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My Hometown Nothing evokes more pride than these two simple words. If we’ve never left, it’s the reason why. If we have left, it’s the place we come back to when we need to remember who we really are. Or, for that matter, remind us who we wanted to be. You can have many homes in your lifetime, but you’ll have only one Hometown. Take a peek here at ours. At your Hometown.

s b u l C and s n o i t a z i n Orga

My Hometown

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Civic pride – with an eye toward service by Dave Blanton Gold was discovered in White Plains in 1834. Seventy-five years later, the textile boom was beginning to shape our town, which by then was called Kings Mountain. It wasn’t long after that, in the time between the turn of the century and World War II, that club life was beginning to take hold. First came the Woman’s Club, the town’s oldest existing civic organization. In 1905, monthly dues were a nickel. By 1932, it found a permanent home on Mountain Street. The group’s 100plus year tradition of annual Floral Fairs continues to this day, although for many years now it’s been called the Fall Festival. Following in the Woman’s Club footsteps came a burst of new club be-

Kings laments that interest in the Boy Scouts has declined in the last generation or so. In the heyday of the organization in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, nearly every able-bodied boy was – or wanted to be – in the club that organized camping trips, built things for the community and served as the primary source of youth fellowship. Today, the Boy Scouts of America can claim 207 youngsters total in the Kings Mountain area. That accounts for membership in all the organization’s subgroups, which includes Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Crews. Crews are groups that specialize in hiking and camping and include males and females, ages 14-20. King estimates those numbers are down four or five hundred percent from the 1960s, a drop he blames on the popularity of TV and video games. “Back then, being inside was the last thing you wanted to do,� King said. “We blame the kids, but you got to blame the parents, too.� For every group that has grown lean as times change and schedules become more fractured, others spring up and become robust fixtures in the fundraising arena. The Kings Mountain Touchdown Club is only seven years old. It was started with a clear and defined mission: to improve equipment for Kings Mountain’s student athletes. That included facilities, locker rooms, weight rooms. The group raised $15,000 in its first three months, according to its founder David Brinkley. It also gives a $500 dollar scholarship every year to a football player who has been on the team all four years of his eligibility. The Touchdown’s Club biggest project has been raising the funds to build a new 12,000 sq. feet state-ofthe-art field house for the KMHS athletes at John Gamble stadium. The field house, which has cost nearly $900,000, is nearing its December-January construction goal. Much of the work and supplies were donated. The Touchdown Club, which boasts around 100 members, has gotten a lot of

ginnings. From the town’s first Boy Scout troop, in 1908, to The Thursday Afternoon Book Club, in 1913, to the Daughters of the American Revolution, which saw its first chapter chartered here in 1916, Kings Mountain was ascending as a town with strong civic ties. By the 1950s and 1960s, Kiwanis, Lions Club, the JayCees, and, later, a Kings Mountain chapter of the International Rotary had became powerful engines of fundraising and civic movements. Dave Baity remembers when the Mountain Street bridge that passed over the train tracks downtown had two lights and lots of traffic, often moving very slowly on the weekends. “We peddled Pepsi between those two stop lights and raised a heck of a lot of

Scouts camp out at a Hickory gathering in 1960. “There’s a lot of shared responsibility in Boy Scout life,â€? says Tommy King, who has served as a merit badge counselor, a scoutmaster, an assistant scoutmaster, district commissioner and an assistant district commissioner with the Boy Scouts of America. money for charities,â€? he said rush, its schools, businesses, come together on that front.â€? For Tommy King, this referring to the time when sports teams and civic clubs. Baity said he grew up strong and long-running he was still fresh out of high school and a member of the poor, in one of the town’s sense of civic pride and Jaycees. This was a good many mill villages, but he service has its roots in one place: The felt twenty years before the U.S. “never Boy Scouts. 74 Bypass skirted north of substandard.â€? He recalls For every group King has spent town. Before that time trava lifetime with elers headed toward the that many of young mountains or Charlotte had his peers in that has grown the man’s outdoor few options other than school left the lean as times and adventure streaming through the center life of books organization, for a job in the of Kings Mountain. change... began Baity went on to learn a textile indusothers spring which in England and lot more about the town, try, which was continuing his work as a re- in those days up and become the United States in the porter for the Kings Moun- powered the econ- robust fixtures... first decade of tain Herald before becoming local the 20th cenan editor at the Belmont omy. But for tury. King, Banner in the early 60s. He many of those retired after a long run as a who stayed in school and who is 71, was a scout here reporter and columnist for pursue higher education, in Kings Mountain as a boy the Charlotte Observer. A there was a bridge that and, much to his chagrin, missed becoming an Eagle few year ago, he wrote and helped get them there. “The civic clubs really Scout by just one badge. He published “Tracks Through Time: A History of the City helped in that transition,â€? he later served as a merit badge of Kings Mountain, 1874- said. “There were scholar- counselor, a scoutmaster, an 2005,â€? an illustrated history ships available to kids who assistant scoutmaster, disof the town’s many facets, wanted to go farther but did- trict commissioner and an Boy Scout troops from the Kings Mountain area gather in with chapters devoted to the n’t have the means.â€? assistant district commis2009 to commemorate 100 years of scouting. Indeed, from the Kiwanis sioner with the Boy Scouts area’s 19th century gold and Rotary to the Woman’s of America. “There’s a lot of shared Club and the Boosters Club and the Daughters of the responsibility in Boy Scout American Revolution, it has life,â€? King says, rattling off been service clubs that have the number of ways the historically established youngsters work together to some of the most generous accomplish goals or look out scholarships in the post for each other, from camping and learning about World War II years. The tradition continues wildlife to providing assistance at the annual Over the today. “Local organizations giv- Mountain Triathlon hosted ing scholarship money is a by the city. “We don’t allow harasshuge help to our students,â€? according to Leigh Bell, a ment or kids being picked guidance counselor at the on,â€? said King, who spent Kings Mountain High his professional life as a School who aids students in magistrate in Cleveland and the hunt for the right college Lincoln Counties. “The See CIVIC PRIDE, 7A and the funds to pay for their scouts is about service.â€? For over 125 years, thousands of people have called education. She said that many organizations also Cherryville home. As a city, we have had hundreds of continue to support students local people that have worked together over the years to past their first year of college through continuing perform the services that help make a loving community scholarships. like ours a better place to live. We are proud of those That certainly resonates with Baity. A favorite sevindividuals, both past and present that have given so much enth grader teacher fostered of themselves, to make Cherryville the special place that it his love of stamps and his has been and is today. budding hobby of stamp collecting by directing her husband, a comptroller at Neisler Mills, to give the young student all the postage from his incoming business mail. “I had stamps from all over the world,â€? he said in a recent talk from his home in Gastonia. “I think now ‌ how much that broadened me. The teachers in the schools in the schools encouraged kids to be better than they ever could be. There was a culture there – Julia Wood is seen here in period dress at a special meeting the teacher and the business of The Thursday Afternoon Book Club, which celebrated its community did kind of 100th year in October.


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Masons organization active in Cherryville since 1901 by Michael E. Powell The Masons are an old, old fraternal organization, hearkening back to the early 1700s (or earlier) in America, and even earlier in Europe. Many men today still belong to the group, which has been in the media, both good and bad, the past 10-20 years, thanks to Hollywood and sensationalist writers. That doesn’t bother Mason J. Pete Craft or any of his Masonic brothers because they know who they are and what they do. Recently, Pete took a few minutes to talk about the ancient and benevolent order that has been active in Cherryville since the 1900s when Master Mason Dr. J. Lee Beam of Crouse banged his gavel down, calling the first meeting to order. Craft said the late David P. Dellinger, who used to have a column in the Eagle back in the day, chronicled the Masons growth in the small town formerly known as “White Pines”. Dellinger’s history was published in the Eagle in 1976 some 12-13 years before the group moved to its present home on Mulberry Street. Cherryville Masonic history In his excerpt from the Wednesday, May 5, 1976 Eagle Dellinger began by noting the first “Lodge of fraternal order to effect an organization in Cherryville was the Masonic order”. This was, according to his history, “about 55 years ago when there was but little town in existence.” Dellinger said membership was “very limited” with fewer than 20 members of the order within the town or within “reasonable reach” of the town. A charter was granted in name and number, being mainly called Cherryville Lodge No. 505 A.F.&A.M., at a meeting of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina A.F.&A.M., in Raleigh in January 1900. “The charter designated the principal officers to serve until time for the regular election in June,” Dellinger wrote. He recalled the charter showing a Dr. J. Lee Beam of Crouse being named Worshipful Master; Charles P. Stroup as Senior Warden, and John

