hook up to the county water system should contact Warren County Public Utilities at 252-2573645.

Telephone Service

Local telephone service is available through CenturyLink. For residential service, call toll-free 1-877862-9343. Business customers should call 1-866-4769909. For repair service, residential customers should call 1-800-788-3600; business customers should call 1-800-786-6272. For more information, visit the website, centurylink.com.

Natural Gas

Call Frontier Natural Gas at 1-800-537-2545 for hook-up. Locally, Frontier may be reached by calling 252-257-0111 or 252-213-2237. The Warren County office is located at 136 S. Main St., Warrenton. Most areas of Norlina, Warrenton, Ridgeway and Manson are covered by natural gas lines, and the process of installing gas lines is ongoing.

Driver’s Licenses and License Plates

To obtain a driver’s license, go to the Driver’s License office in Henderson, which is located at 1080 Eastern Blvd. and may be reached by calling 252-4388930. For license plates, go to the N. C. Motor Vehicle License Plate Agency office located at 946-D W. Andrews Avenue (Crossroads Shopping Center) in Henderson. For more information, call 252-438-3528. An N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles’ mobile Page 12—Discover Warren County

driver’s license unit typically stops at the Warren County Armory Civic Center, 501 U.S. Hwy. 158 business east, Warrenton, periodically throughout the year. Mobile units were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mobile unit may be reached by calling 919-715-7000.

Voter Registration

Once you have been a resident of Warren County for 30 days, you may register to vote in Warren County. No photo ID is required at this time to vote in North Carolina. The office is at 309 N. Main St. (John Graham Center-annex building), Warrenton. Normal business hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. For more information, call 252-257-2114.

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Education Dr. Mary L. Young Superintendent Warren County Schools

I am honored to have the opportunity to introduce myself as the superintendent of Warren County Schools. Our school district mission is Putting Our Children First. I believe that education for many is a great equalizer. It provides our country with thinkers, visionaries, and workers. Our local economy depends upon tomorrow’s workers. “We” empower our youth, their parents, our school employees, local business and industry, churches, and civic organizations. We do this mindfully of our future, and we do this together. It is a strong community that supports strong schools. It is strong schools that support strong communities. I am extremely proud of Warren County Schools. The achievements of our staff and students are tremendous and have resulted in our school district receiving state and national acknowledgements, grants and donations. We are committed to engaging in continuous improvement processes to fulfill our mission of ensuring that we inspire personal success through learning experiences that focus on student needs in active partnership with families and the community. Warren County Schools is a great place to learn and work as we are fortunate to enjoy a supportive board of education, motivated students, and a caring community. As a result, students in our schools are excelling with a rigorous curriculum delivered by research-based teaching practices. We are fortunate to have an excellent staff that is highly motivated to meet the challenges of public education while providing exceptional learning opportunities for our students. Our efforts regarding school improvement will continue to guide our work. Should you have any questions during the course of the school year, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher, counselor, principal, nurse, or any other staff member for assistance. We are truly a team working together to provide your child with the best possible experience and education at Warren County Schools.

Warren County Schools Warren County Schools is changing the narrative around rural school districts and school choice by offering viable school options complete with innovative learning techniques and environments that ensure students are globally competitive in an ever-changing world. Warren County Schools is comprised of seven schools and approximately 1,800 students. The school system’s focus entails three primary objectives: ensure that all students will meet or exceed grade level expectations and state standards; ensure all students graduate college and career ready; and ensure that all graduates actively pursue their aspirations, having demonstrated the ability to think and lead on a global level within collaborative teams and have an appreciation for and interactions with world cultures. School choice and innovation are integral components of Warren County Schools’ strategy to meet those objectives.

Mariam Boyd Elementary School

Mariam Boyd Elementary School offers a fully implemented Google Classroom throughout the entire Discover Warren County—Page 13

school. Teachers who piloted Google Classroom have reported higher student engagement and more active learning by students both in and out of the classroom.

Vaughan Elementary School

Vaughan Elementary is the district’s first Global School. Vaughan’s goal is to help students see that they are part of a larger, interconnected community where their choices shape the world and provide students with cultural sensitivity and knowledge to make them more competitive in the global job market.

Business, Finance and Entrepreneurship Academy; and College Prep Academy — provide hands-on experience both in and out of the classroom. As students matriculate through each program, they have opportunities to earn both college credit and industry certifications. Working partnerships with the N.C. Department of Transportation, Magnolia Gardens Assisted Living, Wake Area Health Education Center, Carolina Sunrock, and more ensure that students gain experiences that will better equip them for success after high school.

Warren Early College Northside K-8 School High School Northside K-8 School offers SPLASH, the Spanish language immersion program, and the Engineering Is Elementary program to develop students’ fluency skills in a second language and introduce them to STEM early in their educational careers. Students enrolled in SPLASH as kindergartners grow through the program and are fluent Spanish speakers when they transition to high school.