Carpenter, Junior Warden. Dellinger noted there was no suitable building in town at the time for a lodge room, lodge hall, or meeting place, so Messrs., Charles P. Stroup and Willie G. Stroup leased the upstairs of the old mill building for the temporary use of the new fraternal lodge. Photo by Michael E. Powell The lodge made The cornerstone on the Cherryville Masonic Lodge #505 arrangements for A.F.&A.M. It was first laid in 1901, then again in 1924. stand or pedestals for the several stations in the lodge. The lighting was by this lodge during its years of exisrather poor and consisted, according to tence. While times (and conditions of the Dellinger, of several oil lamps placed times, he said) have almost wreaked on the walls. “All the furniture and fixtures were havoc with the lodge (from a financial of a crude and cheap order as the lodge standpoint), it never went under. At one did not have much money and never time though, Dellinger wrote it “lost about half its members on account of did accumulate very much.” The Grand Lodge tax at that time their inability to pay dues.” The Grand Lodge tax was eventuwas $1 for each and every member and total lodge dues were, at first, fixed at ally advanced to $2.50 per year, neces$1.25 per year. Each member was then sitating the local lodge to raise its charged twenty-five cents, or less than annual dues to meet the obligation, pay $5 for a whole year for local purposes. interest on borrowed money, and mainAs time passed Dellinger noted the tain lodge expenses. The dues were lodge wanted more room so it rented raised to $8 per year at one time, he the room in the Mauney block up stairs wrote, but shortly thereafter were rein the building now occupied by the duced to $4.50 per year. “This helped to regain many memCherryville Furniture store. “After some years the next move bers and together with the interest of was into the Houser building just in the many younger men in the order, the rear of Dr. F.M. Houser’s office,” membership has ranged back up to Dellinger wrote. “It remained there for 135-150 members” which Dellinger some years but when that room was called “a fine showing for a small wanted for storage purposes for a town.” There have been a number of other wholesale grocery store to occupy the ground floor, the lodge gave up that fraternal orders organized in the town but none can compare very favorably, place.” The next move for the Cherryville in Dellinger’s historical musings, with Masons was into the Mel L. Rudisill the long, steady record of the Cherbuilding just across the hall from ryville Masonic order. Dellinger’s office. The final move was to its then-present home on West Main The Masons today Craft said the organization’s current Street, later known as The Masonic Temple from the 40s to the mid-70s, officers are himself, J. Pete Craft (Master); Calvin Wehunt, Sr. (Warden); when Dellinger wrote his history. Considerable work has been done See MASONS, 7A

Cherryville Lodge #505 Past Masters 1900-present 2000 – present 2013 – J. Pete Craft 2012 – Bobby Fuller 2011 – J. Pete Craft 2010 – Mark Moss 2009 – Johnny Brown 2008 – Ken Dellinger 2007 – Chuck Morgan 2006 – Marcus Moss 2005 – Keith Gardo 2004 – Ed Day 2003 – Wayne Black 2002 – Mark Moss 2001 – Jerry Walker 2000 – William Tucker 90s 1999 – Bill Nash 1998 – Charles Murray 1997 – Lyn Valentine 1996 – Russell Wingfield 1995 – Paul Huffman 1994 – Bill Nash 1993 – Bryan Putnam 1992 – Jerry Barrett 1991 – Paul Huffman 1990 – Lee Carpenter 80s 1989 – Bernard Phillips 1988 – Ken Crane 1987 – Bill Nash 1986 – Bruce Barrett 1985 – Henry Thomas 1984 – Don Elmore 1983 – Melvin Fraley 1982 – Ed Yount 1981 – E.G. Greene 1980 – Roger Hollifield 70s 1979 – Rodney Black 1978 – Ed Yount 1977 – A.B. Beam 1976 – Quay Howell 1975 – Bernard Phillips 1974 – Ken Gardo 1973 – James Champion 1972 – Wayne Barrett 1971 – Scott Mauney 1970 – C.L. Crowder 60s 1969 – Wade Harrelson 1968 – Robert Leonhardt 1967 – Walter Baker 1966 – Carroll Carpenter 1965 – J.E. Ellington

1964 – Graham Beam 1963 – Tommy Carter 1962 – Charles Cornwall 1961 – Jack Middlebrook 1960 – J.E. Ellington 50s 1959 – Tom Moore 1958 – Raleigh Putnam 1957 – J.C. Wilson 1956 – Heber Eaker 1955 – A.B. Beam 1954 – Max Beam 1953 – Louis Doggett 1952 – Hugh Putnam 1951 – Tommy Carter 1950 – A.B. Beam 40s 1949 – Bob Smith 1948 – Tommy Carter 1940 – 1947 – D.P. Dellinger 30s 1933 – 1939 – D.P. Dellinger 1932 – T.J. Mosteller 1931 – Hillard Harrelson 1930 – Hunter Huss 20s 1929 – George Falls 1928 – J.H. Dellinger 1927 – E.V. Moss 1926 – Joe R. Nixon 1920 – 1925 – D.P. Dellinger (Resigned. Relieved by J.H. Dellinger) 1900s 1919 – W.J. Styers 1918 – J.W. Quinn 1916 – 1917 – D.P. Dellinger 1915 – A.H. Huss 1914 – M.E. Hoffman 1913 – J.W. Quinn 1912 – T.B. Leonhardt 1911 – Dr. R.J. Morrison 1910 – G.L. Beam 1907 – 1909 – T.B. Leonhardt 1906 – W.H. Houser 1905 – T.B. Leonhardt 1902 – 1904 – J. L. Beam 1901 – J.M. Lindsay 1900 – Dr. J. Lee Beam (Ed. Note: Beginning in the early 1900s, Mr. D.P. Dellinger served four times, up until the 1940s, or four deacdes, as Master Mason for Lodge #505, for a total of 20 plus years of exemplary service.)

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

File photo

The ladies of the Cherryville Music Club, circa 1920s! In this photo from the March 4, 1973 Eagle newspaper, this group of happy, cheerful women pose jauntily for the camera, celebrating the fact they are members of one of the town’s oldest women’s clubs, the Cherryville Music Club. From the caption of the photo we meet (presumably) left to right: (unknown), Mrs. Vida Mauney Fetner, Mrs. Zona S. Falls, Mrs. Lloyd Summer, Miss Fannie Farris, Mrs. Elizabeth D. Huss, Mrs. Irene Sox Heavner, Mrs. Novella Kendrick George, Mrs. Ava Rudisill Stockman, Miss Margaret Newell, (unknown), (unknown), Mrs. Modelle Davis Allen, Mrs. Annie Howell Ratledge, Mrs. Ruth Dellinger Sherrill, and Mrs. Kathy George (unknown married name)? The Music Club is still going strong today.

DAR’s Tryon Resolves keeping history fresh in hearts of others by Michael E. Powell Regent Nell Griggs said the Tryon Resolves Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) keeps the memories of their ancestors alive to preserve history. The group was formed Feb. 1, 1985, with Mrs. Tom F. Moore as Organizing Regent. “There were 16 organizing members of the Tryon Resolves Chapter,” Griggs said. The chapter presently has 23 members. While the national organization has had, in the past, many themes, this year’s DAR theme is “Honoring our Heritage, Focusing on the Future, Celebrating America.” The local chapter has one planning meeting and four other regular chapter meetings each year. “Our regular meetings emphasize the historical, educational, membership, and patriotic aspects of the American Revolution.” Griggs noted how each year their chapter puts up a display in Cherryville Federal Bank during September in observance of Constitution Week. In addition to several charitable projects, the local group also awards a DAR scholarship to a senior student at Cherryville High School. “The Tryon Resolves Chapter remains strong in its desire to further patriotism and to encourage appreciation and respect for our heritage,” Griggs said.

More than just a group of ladies Tuesday Afternoon Book Club is a way of life by Alan Hodge Members of Belmont’s Tuesday Afternoon Book Club love literature, they love cake and pie, they love cuke and chicken salad sandwiches, they love punch and coffee and tea, but most of all they love one another and that’s why the organization has been around for nearly eight decades. “The Tuesday Afternoon Book Club has survived some 79 years,” said member Gearl Dean Page. “Although we no longer wear hats and gloves to the monthly meetings, we do still follow very closely the precedents laid down by the founders. We continue to keep a membership of twelve; we still enjoy varied programs at our meetings; and we still exchange books each month. Each member is responsible for planning one program each year. We still enjoy the reading and the fellowshipping with each other.” The Tuesday Afternoon Book Club held

its first meeting on Jan. 4, 1934 at the home of club founder Lucian Harris. At that time, Mrs. C.P. Lineberger was chosen vice president and Mrs. Craighead Alexander as secretary-treasurer. The books to be read in the coming year were chosen and the group also debated whether to remain part of the Woman’s Club or branch off on their own. Other members on hand at that inaugural gathering included Mrs. W. Allen, Mrs. R. Dixon, Mrs. I. Ford, Mrs. Hugh Lowe, Mrs. J. Hall, Mrs. W. Hall, Mrs. A. Lineberger, Miss Pearl Lineberger, and Mrs. C. Sloan. Interestingly, no first names for the ladies were given on the lineup. Now, you might wonder how details of a meeting held so long ago might still be known, but that’s one of the Tuesday Afternoon Book Club’s most unique characteristics- the keeping of the organization’s history in a series of scrapbooks going back See BOOK CLUB, 8A

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Some of the early members of the Tuesday Afternoon Book Club. From left; Alice Ford, Pearl Lineberger, Lottie Hall, Shirley Haynie, Maggie Sloan.

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This vintage unidentified photo was tagged “36 – The Old Club House”. It was not immediately known where the photo came from nor where the “Old Club House” was located, although it is assumed it was in Cherryville. If anyone knows more about this photo, please feel free to contact the Eagle office via email or call us at (704) 435-6752.

‘Service above self’ the lifeline of Rotary by Michael E. Powell The Cherryville Rotary Club was founded March 27, 1947, had its first meeting on April 9, 1947, and was chartered April 14, 1947. It was sponsored out of the Shelby Rotary Club, according to information supplied by 50-year Rotary member Norm Warlick. Information from the flyers given out at the group’s 50th anniversary, June 4, 1997, noted Warlick was the organization’s president (1996-1997), with Bob Faires as president-elect. At the initial 1947 meeting, 24 business and professional men were present. Warlick, a Paul Harris Fellow, was heralded as one of seven Rotarians and citizens so honored in 1997, and the Club then noted they continue to fund scholarships and sponsor Boy Scout Troop 323, which then had 68 boys earn the Eagle Scout badge. Since then, more than 100 young men have earned the coveted honor.

The Club’s motto, “Service above self; he profits most who serves best,” still rings true today, Warlick said, as the Club heads into the 21st century under new 2013 president Larry Wright. Warlick remembers the Club’s charter members being F.C. Abernathy, Howard Allran, Alfonso Beam, C.J. Beam, Claude C. Beam, Dwight L. Beam, Robert H. Beam, N.B. Boyles, Blaine Dellinger, C.C. Dellinger, W.K. Dellinger John L. Fraley, Marvin Hager, Howard Hamrick, Lester Houser, Guy Howell, G.C. McGinnis, E.V. Moss, Raleigh J. Putnam. W.T. Robinson, M.A. Stroup, Wade Hector Stroupe, and E.C. Sullivan, Sr. Warlick, who was honored this year by his fellow Rotarians, said he is glad to be a part of a 66-year history, and getting to see yet another president elected to lead the Club is always a plus. 2012 Rotary president Dr. Paul Cloninger said his successor, Larry Wright, is a “great

guy” for the Club to have in its corner. Wright is known to many of his peers in Cherryville as one of the busiest “Renaissance” men they have ever known. Warlick said at the passing of the gavel event, Wright certainly has a love for the Club, and Cherryville and its success. At Wright’s installation as Club president, Rotarian Billy Crews noted the Club has been in the hands of “many great presidents who all led in their way and made the club better for having been its president. “Larry is a man of that same mold,” he

said. Fellow Rotarian Richard Randall agreed, adding, “Larry is a great guy with a big heart, who loves helping people. We see that in everything he has done and still does with and for us (the Chamber of Commerce).” Like all the Rotary presidents before him, Wright said he wants to be able to not only be a part but to leave a bit of as legacy behind when he rotates off to make way for the next president in the Club’s long and glorious history.

A Family Tradition of Courteous, Dignified Service Like you, we appreciate the commitment of our community’s teachers, bankers, and insurance agents. We understand the importance of dealing with people you know and trust. Our commitment to the community has been to fulfill your needs and expectations in the service we provide.

File photo

Outgoing 2012 Cherryville Rotary president Dr. Paul Cloninger (right), hands the president’s gavel to 2013 president Larry Wright. The two presidents are part of a 66-year tradition, hearkening back to 1947, and are the epitome of what makes Cherryville “tick”. Simply put, they are part of a group of businessmen and women who really care about this town and its people.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Photo submitted by Jerry Thornburg

Officers of Cherryville’s Order of the Eastern Star, Chapter 156, from 1976-1977, all left to right: Front row – T.A. Carter, Maude Carter, A.B. Beam, Martha Zeitler, Ronnie Anthony, Jerry Thornburg, Dot Sigmon, and Lib Sellers. Second row – Cathy Reid, Marjorie Beam, Gert Fisher, Ruth Sherrill, Patricia D. Beam, and Blanche Stroup.

OES - steeped in tradition since the 1950s by Michael E. Powell Long affiliated and associated with its Masonic parent organization, Cherryville’s Chapter 156 Order of the Eastern Star carries on a proud tradition. According to long-time member Jerry Thornburg, the group is one of the town’s older clubs and was organized March 17, 1951, with 34 members. “We have two charter members remaining, Mrs. Helen Eaker and Mrs. Margaret Sue Webb,� she noted recently.

The chapter’s first Worthy Matron was Mrs. Zona S. Falls and the first Worthy Patron was Mr. A. B. Beam for the year 1951-1952. Thornburg beams and adds their group now boasts 78 members. “Our officers this year are Worthy Matron–Bess Thornburg; Worthy Patron– Pete Craft; Associate Matron–Elaine Smith; Associate Patron–Matt Smith; Secretary–Jerry Thornburg; Treasurer– Danna Henley; Conductress–Katherine Moss; Associate Conductress–

Heidi Cash; Chaplain–Pam Anthony; Marshal–Patsy Dellinger; Organist–Gail Ford; “Adah�–Debbie Keller; “Ruth�–Renna Long; “Esther�–Shirley Bowman; “Martha�–Lois Bradley; Electa–Haley Craft; Warder–Robin Sigmon; and Sentinel–Marcus Moss. Like their contemporaries and peers in the Masons and Shriners, Thornburg said the Cherryville Chapter 156 Order of the Eastern Star “stays very busy!� A few of their activities include their “Chicken




BBQ� project, done each April, at which time she said they sell between 1,200 and 1,500 tickets to the community and surrounding area. “With the profit this year we were able to give to three churches for their ‘Back Pack Ministries’; to Cherryville Area Ministries; a scholarship to a high school senior; and we provide Christmas gifts to a needy family.� Additionally, Thornburg

noted the chapter also sponsors a lady who is a resident at the Masonic and Eastern Star Home, White Stone. “Checks are sent to her for her personal use several times a year!� The Cherryville chapter helps to sponsor “Camp Rainbow�, a camp for children near Boone, N.C. “We always send at least one child and sometimes two,� Jerry said. “If there is not a child here in Cher-

ryville that wants to go then we send a child from Oxford Orphanage.� Thornburg said they are proud to carry on such a cherished tradition in Cherryville, as the town has always been known for its “kind hearts and giving spirits.� “We hope to be able to continue doing what we do for many, many years to come,� she added.

Shrine On Harvest Moon The Cherryville Shrine Club, part of a 119-year-old N.C. tradition by Michael E. Powell Right about this time of the year one of America’s oldest men’s social clubs and organizations starts planning for its Christmas parades, continuing a tradition of having fun, bringing joy to and generally helping others. There are many Shrine Clubs in America, all a part of the larger organization of men who wear funny little tasseled red hats, drive silly little cars and trucks, and go quietly about giving and giving and giving and, well, giving. One of those clubs is the Cherryville Shrine Club. They are a microcosm of the parent organization, according to Club Secretary J. Pete Craft, who has been a member in good standing for some time now, and has held various positions of leadership in the club. Incidentally, in order to be considered for becoming a Shriner, one must be a Mason in good standing, and have attained a high degree in that organization, Craft said.