Warren County Middle School

Warren County Middle School adheres to a daily schedule that mirrors that of the traditional high school, and has a dedicated period when students can work with teachers who support their academic, social and emotional growth. Students can take several high school classes for credit including Earth and Environmental Science, Math I, Spanish I and World History.

Warren County High School

Warren County High School offers four academies that give students a firm foundation to either enter the workforce or continue their education at a two-year or four-year college or university. The academies — Engineering and Construction Technology Academy; Medical Sciences and Emergency Services Academy; Page 14—Discover Warren County

Warren Early College High School gives students the opportunity to pursue a high school diploma and associate’s degree in five years, tuition free. Warren Early College High is located on the Warren County campus of Vance-Granville Community College and is designed to introduce students to the college environment as early as their freshman year of high school. Students in recent graduating classes have earned both a diploma and degree in four years. The school’s 1:1 laptop initiative means that each student is provided a laptop for school and home use. Even though Warren Early College students have a nontraditional high school experience, they are able to participate in Warren County Schools’ and VanceGranville Community College’s sports, clubs, activities and events.

Warren New Tech High School

Warren New Tech High School is a part of the STEM Schools and the New Tech network, and uses a project-based learning approach to give students a hands-on educational experience. Students learn to solve problems with the end in mind and demonstrate that learning is also a social activity. Projects are developed that allow students to connect curriculum content to real world problems and challenges. Students graduate from Warren New Tech with the

communication, collaboration and technology skills needed in today’s work environment. The collaborative environment among the students is reflected by the staff that routinely comes around the table to align their efforts for the success of their students. Learning continues beyond the classroom, and technology is a key component in connecting students with their peers around the world in authentic ways. Warren County Schools continues its legacy of choice and innovation in public education as it works to prepare students for the rest of their lives. WCS is providing learning environments where students are given the skills, confidence and support to explore possibilities and make the impossible happen. For more information, visit warrenk12nc.org.

Charter and private schools

Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School

Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School, 130 Haliwa-Saponi Trail, Hollister, opened in August 2000 at the site of the former Haliwa Indian School. A K-12 public charter school, it includes students from Warren, Halifax, and surrounding counties. Its curriculum follows the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and Common Core curriculum while incorporating the culture of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe. The school focuses on educating its students through academics, technology, community involvement, good social skills, and studies of Native American culture to prepare them to be productive citizens in today’s global society. Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School personalizes instruction using diagnostic assessments, small group in-

struction, project-based activities, and blended learning. The entire campus is wireless, and each core area classroom is equipped with the latest Smart Board technology. Each student in grades kindergarten through 12 also has available to them in each classroom an individual laptop and Chromebook purchased within the last year. These devices are also available to check out any time for home use. For more information, contact the school at 252257-5853.

Norlina Christian School

Norlina Christian School, 305 Old Warrenton Rd., Norlina, began serving Norlina and the surrounding area in 1984 and consists of grades K-5 through 11. The school’s mission is to partner with the family in training the student in the knowledge of God. Pastor Bill Riley serves as administrator. Norlina Christian School serves Warren, Vance, Franklin, Granville and Halifax counties in North Carolina as well as Mecklenburg County, Va. It is approved and can accept scholarships through the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. For more information, email ncsfinance1984@ gmail.com, call 252-456-3385 or fax 252-456-3354 A number of other public charter and private schools are located in Vance, Franklin and other counties surrounding Warren. Monday - Thursday: 9am - 3pm Friday: 9am - 9pm (dinner starts at 5:30pm) Saturday: 9am - 3pm Sunday: Closed Dine-in, Take-Out & Online Ordering Available


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Community College


Vance-Granville Community College

or the residents and businesses of Warren County, Vance-Granville Community College is the local source for higher education and training, and a key partner in economic development. Classes are offered on four conveniently located campuses, on-site at other community locations, and online. The college’s Main Campus is located off Interstate 85 in Vance County, while the Warren County Campus is at 210 West Ridgeway Street (U.S. 158 Business) in Warrenton. Other locations are South Campus, between Butner and Creedmoor, and the Franklin County Campus, just outside Louisburg. Curriculum courses in various subjects are offered at Vance-Granville’s Warren Campus, along with Arts and Sciences courses that form the first two years of a four-year degree. The campus offers courses in Cosmetology, open not only to adults but also to eligible high school students through the Career & College Promise program. Cosmetology students are able to develop their skills with customers in the program’s realistic salon environment. Vance-Granville partners with Warren County Schools to offer the Pharmacy Technology Certificate and the Certified Nursing Level I program, and to support Warren Early College High School, located on the Warrenton campus. Area residents can take Adult Basic Skills classes to complete their high school education and make the transition to college and the world of work. Unemployed, underemployed or dislocated workers can also take classes that help prepare them for new job opportunities. Healthcare training programs are conducted at the campus, as are Small Business Page 16—Discover Warren County

Center seminars. With support from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the Warren Campus hosts the Heavy Equipment Operator training program. NC DOT and the Federal Highway Administration have also supported summer transportation camps for high school students at the Warren Campus. Vance-Granville is committed to accessibility and affordability. Eligible Warren County residents of any age can receive the “VanGuarantee” need-based scholarship, established to eliminate financial barriers to higher education. The VanGuarantee is designed to cover tuition, student fees and textbooks for eligible students whose financial needs are unmet by federal financial aid and other means of support. For more information, visit vgcc.edu or call the Warren Campus at 252-257-1900.

Warren County Library


arren County Memorial Library, at 119 S. Front St., Warrenton, is open from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Fridays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays. Due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions, the library’s normal operations have been rescheduled to Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. While some of the regular services are suspended, the library has developed and enhanced the following initiatives designed to provide access to resources, information, and entertainment: EZ Book and Audiovisual Checkout with no-contact pickup, online access to library account services and new library card signups, free WiFi in the parking area, automatically extended due dates, external and lobby book drops for no-contact returns, reader’s advisory by phone, and an extensive online collection

of movies, audio, e-books, and learning resources that are available 24/7. Limited printing, copying and faxing are offered through the library lobby access services. Check out the free virtual programs and learning opportunities for everyone, screen free and at home activities, and Grab & Go Book Bundles for students, parents, and teachers. “Learning to live with COVID-19 has meant finding creative ways to reconnect everyone with library resources and services. Please give us a call for assistance. We miss our patrons and look forward to seeing them!” said Cheryl Reddish, library director. The library will continue to expand services as health and safety allow. When operating at full capacity, the library offers services and programs for people of all ages, including: books (both regular and large print), audiobooks on tape and CD, e-books and resources, public access computers, computer instruction through classes and one-on-one assistance, reference and information services, magazines, newspapers, DVDs and videos. The library has resources for historical and genealogical research on site as well as access to online materials. Warren County Memorial Library’s history collection includes artifacts and information relating to Warren County people and homes, as well as photographs

and family histories contributed by local residents. The collection also includes genealogy records and information compiled by Mary Hinton Duke Kerr. Other services that are offered include assistance in acquiring tax forms, faxing and copying. A community meeting room is also available. Programs and presentations for all ages are held throughout the year on topics ranging from history to music. Among them are the annual summer reading program, designed to encourage children, teens and adults to discover the enjoyment of books. The library offers a number of activities during the reading program, including movies, crafts, entertainment and speakers. The Library To Go outreach service provides books and materials to the homebound, promotes early reading and literacy at daycare centers, and facilitates resources provided through the N.C. Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. NC Kids digital cards are also available to connect all schoolaged students with e-books and videos to help them succeed. Many resources may be accessed through the library website, including catalogs of books and DVDs, and links to community resources and statewide job listings. For more information and service updates, call 252-257-4990, or visit wcmlibrary.org.

Discover Warren County—Page 17

Seven Springs Farms and Vineyard

A taste of France arrives in Warren County


ive acres of grapevines grows along the gently rolling hills of the countryside. Could this be in the south of France or, perhaps, California? No, these grapes are growing at Seven Springs Farms & Vineyard near Ridgeway, which celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony in June 2020. Operated by Preston Williams, Jr., his wife, Clara, and their three sons, Preston Williams III, Cornelius Aaron Williams and Jamal Donnel Williams, the vineyard is nestled on a farm, which will include an event venue, petting zoo and more. Preston, Jr., a native of the Grove Hill community in Warren County, and Clara, a native of DeRidder, La., established the vineyard in 2017 on property they purchased in 1987. At the time, much of the approximately 30 acres was devoted to soybeans. The Williams transformed their land into a cattle farm with more recent plans to add the vineyard. While Clara came to the venture after working in

Page 18—Discover Warren County

quality assurance/human resources in the manufacturing field, Preston had a background of farming that began in childhood. When the couple visited a vineyard, Preston, Jr. fell in love with the relaxing atmosphere and beauty of the vines. They traveled to Kim’s Vineyard and Winery in Warren County and other vineyards in Henderson, the North Carolina mountains, Virginia and South Carolina, learning from others as they moved toward their goal of opening a vineyard on their property. The Williams’ land, located on Axtell Ridgeway Road, is graced by seven natural springs that, along with the couple’s strong faith, inspired the name Seven Springs Farms & Vineyard.

The vineyard centers around the muscadine grape, which grow well in the Piedmont of North Carolina. “It is a hardy plant that is good for a variety of purposes,� Preston, Jr. said. The Williams family planted eight muscadine varieties, producing grapes in a range of colors: black, purple, bronze, red and white. The resulting wines include red, white and blush. In addition to wine, Seven Springs will offer jellies, juices, jams, ciders and BBQ sauce, among other products. A tasting room/resale facility is currently open on site. A multipurpose building is under construction to serve as a venue for special events and photography. In the future, a petting zoo and cabins will be added. Plans for the vineyard and event venue were outlined during the ribbon cutting celebration. Glass jars of products sparkled in the sunlight, providing a hint of what is to come at Seven Springs: raspberry chipotle jam, strawberry salsa, strawberry moonshine jelly, strawberry jelly, strawberry jalapeno jam, peach butter, peach salsa, fireball glaze and BBQ sauce, muscadine wine jelly, peach pie moonshine jelly, apple pie

The fruit of the vine takes one of its final forms in the muscadine grape juice bearing the Seven Springs label.