“Our club is not that old,� Craft noted recently. “Cherryville Shrine Club was organized and chartered in the mid 1980’s at the Cherryville Golf and Country Club.� Craft said Cherryville’s Bruce Barrett served as its president for the first two years. “The Shrine Club is a part of Oasis Shriners and now meets in the Cherryville American Legion Building on the third Wednesday night of each month,� he said. “Our current officers are Mark Davis, President; Bill Moss, First Vice President; myself, as Secretary; and Russell Wingfield, Treasurer. “We just recently lost a beloved member of Cherryville Masonic Lodge and Cherryville Shrine Club, J. Everett Ellington,� Craft said. Ellington had, according to Craft, twice served as past Master of the Masonic lodge and past-president of the Shrine Club, as well as being treasurer for over 15 years. He served as treasurer until his death this year. See SHRINERS, 7A




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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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MASONS: active in Cherryville since 1901

CIVIC PRIDE: with an eye toward service

From page 3A

From page 2A

Bryce Alexander, Jr. (Warden); Jerry Walker (Secretary); Russell Wingfield (Treasurer); Mark Moss, Sr. (Deacon); Bobby Fuller, Jr. (Deacon); Ed Day (Chaplain); Mark Davis and Ed Yount (Stewards); and Marcus Moss (Tiler). The current home of the Cherryville Masonic Lodge was once the Cherryville Women’s Club, Craft noted. “After discussion and letters to the Women’s Club by the Cherryville Chapter #156 Order of the Eastern Star the Women’s Club was then donated to the Cherryville Masonic Lodge and Cherryville Order of the Eastern Star,� he said. “Work began on the building because of the bad shape it had gotten into.� Craft said several members of Cherryville Masonic Lodge had a part in the renovation of the new lodge. “Countless hours went into making the lodge room as it should be at the several principal officer stations, closing in win-

support from other organizations and their members, Brinkley said. “I think the Rotary and the Kiwanis and Woman’s Club have been (especially) supportive,� he said. “A lot of their members are also touchdown club members.� The Thursday Afternoon Book Club, which this year celebrates its 100th year anniversary, doesn’t meet weekly anymore, but it does hold to many of its traditions that were established when William Howard Taft was president and “Pollyanna� was a bestseller. For one, the reading group likes to keep itself relatively small – membership is capped at 24 and 20 is the preferred size. It’s still by invitation only, and, like the days when it was founded, is open to women only. The ladies in the group, which meets monthly, report that a preference is given to the daughters of past members. They convened in late October to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary.

dows, making new doorways, and a preparation room for new candidates.� Craft added 50-year-plus Mason Neal Bolick recalled “quite vividly� much of the “fixing up� of the current lodge. Craft and his fellow Masonic brethren know the group is strong and is looking ahead to its future as a benevolent order.

After a reading of the minutes and other club business, an array of delicate edibles was served up by host Pamela Goforth. Julia Wood played the part, replete in period dress, KM Rotary Club president Suzanne Amos of a visitor spoke in October at Patriot Park, where Rofrom the read- tarians have been instrumental in raising ing group’s first the funds for improvements. days. Follett’s “Winter of the On the reading list in World,� “Sweet Tooth,� by 1913? Edith Wharton’s “The the literary novelist Ian Fruit of the Tree� and Grace McEwan, “The Casual VaWhite’s “Tess of the Storm cancy,� J.K. Rowling’s foray Country,� to name a few. By into adult fiction and the 1990s, the Thursday Af- “Killing Lincoln,� by Bill ternoon Book Club was O’Reilly. tackling a Sam Walton biogOther than pure literary raphy, a memoir by Gen. pursuits, the group also doNorman Schwarzkopf and nates to the Little Free Libooks by John Grisham and brary, a national non-profit Jimmy Carter. A longstand- that supports book lending ing rule for books read is and literacy. that they be published “We donate books,� said within the last two years and Susan Champion, the club’s that no more than one mem- current president. “You go ber can have already read and take a book or you leave the book. a book if you like. That’s Some of this year’s selec- just to spread the love of tions were spymaster Ken reading.�

File photo

Cherryville Shriner Marcus Moss drives his beloved Willie Mae as he and members of “Clan #13� ride in the Cherryville 2012 Christmas Parade.

SHRINERS: a 119-year old NC tradition From page 6A A bit of N.C. Shriner history Craft said Oasis Shriners was the first Shriner organization in North and South Carolina, with the charter for Oasis Shriners being granted on Oct. 10, 1894. “One of the charter members of Oasis Shriners was William Henry Belk, founder of Belk Department Stores,� he noted. In further history, Craft noted the cor-

nerstone for the first Shriners Hospital was laid in 1922 in Shreveport, La. “The Shriners are known for their funny hats and the little cars in the Christmas parade,� Craft said, smiling. “But what we do is very, very serious for so many kids and their parents.� He continued, “The majority of the money the Cherryville Shrine Club raises is sent to the Shriners Hospital to help with ortho-

pedic surgeries or burned children, prosthetics, casts, braces, rehab, etc.� Another bit of N.C. Shriners history is that a well-known Potentate (or CEO) of Oasis Shriners in the past was Doug Mayes, who was the news anchor for WBTV for many years. Craft said he is proud to be a member of the organization and hopes to see it continue it benevolent work now and long into the future.

Kathy Falls, in foreground, Teresa Green and Connie Savell serve Sharon Stack and others at the Woman’s Club Fall Festival in October.




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My Hometown

Page 8A

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

BOOK CLUB: more than just a group of ladies From page 4A to that very first gathering and continuing up to today. The scrapbooks contain not only notes about the club’s membership roster, but also include club rules and regulations, programs, news clips in the Belmont Banner and other media outlets, descriptions of the snacks and refreshments served, photos of club members at gatherings, and much more. Throughout its long existence, the Tuesday Afternoon Book Club has not only kept members abreast of the latest literary offerings, but also about what’s going on in the world outside of Belmont. For instance, during the height of WWII in 1944, the list of club programs for that year included topics such as “The Roosevelts�, “Hitler’s Germany�, “Churchill and England�, and “American Leaders McArthur, Patton, and Halsey�. Another Tuesday Afternoon Book Club meeting with an historic twist dated Aug. 12. 1947 featured news that the ladies had heard a lecture from Mrs. Claude Wilson on the restoration of Civil War general Robert Hoke’s house in Lincolnton. Time marched on for the Tuesday Afternoon Book Club. By the 1950s, other members such as Mrs. J. Paul Ford and Mrs. W.S. Haynie had come on board. Books that the club discussed included “Shapes of Sunday� and “Fire in the Ashes�. Other programs during those days included a reading of Shakespeare by Miss Dora Ellen Moore, a history of the Gaston County Courthouse by Pearl

Contributed Photo

This photo of Tuesday Afternoon Book Club members was taken last year. Rear row, from left: Kitty Wilson, Beth Geddis, Emily Smith, Agnes Horsley, Gearl Dean Page, Eva Ann Via, Delores Poovey. Front row from left: Genie Hayes, Lynn Jenkins, Clenda Lineberger.

Lineberger, and N.C. composers by Mrs. C. Wilson. An interesting note from the club’s Dec. 1954 Christmas meeting described the turkey as “beautifully appointed�. The 1960s saw social changes in the nation and world, but for the most part the Tuesday Afternoon Book Club kept its traditions going strong. Just a few of the members that had joined the ranks included Mrs. Joe Moore, Mrs. Harvey Elmore, and Mrs. E. Witherspoon. As in the past, the ladies were referred to by their husband’s names.

Programs presented during the 1960s seemed to show a “branching out� of subjects and included topics such as oceanography and even a small appliance demo. As far as literary topics, authors that were discussed included Harper Lee, Reynolds Price, and Robert Penn Warren. The year 1964 also saw the club celebrate it’s 30th anniversary. The last entry in the first scrapbook filled by the club was from a Belmont Banner article dated March 22, 1967. The second Tuesday Afternoon Book Club album kicked off in living color.

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Actually, a whole bunch of color photos of the club having a swell time at their meetings as evidenced by the beaming smiles on the faces of folks such as Jane Modisette, Beulah Moore, Verdie Wilson, Nell Stowe, and Carolina Hall. Clothing and hairstyles were different from the club’s early days with “bobs� and mink stoles being replaced by bouffants and shirtwaist dresses. The Tuesday Afternoon Book Club was also showing an interest in politics as well as books. The November 1984 soiree saw the topic of the presidential election being bandied about over coffee and cake. The club also kept track of its members who had moved away. In a 1983 news article, former member Gladys Haynie who had moved back to her native Yadkin County was profiled, as was her talent as an artist. Entering the 1990s, the Club’s scrapbook listed the officers for several years during that decade. Some of these included Helen Rankin, Lib Mason, Nell Stowe, Virginia Frye, and Janie Rae Parker. Programs in the 1990s were varied, entertaining, and educational. One was given by Bob Bolton from Gaston College on “Ramesses The Great�, another program in 1994 was on women who were first in their field in Gaston County such as Joyce Brown who was the first female attorney in the county. That same year also saw the Tuesday Afternoon Book Club celebrate its 60th year. The 21st century arrived