Jars of jams, jellies and sauces sparkle in the June sunshine with a view of sprawling grapevines.

Rows of grapevines at various stages of growth soak up the sun and nutrients from the soil.

Discover Warren County—Page 19

The Williams family celebrates the opening of Seven Springs Farms & Vineyards with a ribbon cutting ceremony in June 2020. Pictured, from the left, are Cornelius Aaron Williams, Clara Williams, Preston Williams, Jr., Preston Williams III, and Jamal Donnel Williams.

moonshine jelly, peach cider and grape juice. Preston, Jr. told the local government officials and area residents who joined the celebration that the Seven Springs property has been a blessing to his family. “We enjoy what the Lord has done here,” he said. “Because we are so blessed, we (wanted to share our blessings with others).” Jamal noted that Seven Springs partners with local vendors in the manufacturing of its products. Preston III said that the farm and vineyard will ultimately develop a winery to process the grapes grown on the property. “We look forward to when we can process our own grapes and produce wine,” he said. “There is no timetable, but we hope it will be in the near future.” Warren County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tare “T” Davis praised the Williams family for their entrepreneurial spirit. “Warren County has a rich history of entrepreneurs,” he said. Warren County Board of Education Chairwoman Ebony Talley-Brame said that the vineyard will be a valuable learning resource for area students. Page 20—Discover Warren County

Warren County Sheriff Johnny Williams praised his brother, Preston, Jr., as someone with the energy and knowledge to do many things. Larry Spruill of the Warren County ABC Board challenged local residents to support the Williams family’s venture. “Anytime you see a small business open in the county, it is good for the whole county,” he said. Preston, Jr. and his family look forward to a bright future at Seven Springs as they prepare for this year’s harvest in late summer. They want their products to be as good or better than what is produced in France, Italy and other areas of the world famous for their vintage. Most of all, Preston, Jr. would like to see future generations of the Williams family operate the vineyard for years to come. As he spoke, he thought of his grandson, Preston IV, and his siblings. “I hope a fourth and fifth generation will operate the vineyard — longevity,” Preston, Jr. said. Seven Springs Farms & Vineyards is at 332 Axtell Ridgeway Rd., Norlina. The vineyard is open from 2-5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2-7 p.m. on Fridays, noon-7 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2-6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit sevenspringsvineyards.com or call 252-432-0379.

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The Arts

From classical music, patriotic concerts and pick-up jam sessions, to community theatre, poetry readings, book signings and exhibitions, Warren County offers something for just about anyone with a passion for performing and visual arts. COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on concerts, festivals and shows may affect current productions and events, contact each venue for updated information.

Cherry Hill concerts

Historic Cherry Hill Plantation, located in the community of Inez, offers classical concerts by worldrenowned musicians throughout the year, as well as occasional educational opportunities for children and adults. Performances are held on Sunday afternoons for a nominal donation. Each concert is followed by a reception where the artists visit with concert-goers. The handicapped-accessible plantation house features a Steinway concert grand piano in its foyer and has a reputation for exceptional acoustics. An Allen organ has been added in recent years. For more information, visit cherryhillconcerts.com.

Warren Artists’ Market

Formed in 2012, the Warren Artists’ Market is a collective of local residents who share their talents in writing and the visual and performing arts with the community. WAM, which has published a number of anthologies, hosts First Friday events, as well as other events throughout the year. Poetry slams, drama and poetry readings, art shows and educational workshops are among special events the group has hosted.

Northeast Piedmont Chorale

With a focus on classical music, the Northeast Pied-

Page 22—Discover Warren County

mont Chorale is a group of 50 voices from Warren and surrounding counties whose mission is to continue a tradition of presenting choral music at a high standard. The nonprofit chorale provides free concerts throughout the year, sometimes accompanied by members of the North Carolina Symphony.

Lakeland Cultural Arts Center

Bringing theatre arts to the community for more than 40 years, Lakeland Cultural Arts Center in Littleton provides year-round performances in two theatres. Offering dramas, comedies, musicals, special shows, concerts by the Lakeland Singers, and theatre workshops for children and adults, Lakeland showcases local talent of all ages and provides a fun learning environment for aspiring actors, singers and those who want to get involved in theatre behind the scenes. Lakeland was founded in 1977 and recently started work on a phased revitalization plan. For more information on Lakeland and scheduled performances and other activities, visit lakelandcac. org or call 252-586-3124.

Vance-Granville Community Band

Founded in 2008, the Vance-Granville Community Band is comprised of Vance-Granville Community College students and interested citizens from all four counties of the college’s service area (Warren, Vance, Granville and Franklin) and beyond. The band performs several concerts throughout the year. Rehearsals are on Monday evenings on the college’s Main Campus in Henderson. Membership

is open to anyone interested in joining the group, no auditions required. For more information, call 252-738-3222.