to find the Club alive, well, Genie Hayes, and Lynn and rarin’ to head into the Jenkins have joined veterans future. News came in 2003 such as Gearl Dean Page that Nell Stowe was step- and Kitty Wilson in the caping down from the club to maraderie brought on by a move to Virginia. On the love of books and knowlleadership front, Ouida Bass edge. Nothing, especially a was serving the club as president. Other members from club, lasts for nearly a centhe early 2000s included tury without having conEmily Smith, Kitty Wilson, tributed something to the Rose Forrest, Mary Mar- community where its logaret Hall, Sara Lewis, cated, and the Tuesday AfJohnnie Lowery, and Eliza- ternoon Book Club is no exception. More than just a beth Steele. Club programs were also group of ladies who sip cofquite a bit different from the fee and dish on the latest 1930s. On Jan. 21. 2004 an novel, the Tuesday AfterFBI agent talked to the club noon Book Club has for about identity theft. Not decades raised the cultural skimping on the bookish and intellectual bar in Belside of things, the club heard mont. talks on “hot� authors of the period such as Lee Smith. The year 2004 also saw the club celebrate its 70th anniversary with a lively gathering where members reflected on the organization’s legacy. The Tuesday Afternoon Book Club’s third scrapbook takes its photo and news-clip collection up to the present day. Though some of its members have fallen by the wayside, new ones such as Eva Contributed Photo Ann Via, Beth Belmont’s Tuesday Afternoon Book Club Gaddis, Agnes was organized in 1934 by Mrs. Lucian Horsley, Delores Harris and its first meeting was held in Poovey, Clenda her home. Lineberger,

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My Hometown

Page 2B

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Photo Millican Pictorial Museum

This shot shows Stowe Park during its early days when the miniature train was a big attraction. A Ferris wheel and snack bar were also on the scene.

Fun. Fitness. Family Time. A visit to the park is all you need by Alan Hodge Parks and recreational facilities are an important part of the mix that makes living in the BannerNews readership area so rewarding. All the municipalities in the region–Belmont, Mt. Holly, Stanley, Cramerton and McAdenville – place a great deal of emphasis on fun and fitness and so have a variety of parks that are in place, in the planning stages, or under construction. Belmont’s Stowe Park is one of the best

examples of a municipal park. Located on Main St. in the heart of the city, Stowe Park opened on July 4, 1951. A musical carousel, Ferris wheel, sliding boards, dance floor with juke box and a miniature railroad system filled the original Stowe Park. Plans for this park begin in the 1940’s by Robert L. Stowe Jr. Stowe Park has seen its ups and downs through the years, even seeing its amusements closed for almost 15 years. In 1978, Robert L. Stowe Jr. donated Stowe Park to the City of Belmont as a Christmas


present. Along with community groups and city employees, Stowe Park was open again. Stowe Park now holds the annual GaribaldiFest, Fall Festival, Summer Celebration, movies and concerts, and enjoyment for its daily visitors. Stowe Park can also be reserved for weddings, reunions and other events. Stowe Park will have a new feature come next May when the WWII memorial statute “Spirit of the Fighting Yank� will be moved there from its current location on the grounds of Belmont Middle School. The Yank will be placed in the center of a new pavilion on Main St. surrounded by flowers, shrubbery, and security lights. Another popular recreational area that’s been around for decades in Belmont is Davis Park. This park has seen countless baseball games and also features a nice shady area with large oak trees and picnic tables. Belmont is looking to the future regarding its parks and has several projects in the works. Nearing completion, the Brook Street Soccer Complex (aka Ebb Gantt Park) features two full size soccer fields as well as picnic tables, restrooms, and playground equipment. A new facility that opened this year in Belmont is Rocky Branch Park at the end of W. Woodrow Ave. This park is located on a 28-acre lot and features a pathway and bridges for bicyclists and hikers. The park cost the city next to nothing since much of it is on donated land and work to build the pathway was done by volunteers including members of the Belmont Police Department. Just down the road from the Soccer Complex, the Kevin Loftin River Park is under development on a seven-acre lot on the Catawba River near US29/74. The park is named for former Belmont mayor Kevin Loftin who lost his life in an auto accident in 2012. Plans for the River Park include a

fishing pier, camping area, walking trails, amphitheatre, and restrooms. Construction is slated to start next year. Another recreational facility that Belmont has on its list of future projects is a skate park. Plans for this park have it placed on Chronicle St. next door to the Belmont Police Department. The park will feature ramps and other challenges for skaters who currently lack a suitable place to play. Overall, Belmont has about $37 million worth of parks and recreation projects on its capital improvements “wish list� in the coming years. Cramerton has stepped up to the plate with its Goat Island Park that opened in 2012. Located on the South Fork River across from the downtown area, it took six years of planning and toil to complete the 30-acre park. Construction including clearing tons of underbrush, building piers and an observation deck overlooking the river, smoothing picnic areas, erecting playground equipment, and laying out an 18-hole disc golf course. According to Cramerton Parks and Recreation Director Cam Carpenter, there are more things in the works for Goat Island Park. Potential plans over the next year or two will include another pedestrian bridge to the island from downtown Cramerton, primitive camping sites, more playground equipment, and a fenced in dog park. The trails on Goat Island Park are also part of the Carolina Thread Trail system. A grand opening and 4th of July celebration took place at Goat Island Park and included fireworks, disc golf expo, games, farmers market, canoe rentals, a boat shuttle to the island and live music. Since its opening, Goat Island Park has been a highly popular attraction and the site of several special events. See VISIT, 5B

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Hometown

Page 3B

Pioneer buildings, an old well, and a Cherryville Shooter dren in Cherryville who have visited, and will, visit this scenic park!� Not one to let moss grow under her feet, so to speak, Rita is always “in the process� of updating or adding to her work of love, especially for those in the higher grades, she noted recently.

Find it all at Cherryville Heritage Park by Michael E. Powell Heritage Park, located in the heart of downtown Cherryville, is not the oldest park in Cherryville – that honor is a toss-up between the former City Park, now known as Aaron Moss Park and either Ben Black or Westgate Park – but it is one of the most visually interesting. The park with its five buildings, and realistic and unique New Year’s Shooters statue have long been the object of more than a few Cherryville school field trips, according to Rita Beam, the widow of the late J. Ralph Beam, for whom the park was later renamed. Beam self-published a book on the park in 20082009, which she still gives out to schoolchildren, as long as her supplies last or she can get some reprinted. Beam wrote in h e r book, “It is a pleasure to welcome visitors to the J. Ralph Beam Heritage Park.� Over the years, Beam said, it still brings a smile of joy to her face to see the wonder on the faces of kids as she leads them in a field trip to Heritage Park, explaining not only its history, but the history of Cherryville as well. The park is comprised of five pioneer-, or settlerstyle buildings,

with a well, old school bell, and a statue of a Cherryville New Year’s Shooter, modeled loosely on the late Don Homesley, a descendant of many of the early pioneers who originally settled here. Heritage Park opened July 4, 1995, after the buildings were moved, a piece at a time, into the area designated to be the park. In 2003 the name was changed to J. Ralph Beam, Jr., Heritage Park, Rita said, in honor and memory o f

her late husband. Ralph Beam was mayor of Cherryville from 1983-1987, then again from 1991-1995. The book Cherryville, Past and Present, noted that in 1995 then-Mayor Beam “designed (the) layout, acquired properties, city building artifacts, and funds for Heritage Park, located on Jacob Street.� (page 127) Over the ensuing years, Mrs. Beam said the five buildings, well, and statue comprising the park have been frequently visited by a large number of Cherryville school children, who with a

The buildings The Old City Jail – In the 19th century (100-plus years ago), Beam noted in her book that White Pines (the old name for Cherryville) had some “...notorious, rowdy men who did a lot of drinking and fighting in the streets of our town.� When the pioneers requested a jail, they got one. Beam said then the cost was roughly “$10 to build.� Having this city jail, helped keep White Pines/Cherryville families safe when they went about town business, shopping, or to church on Sunday morning. Beam noted the park’s jail is the “second jail�. Taking a look inside one sees an old iron bed with a feather mattress, a wash pan, and corncobs (also known as the ‘toilet paper’ of the day!) Since then, Cherryville has had two other jails: the one under the former City Hall (now the basement of the Cherryville Historical Museum), the other in the old Cherryville City Hall.

t o u r guide, visited a part of Cherryville that will never be seen again. “I’ve had quite a bit of help over the years from other teachers, family, and friends,� she said. The late Mayor Beam’s reason to create the park, Rita Beam said, was to preserve a bit of history for the city he loved so well. Her reason for writing her book is simple, she said. “I did it for my grandchildren and for the other chil-