Warren County Arts Council

The Warren County Arts Council, through its subgranting of North Carolina grassroots funding, has assisted with art creations and installations in the county. A mural, featuring a scene that gives a nod to the county’s agricultural past and present, has been painted on the side of a former cotton gin, and the county’s first metal sculpture was installed in downtown Warrenton during the county’s first Public Arts Day in 2018. A second mural was painted at the county’s recreation complex thanks to Arts Council funding. The council also has sponsored drummers for the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe’s annual powwow, and has cosponsored the Dub C Rapfest.

The Arts Council meets every third Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the county library in Warrenton, and can be reached by emailing warrencountyartscouncil@ gmail.com or visiting warrencountyartsnc.org. Live musical performances are offered on a regular basis at the Ridgeway Opry House at 704 U.S. Hwy. 1, in the Ridgeway community on Saturdays and at the VFW Hall in Norlina on Fridays, as well as at local restaurants and events.

Discover Warren County—Page 23

2019 7&8 Softball Champions, Brannock’s Glass—from left to right, first row: A’shayla Hawkins, Amaris Yancey, Ciara Howard, Destiny Hyke, Aleah Bacon, Khamari Crews; second row: Leah Anderson, Jayla Alexander, Skylar Currin, Emma Champion, Autumn Dalton, Lily Holtzmann, Peyton Williams; third row: coaches Montoya Stevenson, J.D. Wright, Sanqueesha Henderson.

Page 24—Discover Warren County

Parks & Recreation


he Warren County Parks & Recreation Department provides organized sports activities for children and adults throughout the year, plus several playgrounds. Traditional programs include soccer, football, midget tackle football, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball and summer activities. Warren County has a central recreation complex at 840 Hwy. 158 bypass, Warrenton, that offers a walking trail, multiple ball fields, a playground, pickleball courts, basketball courts and open areas for enjoying outings. The recreation department and community groups utilize the site for public events, such as activities for senior citizens, firefighting competitions, sports tournaments, picnics, festivals and an annual Easter egg hunt. The county has purchased property adjacent to the recreation complex for future expansion. No plans are currently on the drawing board, but preliminary discussions have included adding indoor and outdoor recreation facilities. A park in the Manson area — Magnolia Ernest Recreation Park — includes tennis and basketball courts, picnic areas and a swimming pool that is open during the summer with a lifeguard on duty. Swimming lessons are available. Renovations and site improvements are in the works for this park location. Satellite parks in Warren County are located in the towns of Macon, Norlina and Warrenton. Also in Warrenton, the John Graham gym hosts events including indoor pickleball games, basketball tournaments and Senior Games events. The gym, which has had its bleachers and floor replaced, is open to the public for walking, basketball free-play, pickleball three days a week and other recreation. Buck Spring Park at Lake Gaston is the largest county park, with 70-plus acres of forested Discover Warren County—Page 25

land, a large open field, playground area, picnic shelter with restrooms, a nature trail that accesses a fishing pier on the lakefront and a bike trail. The historic site of Buck Spring Plantation, former homeplace of noted Warren County native Nathaniel Macon, the park also includes a replica of Macon’s home, a corn crib and an original smokehouse, as well as a facility that can be rented for retreats and other events. For more information on Warren County Parks & Recreation, call 252-257-2272.

Domestic The town of Warrenton dedicated Hayley-Haywood Park, the county’s first disc golf park, in May 2018. Located off the town’s West Franklin Street across from the Warren County Senior Center, the 4-acre park features a nine-hole disc golf course, walking trail and picnic tables.

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Special Events No matter your interests, from arts and crafts to running a 5k for a good cause or celebrating the area’s rich cultural heritage, you are sure to find an event in Warren County to suit your tastes. A wide variety of activities are planned throughout the year offering something for people of all ages. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many events and festivals have been rescheduled or cancelled. These events and many others such as Family Movie Nights on Courthouse Square and the Norlina Market Festival take place each year. For an up-to-date listing of local events, see the Community Calendar at warrenrecord.com, and check back often as event schedules are subject to change.

Page 28—Discover Warren County

September African-American Cultural Festival Warren County Firemen’s Day

October Lake Gaston Seafood Festival Harvest Market Festival Fright Night & Ghost Walk

December Prelude to Christmas Warren County Christmas Parade Norlina Christmas Parade & Festival Discover Warren County—Page 29

April Haliwa-Saponi Tribe’s Annual Blooming of the Dogwood Powwow Run Warrenton 5k Warren County Schools Special Olympics

Page 30—Discover Warren County

SpringFest Warren County Junior Firefighter Competition Opening of Warren County Farmers’ Market

Discover Warren County—Page 31

Page 32—Discover Warren County

July Wise Independence Day Parade & Festival Independence Day Fireworks Display

Lake Gaston Annual Boat Parade

Discover Warren County—Page 33

Ridgeway Cantaloupe 5K & Festival

Page 34—Discover Warren County



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The Storied History of Buchanan’s Store


hile many stories have been written about it, many more people have shopped for all manner of merchandise at Buchanan’s Store in Drewry since Billy Lee Buchanan and his brothers opened it in 1878. When Rutherford B. Hayes was president and Warren was one of the richest counties in North Carolina. When visitors traveled to and from locations on nearby Kerr Lake by horsepower or shoe leather. Now 142 years later, the building is still owned by Billy Buchanan’s granddaughter, Lucy “Cookie” Currin. And the story of the store continues under the stewardship of the most recent family to love it and the area enough to keep the doors to this essential business open, come what may. The combination of its wide selection, quaint confines, and convenient location close to the lake and campgrounds have made it equal parts reliable community store, landmark and tourist destination. “If we ain’t got it, you don’t need it,” the wellknown sign hanging above the front door of the store reads. And whether you’re one of the more than 1,000 customers coming through that door every week during the summer, or one of around 100 a week during the winter, owner Jamie Reese will offer a kind, friendly or familiar greeting, get you what you need and on your way. “Customers of all kinds from all over come in all day long,” he said. Now in his sixth year of ownership, Reese, 40, is perfectly suited to see the store into the future. Along with his wife Jennie and their four children, ages 15, Page 36—Discover Warren County

12, 9 and 3, the business keeps people coming back year after year, generation to generation. Reese himself grew up in the area and worked in the store starting at the age of 9, toting ice and pumping gas for the former owner Wilson Fleming, who bought the store in 1971. The same pumps remain in regular use today. Reese’s grandmother, Ella Ellington worked for Fleming as a clerk for 20 years and remembers the pot bellied stove that used to warm the store. “It was never cold in here,” she said. And that warm, welcoming feeling extended outside the store as well. “If you had a flat tire or other car trouble, [Mr. Fleming] was always there to help. If there were more people like him, the world would be a better place.” “The store name has never changed,” Fleming said, adding that people sometimes called him Mr. Buchanan by mistake. Buchanan’s was one of six general stores across the state featured in the Our State magazine article, “Stored Memories,” written by Marla Hardee Milling. Customers have a wide variety of reactions upon walking into the store. “People come in, stand and gaze,” Ellington said. One Facebook commenter wrote, “Stepping inside this store is like going back in time.” To others, like Ray Meadows of Manson, Buchanan’s has always simply been “the country store on the way to the lake.” Donny Coe rented a place at Kimball Point for 12 years before recently moving here full time. “They’ve done a lot with the store and helped me out a bunch,” he said. “I love the sandwiches and eat breakfast here three times a week.”

Fried Bologna Sandwiches and More

Of an estimated 10,000 items for sale, the store is known for its hoop cheese, a popular item, especially around Christmas. The cheese also goes well with cold bologna sandwiches, once the only thing one could order there. But now that Reese has expanded the kitchen, expertly run by Blondie, customers can get that bologna sandwich grilled with onions. Along with ice cream and a variety of other deli options, The Reese family: Jamie, Jennie, Gracie, Emily, Ali and Mason. pickled pigs feet and eggs are also available for the asking. Other items offered for sale include ice, fishing supplies, grocery items, some local produce, tubes and life jackets, hunting vests, camping supplies, hardware, straw hats, hardware, ropes, and even car batteries, to name just a small few. Buchanan’s Store T-shirts have become popular with patrons. For Reese, after a career as a welder, owning the store is the fulfillment of a childhood dream. “Sometimes it’s just out of sight and sometimes I wonder ‘what was I thinking,’” he said, referring to the hours. While he has help of course, Reese works a few 13hour days during the season. “This time of year is our Christmas,” he said. Even with the pandemic, this July was busier than last. And with distance learning, the season looks like it will last longer than usual, extending past the point when people typically leave the lake. For Reese the best part of the job is the camaraderie he has with the customers, seeing different people every year and supporting locals every day. “I hear Located at 6547 Drewry Virginia Line Rd., all kinds of stories,” he said. “It’s just a staple for the Buchanan’s is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call them up community. It’s always been here and I can’t imagine at 252-456-2580. if it wasn’t.” Discover Warren County—Page 37

Self-guided Tours Walk or drive to discover local historic sites


arren County’s rich history is reflected in an abundance of historical properties, including more than 200 listed on an inventory of houses conducted by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources in 1970. Many of the residential properties have been restored and are in use today, while historically significant church buildings dot the landscape and continue to hold regular services. Preservation Warrenton, Inc., a nonprofit formed in