The “Smoke House� – Beam, somewhat of an

The New Year’s Shooter’s statue in J. Ralph Beam Heritage Park was modeled, according to the late Don Homesley, on him. He said he was dressed in an old “duster� coat he would always wear when he went out on a shoot. Photo by Michael E. Powell

historian, said she tells kids on her tours that in 1847, Gaston County pioneer Benaja Black built the building – now preserved in the park and named “The Smoke House� – of logs put together with pegs. Smokehouses were used frequently by early pioneers, and in some small communities even today, are still used to preserve, cure, and smoke meat for later use. In early days, schoolchildren as well as adults carried it to school or work in a biscuit for their meal. The center of the Heritage Park Smoke House is a round rock circle where a fire was kept burning, churning out roiling, dense smoke to cure and preserve the meat. In her book, Beam wrote, “Meat hung from the rafters, especially in the fall, when the hams were readied for the long winter without fresh vegetables.� Quite different from making a sometimes-daily trip to the market, she added. Other foods and perishables were stored in the building also, as the “strong building kept its contents safe from animals.� A large black wash pot and washboard hang on the side of the building which, according to Mrs. Beam, was used for canning and washing. Drying was no problem for the hardy pioneer women, she said, as wet clothes were usually hung out to dry somewhere nearby. The Town Hall – Cherryville’s Town Hall was first built in 1892 by Mayor M.L. Rudisill. Before that, town leaders met in their homes or businesses, Beam noted. In her book she wrote,

“The town paid $15 a year to rent the building. When the building was being used, the men made fires in the old stove to keep warm as they made the laws to guide White Pines,� which was later renamed Cherryville around 1865. Decorating the walls of the building today are historical pictures of the New Year Shooters, copies of old Confederate money, a facsimile of the town’s first mayor, F.M. Sides, and a photo of the late J. Ralph Beam, the mayor for whom the park was named. The1937 police hat there today belonged to Mr. L.G. Smith, then chief of police, Beam said. “In 1922, the building was donated to the city and later moved to its current home at the park,� she said. The Bonded Warehouse – This warehouse was built in 1878 by Benaja Black, the father of Ben Black. In her book, she noted, “It stayed on his farm until it was moved to the Heritage Park in 1995. It was given to the city of Cherryville by Mr. Black’s great-granddaughters, Ruth B. Anthony and Von Eva Allran.� In pioneer days, the federal government gave permits to folks in the Cherryville community to make corn whiskey. The whiskey was then put into large barrels and resold. It went to many places, because for many pioneers this was their only “medicine,� she said. On the back wall of the warehouse, Beam said one could see the original building sign. Incidentally, Beam’s history notes the table in the building was built by Mr. See HERITAGE PARK, 5B

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My Hometown

Page 4B

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A monument to community teamwork – and fun by Dave Blanton In 2001 the people of Kings Mountain set out to build a playground of ambitious proportions, an open and imaginative play space that could be used by all children in the community. More than eight months, a lot of fundraising and elbow grease later, town leaders, project supervisors and local companies met their goal and Operation Playground 2001 was complete. Today, the giant 10,000 sq. foot wooden playground in Jake Early Sports Complex stands as a testament to what can be created when folks work together and keep kids first. “It was designed by kids and built by a small army of local volunteers,� said Kings Mountain Mayor Rick Murphrey, who, only two years into his first term at the time, got the inspiration for the project while visiting Gastonia’s Martha Rivers Park. The idea behind the big playground was as straightforward as it was clever. Step one: Pick a site. Step 2: Go to local schools and ask them what they want in a play space. Step 3: Raise the money, muster the volunteers and build it to match what kids have dreamed up in their drawings. The playground was the result of public-private partnership to raise funds, said Murphrey, who describes the process as uplifting, especially the huge volunteer turnout. “It was very gratifying,� he said. “You had little kids hammering and older people helping. It was a lot of fun.� Behind the novel concept was a company that special-

Warm weather that extended well into October meant that the extensive playground, which marks its 12th anniversary this year, got heavy use into the fall months. City leaders, volunteers and a company that specializes in community play structures helped build it in about two weeks. izes in community playgrounds. Playgrounds by Leathers, whose work is found in over 3,000 locations in all 50 states and seven countries, works with towns and cities to sell the idea, procure the needed hardware and guide folks on their way to building a slice of heaven for local kids. The company’s web site features

dozens of photos of playgrounds it’s helped to become a reality in big and small cities everywhere. The connections the process of such community teamwork made seem destined to last a long while. “I helped paint some of the trains,� said Elizabeth Whisnant, who was sixteen at the time and part-time

   is the hometown of

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YMCA employee. “I’ve got my handprint out there.� Now Whisnant, who these days works full time at the YMCA, has a child of her own. She and Pierce, 3, visit the playground regularly. “He loves it,� she said. “It was something so good for Kings Mountain.� For lifelong Kings Mountain resident Stella Putnam, who was on a subcommittee of Project Playground 2001 and helped coordinate volunteers on the site, seeing it come together with the help from so many individuals and businesses is a bright spot in the city’s history. “We started with just a ball field and built a playground,� she said, referring to the softball field that once occupied the space. The complex still hosts several baseball and softball fields, and another especially designed for T-ball. An adjacent swimming pool, also maintained by the city, is a popular cooling-off spot in the summer months. “I remember it rained the first two or three days,� Putnam said recently at her Neisler Brothers office downtown. “We worked through the rain and mud.� Putnam said she can’t think of anything like it in the community. “We’ve have successful

fundraisers before, of course, but physically building something that you can really see, no, not like this,â€? she said, adding that she people have rightly given credit to the mayor and the city for being proponents of quality of life issues. Now Putnam is able to enjoy the playground with her two grandchildren, 5 and 2. “It’s great to go out there now ‌ I always seem to run in to people I don’t normally get to see.â€? Looking ahead, Putnam says it might be good to have a kind of community

workday at the playground. “It’s been a great thing,� she said. “I really feel like it gets a lot of use.� The playground sits on city property and is maintained by city workers. Since its construction in 2001, it has required only minor maintenance and repair, according to Kings Mountain Public Works Director Rickey Putnam. The mayor said he expects the structure to “basically last forever,� noting that it was recently pressure-washed and retreated.

The brick entrance bears the city’s seal, project organizers and the names of dozens of donors and community members who gave money or loaned equipment to help make the 10,000 square foot playground a reality.




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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Hometown

Page 5B

HERITAGE PARK: pioneer building, a Cherryville shooter & more From page 3B Ben Black, who was also the first postman of White Pines.

Photos by Alan Hodge

Landscaper Carlton Rouse (left) is seen with Art Shoemaker near where the pavilion in Stowe Park will be built for the Spirit of the Fighting Yank WWII memorial statue.

VISIT: a park for fun, fitness, family time From page 2B Stanley is rightly proud of its new Harper Park that opened with much fanfare on May 11 this year. Harper Park is the first public park in Stanley and has plenty of amenities. These include two baseball fields, bleachers, a large picnic shelter with tables, plenty of paved parking, a nice restroom and a concession center. Also, a basketball court, two playgrounds, a splash pad for hot summer days, horseshoe pits, a walking track, nature trail, and beach volleyball. The park has 1,000 feet of road frontage and occupies 19 acres conveniently located on Blacksnake Road just a couple of hundred yards from NC Hwy 27. A large flagpole at the park bears a plaque honoring US Marine Lance Cpl. Nick O’Brien, a local man who lost his life in Afghanistan. Harper Park was paid for with some creative financing as well as help from local residents Ron and Katherine Harper, for whom the park is named. Fundraisers included selling bags of peanuts at Stanley Parks and Recreation events and setting the money aside for the park. The Harpers helped with cash and the property where the park is located. A $500,000 state PARTF grant helped the project along as well. Other fundraising efforts ranged from corporate contributions to yard sales. A large and colorful sign greets visitors at the park entrance. The sign was financed with donations in lieu of flowers following Ron Harper’s passing on April 14, 2012. This past summer, Harper Park hosted the Dixie Youth State Tournament for Little League baseball. Mount Holly has some nice recreational facilities headlined by Tuckaseegee Park and River Street Park. Tuckaseege Park has three ball fields, a playground, picnic shelters,

a dog park, and is the future and Mountain Island Park site of a skate park. It has a with a walking trail, canoe walking trail as well. River access, handicap fishing Street Park on Dutchman’s pier, playground, and group Creek near the Catawba campsites. River has a ball field, picnic Over in McAdenville, shelters, fishing pier, play- part of the downtown reviground, basketball court, talization effort also inwalking trail. cluded construction of a Other Mount Holly Parks “pocket park� on Elm St. beand Recreation facilities in- hind the newly refurbished clude Woodlawn Park Play- apartments on Main St. ground and the Tuckaseege Known as Legacy park, this Community Center at 105 facility was conceived by Sports Lane. The “Tuck� Landworks Design Group Center houses a fitness cen- using input from McAter, basketball court, and denville folks. Last year, the Sole Patrol, a senior activity park was the scene of a wongroup. This location is also derful Christmas program where indoor soccer and and throwing of the switch girls’ volleyball games take turning on the famous place. The Tuck Center can Christmas Town USA lights. also be rented out for a private event. The Old Gym is located at 123 South Hawthorne Street. Free-play basketball and martial arts are held there. Other parks open in Mount Holly include Veterans Park with a playground and a memorial to military personnel, Catawba Heights Stanley’s first public park, Harper Park, neighborhood park opened last year and has proven to be on Beatty Road a great success. The park is on Blackwith a playground, snake Road near NC27.