Page 38—Discover Warren County

1997 to help promote restoration and preservation of historically important buildings and grounds in Warren County, makes viewing these historic buildings easy for day-trippers and residents alike by providing brochures for self-guided tours. The brochure, “A Walking Tour of Warrenton,” includes notes of interest about the county seat and lists nearly 50 homes, churches and other buildings on a map around town, along with a description of each. Among the noted stops in Warrenton are the Warren County Courthouse, which is the third courthouse

on the site in the town center. The present red brick building was constructed in 1906 and designed by the noted architectural firm of Frank Milburn and Michael Heister. The Warrenton tour also includes Oak Chapel AME Church, an African-American church organized following the Civil War, and Emmanuel Episcopal Church, where Mary Turner, granddaughter of North Carolina Governor James Turner and of Francis Scott Key, composer of “The Star Spangled Banner,” is buried. Other notable sites in Warrenton include the GreenPolk House, a Greek Revival home with unusually large windows and carved front door, that was built around 1850 for a wealthy planter; the Gloster-Crossan House, former home of Thomas Crossan, captain of North Carolina’s Civil War blockade-runner Advance; and the former All Saints Church, which was the home church of Warrenton native Bishop Bravid Harris, who served as the eighth missionary bishop of Liberia. A self-guided “Driving Tour of Warren County”

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takes travelers to more than 70 historic places and includes notes and old photographs of “Vanished Landmarks” and information on notable Warren County people, both past and present. Among them are John A. Hyman, who was born a slave here and, following the Civil War, served in the state Senate and was the first African-American to represent North Carolina in Congress, and Katherine Pendleton Arrington, a Warren County native credited with the formation of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Unique points of interest along the driving tour are the Warren County Fire Tower, built in 1932 and eventually operated by Bessie Haithcock, the first female fire tower operator in North Carolina; the Haliwa-Saponi Indian School, which was built in the mid-1950s and is now the site of Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School; and the Governor William Miller Log House.

Page 40—Discover Warren County

Brochures are available from the Warren County Economic Development Commission housed in the Warren County Armory Civic Center, 501 U.S. 158 business-east, Warrenton. Many historic sites in the Warrenton area are connected with the rich history of local African-Americans whose aspirations led some to become doctors and dentists in the community, and others to serve in the U.S. Congress. A number of them are featured on the AfricanAmerican Walking Tour of Warrenton, N.C., which was originally produced in conjunction with the county’s first African-American Cultural Arts Festival in 2014. Points of interest featured in the brochure include the Warren County Community Center, which was constructed in 1931 at a time when no public restrooms for African-Americans were available in

Warrenton. The center featured an assembly area, ladies’ lounge and library, which used a bookmobile to take books to the more than 40 African-American schools in Warren County. Also included is the John Edwards Building, which housed grocery stores, restaurants, beauty salons, barbershops, a pharmacy, as well as dentist and doctor’s offices. Other sites include the John S. Plummer Hook and Ladder Company, the oldest, continuous-use AfricanAmerican fire department in North Carolina, and Shiloh Institute founded by a group that included Mansfield Thornton, assistant register of deeds. Brochures are available from the Warren County Economic Development Commission housed in the Warren County Armory Civic Center, 501 U.S. 158 business-east, Warrenton; and the Hendrick House, 105 S. Front, St., Warrenton.

Discover Warren County—Page 41


The Lakes

arren County boasts more than 70,000 acres of beautiful freshwater lakes in Lake Gaston and Kerr Lake. Both are situated on the North Carolina/Virginia border. Lake Gaston offers more than 350 miles of shoreline that surrounds close to 21,000 acres of water. Kerr Lake has over 850 miles of shoreline, making it one of the Southeast’s largest lakes. Both lakes offer clean water for fishing, swimming, boating and a variety of water sports in a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere, as well as an abundance of game fish. The most popular and sought after game fishes are the large mouth and striped bass. The lakes also are home to walleye, black crappie and several species of catfish. Rental homes are available for vacationers and range from waterfront cottages to large homes with

Page 42—Discover Warren County

sleeping accommodations for six to a dozen or more people. Also, camping is available. Both lakes also have many private as well as public boat ramps and a number of marinas, as well as picnic areas and playgrounds. Boating is spectacular, and there are several islands and beaches where boaters can enjoy the outdoors any day of the week. Boat rentals are available and range from pontoons to personal watercraft in several locations around the lakes. There are public and private golf courses located either on the lakes or adjacent to them, and many restaurants and shopping opportunites are located on the water as well as nearby. Both lakes host dazzling public fireworks displays to celebrate the July 4th holiday.

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Annual tradition celebrates melon that made Ridgeway famous


n the second Saturday of July, at cantaloupe harvest time, the community of Ridgeway celebrates its heritage - and the melon that made the small town famous - with the Ridgeway Cantaloupe Festival and 5K. The Ridgeway Historical Society, formed in 2004, sponsors the day-long event with the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department. The festival includes food and craft vendors, children’s games and live music. The event is held on the grounds of the Ridgeway

Community Club, located behind the cantaloupe shed on U.S. 1, south of Norlina.

Cantaloupe growing takes root Ridgeway’s cantaloupe history began to take root a little over 100 years ago when Ed Petar grew several acres of cantaloupes and discovered that there was something special about melons grown in the Ridgeway soil. As other farmers in the community joined Petar in growing cantaloupes, the demand for the Ridgeway

The Holtzmann family continues the tradition of growing Ridgeway cantaloupes and can be seen each season at their roadside stand on US 1.