The Old School Building – Early students in the first school of White Pines met in Mr. Henry Summitt’s old corn house. The teacher, a man named, Beam writes, “S.S. Mauney�, was paid $25 a month! Students then were divided into small “learning groups who helped each other.� Students attended only four months a year and no grades were given back then. The Black School House, which is now in the Heritage Park, was built on land donated in 1898 by John F. Black. The school was used until 1912, Beam said, and was “a typical school of the period with all students located in one room.� Students then had many chores their modern counterparts would find very strange, if not downright old-fashioned. Beam noted some of those chores being cleaning the school and carrying firewood in to keep a fire burning in the winter. “And they took pride in helping the younger students learn to read, write and do math,� she added. Many artifacts are on display inside the old school building, such as the black board, which Beam said is the original board put up in 1898.

The Well – The well was an important aspect of the pioneer life, Beam noted in her history of the park. “The pioneer farm always had a well where they could draw cool water from deep inside the earth. It was drawn several times daily and carried in a bucket to the farm house,� she wrote. The Shooter’s Statue – This statue honors the New Years’ Shooters, who carry on the tradition of the town’s early German ancestors. Many citizens today continue to practice the ancient tradition of New Year’s shooting. It is rooted in history as far back as 300 years or more, Beam noted. The statue was given by families and friends in memory of deceased shooters and other citizens of Cherryville. It is evident to anyone talking to Mrs. Beam that she dearly loves talking about her hometown’s history as well as that of Heritage Park. And writing about it all is “a labor of love� for her. “She has said in the past, and still admits, “It’s my way of passing on something to the children of this town so they won’t forget where they came from and how rich our Cherryville history is!�

The old Town Hall and Jail buildings were some of the first buildings in the town of White Pines, later renamed Cherryville. The buildings, along with the old John Black one-room schoolhouse, now stand in the park, along with the bonded warehouse and smokehouse. All were brought to the Beam Heritage Park in 1995. Photo by Michael E. Powell

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Page 6B

My Hometown

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Hometown Nothing evokes more pride than these two simple words.

Mining and Industry

My Hometown

Page 2C

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A businessman on the move at home in Kings Mountain by Elizabeth Stewart Robert Bolin, 52, is a Kings Mountain businessman on the move. He runs TeXsource, a burgeoning screen printing, embroidery and sign making industry along with the Printin’ Press on Cleveland Avenue while maintaining a number of successful properties downtown. On September 17, 2013 he bought out his No. 2 competitor in the screen printing industry. He employs managers and sales personnel at six other locations in the United States. His web site hits total in the thousands. People like his products shipped out of Kings Mountain every day. Screen printing is one of the most versatile print methods used today and this effective process can be used on a very broad range of mediums, making screening one of the most preferred print techniques. Though most popularly used for T-shirt prints, screen printing services can also print on plastic, metal, glass and paper. On any given day Bolin may be working with his 82 employees, interviewing more employees and packing to fly to six other TeXsource locations or to Haiti or Honduras – wherever his business contacts take him. Rob says his secret of success is hiring employees that stay with the company. “When I hire people I want

to keep them,� he said. tain Office Supply on the Among members of the corner of Gold Street. Five “family� are high school years ago he bought the classmates he graduated building formerly occupied with in 1980 and his son, by Sub Factory and other Ryan Bolin who handles properties. Last year he outside sales. His wife, Lane bought the Battleground Tesseneer, helps out in the Restaurant downtown and moved the popular 238 background. “I guess I proved that I Cherokee to Railroad Avcould come home again,� enue. Now Bolin said Rob, who expects to emthought in 1997 that grass “I like to see ploy 100 people at was greener employers TeXsource by elsewhere, June 2014. worked in hire people He goes Charlotte and where the cusbegan his first that stay tomer is. venture in the in Kings “ E v e n business with when I have a two employMountain� chance to ees, his mom Jean Peterson - Mayor Rick Murphrey scuba dive I sell screen and John Morprinting,� he rison. He served a tour of duty with laughs. His TeXsource operation Uncle Sam’s Army and in 2000 opened TeXsource in extends to seven locations: 5,000 square feet of floor Nevada, Georgia, Indiana, space he rented from Bob North Carolina, Texas, and Bridges at the Printin’ Press two locations in California. Click on screen printing on Cleveland Avenue. “I told Bob Bridges if he supply on your computer ever wanted to sell I wanted and the several domain to buy,� said Bolin. He names and you will find that bought the business. His TeXsource offers educasuccess as an entrepreneur is tional opportunities in a vawell known in the Kings riety of areas related to the Mountain business commu- screen printing, embroidery nity. He earned the Kings and sign industries. In Kings Mountain Businessman of Mountain classes are availthe Year award from the able every third Friday of the month at the local busiCleveland Chamber. ness on Cleveland Avenue, Fast forward: His successful restaurant, with expert instructors lead238 Cherokee Street, had its ing individualized hands-on beginnings in 2009 in what instruction. This is a oneused to be the Kings Moun- day format perfect for

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Robert Bolin, entrepreneur and businessman, gives Mayor Rick Murphrey a tour of TeXsource on Cleveland Avenue. Coincidentally, the mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first ribbon cutting in 2000 marked the opening of 5,000 square feet of floor space that Bolin rented in the 11,000 square foot building he now owns and expanded from six employees in 2000 to 82 in 2013. Photo by ELLIS NOELL

screen printing classes, says Bolin. The fast-growing TeXsource has expanded with a large inventory into a large portion of the Printin Press building. The business guarantees same day shipping on all stock items. Bolinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s investment in his business is reflected in the various domain names, the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;addressesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; on computer of the seven locations of TeXsource. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Location, location, location. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all about,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; said Bolin and the customer can quickly find the address by clicking on any number of domain names such as silk screen printing supply, etc. His web master will soon be joined by an employee in video production and editing, an assistant webmaster and a bilingual employee since Bolin is reaching out into the Spanish customer service market. All these skilled workers will have offices in the local TeXsource. Longtime employees include Ronnie Cannon, 1998; Robin Bumgardner, 1999; Sue Gilbert, 2000; Dwayne Collins, 2002 and Tonya Buchanan, 2002. Son of the late Coy Bolin

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Hwy. 321 Between Gastonia & Dallas (across from Gaston College) Open: Monday - Friday 8 am - 5:30 pm â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday 8 am - 1 pm

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Thank you to the citizens of Kings Mountain! Mayor, Rick Murphrey

Mike Butler Ward 2

Tommy Hawkins Ward 3

Rodney Gordon Ward 4

tries operating in one building. Says out-sales representative Ronnie Cannon, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you want to print on mugs, license plates and other popular hard surface items then Dye Sublimation printing is the answer. It is the method of applying an image to specially coated ceramics, metals and polyester cloth, using thee main ingredients: sublimation, heat and pressure. Screen coating is also referred to as â&#x20AC;&#x153;making a stencil.â&#x20AC;? This is done with an emulsion, a thick liquid that is sensitive to UV light. When it dries, it forms a photographic type of film.â&#x20AC;? Says Ryan Bolin, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Which screen printing emulsion is the right one for the type of ink you are using? This is a pretty basic topic, but many screen printers may not know that different emulsions must be used for Plasticine or waterbased inks.â&#x20AC;? Robert Bolin is the epitome of entrepreneurship. With 10 percent unemployment in the Kings Mountain area, he is hiring local people, expanding his business and technology, and making more inroads into industry.

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Howard Shipp Ward 1

and Jean Bolin Peterson of Kings Mountain, Rob graduated from Kings Mountain High in 1980 and served four years with the 82nd Airborne and with the National Guard three years. In 1989 he got screen printing in his blood at Screen Printing-Inks in Charlotte and opened a business in Kings Mountain in 1990 and Tex Source in 1997. He bought the Printing Press in 2006 and began hiring for TeXsourse. In six years the business has grown so much that Bolin needs more space to take care of supplies shipped from the business. In 2000 when the mayor cut his first ribbon for the opening of TeXsource Bolin employed six people. In 13 years the number of employees has totaled 82. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t compete with the Printinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Press,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Bolin quickly points out. Printinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Press produces t-shirts, TeXsource sells supplies to them and at its six other locations. The vivid colors of ink, the color charts, the equipment, the computer savvy employees, all go into the success of the three indus-

Rick Moore Ward 5

Keith Miller At Large

Dean Spears At Large

Marilyn Sellers City Manager

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Hometown

Page 3C

Diverse mineral resources are found in this region.