Page 44—Discover Warren County

melons spread to northern markets. The fruits were served in some of the finest restaurants, including the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. Around 1932, when some 13,000 crates of cantaloupes were shipped from Ridgeway, the community formed the Cantaloupe Growers Association, and the Pride of Ridgeway label was recognized everywhere. The Ridgeway harvest was at its peak from 1946 to 1956 with some 30,000 crates of cantaloupes shipped from the town in 1956. When the growing season was at its busiest, cantaloupes were being shipped 24 hours per day by train and truck. A blight in the late 1950s hurt cantaloupe farming in Ridgeway, but even that did not destroy the town’s most famous industry.

Cantaloupe tradition continues In more recent years, a much smaller number of farmers continue to grow the delicious melons, but Ridgeway cantaloupes can still be found at a few roadside stands in the community. The area’s history is remembered each year as the Ridgeway Cantaloupe Festival celebrates the community’s rich heritage. The festival grew in 2014 with the addition of the Ridgeway Cantaloupe 5k, which draws participants from Warren County and other areas of the state and nation. The race is sponsored by the Ridgeway Historical Society. At the festival, Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department sells Brunswick stew, and a variety of arts and crafts vendors offer a number of wares to showcase their talents. Food vendors and food trucks offer a range of food options, including snow cones, funnel cakes, BBQ, hot dogs, lemonade and more. Cantaloupe samples are available for everyone who wants to have a taste of why Ridgeway became famous. The Cantaloupe Festival’s reputation for offering fun for all ages has spread as far as Ridgeway’s reputation for producing delicious cantaloupes. Thousands of people gather each year–all because of a summer melon that put the small community on the map.

Jessica Evans, Natasha Carroll and Evan Carroll staff the fruit cart in front on US 1 in Ridgeway, selling cantaloupes, watermelons and other fresh produce right off the farm.  

Discover Warren County—Page 45

Buyers’ Guide

The Warren Record Serving Warren County since 1896

A & S Pest Control, p. 21 Banzet, Thompson, Styers & May, P.L.L.C., p. 39 Blaylock Funeral Homes, p. 39 Citizen Insurance & Bonding Co., Inc., p. 21 Futrell Pharmacy, p. 9 Gary’s Auto Repair, p. 26 Halifax Electric, p. 26 Hardware Cafe, p. 9 Pete Smith Tire & Quick Lube, p. 12 Riverside Mill, p. 35 Solutions Accounting, Tax & Consulting, LLC., p. 43 Tegarris Realty, p. 21 Tar Heel Tire, p. 35 The Warren Record, p. 46 Warren County, p. 21 Warrenton Furniture Exchange, Inc., p. 27 Warrenton Insurance Agency, Inc., p. 35

The Warren Record 112 N. Main St. P.O. Box 70 Warrenton, NC 27589 252-257-3341 FAX 252-257-1413 news@warrenrecord.com ads@warrenrecord.com


Warrenton Supply, p. 9 Find us on Facebook and Twitter

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C.A.R.E. Building Convenient access to primary care and specialty physicians.

(434) 584-CARE (2273) The name reflects the services offered in this comprehensive medical center. The C.A.R.E. Building, adjacent to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, is home to a wide variety of physician practices and offers convenient access to primary care and specialty physicians. CMH Cardiology Services

Bethany Denlinger, MD Jayanthi Koneru, MD M. Khalid Mojadidi MD Cardiologist Cardiologist Cardiologist Electrophysiologist

Nimesh Patel, MD Cardiologist

Jade Kindley, MD Dermatologist Located at 140 E. Ferrell St.

Binyam Dessie, MD Pediatrician

Kelly Barbour, MD IM/Pediatrician

Teresa Parham Nurse Practitioner

CMH Pain Management Services

Manhal Saleeby, MD Anesthesiologist Pain Management

Peggie Powell Nurse Practitioner

CMH Urological Services

Stephen Ortlip, MD Urologist

Saleem Naviwala, MD Otolaryngologist / ENT

Lynnette Reville Audiologist

CMH Orthopedic Services

CMH Family Care Services

Ahmad Jafar Ali, MD Family Medicine

CMH ENT & Allergy Services

CMH Dermatology

Mari Adams Physician Assistant

Niraj Kalore, MD Orhopedic Surgeon

CMH Surgical Services

Desiderio Rimon, MD General Surgeon

CMH Family Dental Care

Natasha Grover, DDS Dentist

Michael Tozzi, DO General Surgeon

Yi Wei Zhang, MD General Surgeon

Vicky Kennedy Nurse Practitioner

Madan Vallem, MD Orthopedic Surgeon

CMH Women’s Health Services

Ramesh Seeras, MD OB / GYN

Terry Wootten Nurse-Midwife

Pulmonology Services

Indu Shivaram, MD Pulmonologist

1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue South Hill, VA 23970 (434) 584-CARE (2273)

Discover Warren County—Page 47

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