Gems and minerals... more than just pretty rocks Kings Mountainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mineral heritage by Adrian Focht Direcotor/Curator KMHM

From June through October of 2013, Kings Mountain Historical Museum presented â&#x20AC;&#x153;KM Rocks!â&#x20AC;? a temporary gems and minerals exhibit that explored the rich mineral heritage of the Kings Mountain region and highlighted the many modern commercial uses for min-

erals mined in the area today. Over 1,300 visitors came to see the exhibit, which more than doubled the Museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monthly visitation totals from the previous year. The exhibit revealed a deep community-wide interest in local geology and mining history. The subject matter also aligned with nation-wide common core curriculum standards for the study of

earth sciences, which allowed the Museum to fulfill its strategic goal to draw students to the Museum and to bring programming into our schools. In October, three 9th grade Earth Sciences classes from Kings Mountain High School took a field trip to Kings Mountain Historical Museum. The field trip included four components: the students got the chance to explore the â&#x20AC;&#x153;KM Rocks!â&#x20AC;? exhibit, to tour the historic homes on the Museum Commons,

and to see first-hand the mineral components of an essential commodity most 9th graders cherish: their cell phones. They got to see the copper ores needed to manufacture the electrical circuitry, the quartz sand needed to produce the silicon metal elements, the crude oil used to create the plastic components, and so on. The students then hiked to Crowders Mountain to learn about the geological history of the region and how the mountains formed here.

Local geologist John Connor of Southeastern Geoscience, Inc. was one of the presenters at the field trip. Connor explained that it is essential for students to understand the necessity of minerals to meet our basic needs and improve our quality of life, and to recognize how minerals extracted from the earth become our fundamental commodities. The Museum staff hoped the â&#x20AC;&#x153;KM Rocks!â&#x20AC;? exhibit would also See GEMS & MINERALS, 6C

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Just Visit Cramerton... !  !   ! "!  # !   !$   !%!  !&  !  # !  & !"   !  $!    $&  "$&  " ! $&  !      !  !  !!   $  !    ! "  !! &" ! !" !   "   !"!     &"  $& ! !!  #   !$   ! $!  " ! 

Pride in the Past and Faith in the Future... Mayor Ronnie Worley â&#x20AC;˘ Mayor Pro Tem Houston Helms Commissioner Will Cauthen â&#x20AC;˘ Commissioner Sam Carpenter â&#x20AC;˘ Commissioner Tammy Lawrence â&#x20AC;˘ Commissioner Sandra R. Ware

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My Hometown

Page 4C

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

There was, and is, gold in these hills! by Alan Hodge Long before the great California gold rush of 1849, Gaston County was part of the top gold producing region in America. So much gold was found in Gaston and its surrounding region that a branch of the U.S. Mint was set up in Charlotte in 1836 to handle it. As early as the 1700s there were a number of gold producing mines in Belmont, Mount Holly, and Stanley. Belmontâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gold mining story includes a number of digs including one operation that dredged the shores of the Catawba River. In his book â&#x20AC;&#x153;Early History of Belmont and Gaston Countyâ&#x20AC;?, Robert Lee Stowe, Sr., gave a glimpse at local prospecting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There was considerable gold mining going on in this country before the Civil War and some years afterwards,â&#x20AC;? Stowe wrote in 1951. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Leeper mine was worked more than a hundred years ago and was considered a rich mine. The Wells mine was located just north of Sterling Mill and was worked extensively during the 1870s. Before the Civil War there was a place about two miles south of the Southern Railway bridge where a gold vein crossed the river. The people of the neighborhood would get a flat boat in the summertime and use a long handle and scoop up the sand and gravel from the river bottom and wash it for gold. This was a tedious process but I understand they made good wages. Sometime in the late

1890s a man built a dredge boat and had a steam shovel affair with which he scooped up the sand. He was said to have gotten a considerable amount of gold but could not handle the dredge when there was a rise in the river which was pretty often. There came a freshet in the river and washed the boat away and the scheme was

abandoned.â&#x20AC;? In Catawba Heights, a small gold mine was operated on the Smith farm around the turn of the 20th century. The site was located near Fite Creek and was a large depression in the ground with crude machinery for sifting rocks. As the story goes, gold was found, but a cave-in nearly cost one

miner his life and the digging was halted. Later, in the 1980s when the property was sold, several derelict pieces of primitive mining equipment were still in position near the mineshaft. Prior to selling the land to the Catawba Heights Baptist Church, the Smith descendents hired a mining company from Raleigh to

see if any of the precious metal was still there. The geologists who examined the area declared that it was possible some gold could be found, but not enough to make it a viable commercial operation. Down the South Point Road near Belmont a gold mine was operated as early as the American Revolution.

The first owner of the mine was Matthew Leeper who later sold the land to C.T. Stowe. It was later passed down to historian and author Minnie Stowe Puett. Miners from as far away as Georgia worked the digs said to have produced gold in great amounts until it closed at an See GOLD MINING, 7C



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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Hometown

Page 5C â&#x20AC;˘

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My Hometown

Page 6C

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Diversity is key to economic recovery by Elizabeth Stewart Diversity of jobs in Kings Mountain and all over the county has helped the recovery after the loss of textiles. In Kings Mountain the impact of the data centers at T-5 @Kings Mountain Park has not only resulted in jobs but investment of over $1 billion dollars. AT&T brought 100 full time jobs and 1,000 jobs to construction workers; Disney brought 48 jobs and a $205 million investment and Wipro Technologies brought 17 jobs and 450 construction jobs and a $150 million investment. Another client is eyeing a T-5 shell building expected to offer 250 construction jobs and a $100 million investment. The impact is stronger because employees working in construction jobs in the area bring business to the area because they dine in the restaurants and stay in the areas. Kristin Fletcher, Executive Vice President of Cleveland County

Economic Development Partnership and Stuart Hair, Manager of Existing Industry Relations, CCED Partnership, gave an update and a â&#x20AC;&#x153;thank youâ&#x20AC;? Kristin Fletcher to city officials recently. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exciting to see these new projects in Kings Mountain and when they come you all take such good care of them,â&#x20AC;? said Fletcher to Mayor Rick Murphrey and city council members. Retired county manager David Dear has been a top recruiter, hired by county commissioners. A legislative liaison is also on the job for the county in Raleigh and Hair focuses on existing industry. Hair said 455 new jobs at existing industries in the county is good news and keeping on top and existing in-

dustries on the forefront is essential. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a strong quantitative job rate and we are seeing expansions of current small business in the commuStuart Hair nity,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; he told the board. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The collaborative efforts of all partners will net the best results for Cleveland County,â&#x20AC;? said Fletcher. Fletcher said Cleveland County is drawing new industry because of its geographical location, its short distance to the airport, educational opportunities, skilled local and regional workforce, no unions, support from local governments, the quality of life in the various communities, and attractive products located in centralized location. A total of 1,553 jobs were an-

nounced in 2012-13, including 1,098 in new industry and 455 new jobs in existing industry. Capital investments in existing industry totaled $41.8 million and in new industry $1,046,000,000 (new industry AT&T $850 million) and a total of $1,087,800,000 billion capital investment in Cleveland County in 2012-13. Increasing the data center footprint and facilities bring the best infrastructure technology to clients and new industrial sites for new products is in the future. Prospect lead sources include the N. C. Department of Commerce, Charlotte Regional Partnership, consultants, Duke Energy, brokers, and from call-ins, according to Fletcher. The diversity of jobs in the county in what Fletcher called â&#x20AC;&#x153;clusters and sectorsâ&#x20AC;? include people employed in automotive, heavy manufacturing, consumer goods, energy, textiles, data centers, aerospace and defense, and distribution and includes the following busi-

nesses and industry: AUTOMOTIVE - Eaton, Hanwha, CVG, Kendrion, Clev. Yutaka, B. T. America, and KSM Castings. ENERGY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Southern Company, Duke Cliffside, PPG, Rockwood Lithium, Strata, Solar, Schletter. DATA CENTERS â&#x20AC;&#x201C; AT&T, Disney, Wipro, T5Data Park Shell Building. HEAVY MFG â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Baldor, Solaris, Greenheck, Qualtech, Hurst, KMill , Pioneer Motor Bearing. AEROSPACE & DEFENSE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Curtiss-Wright, Ultra Machine and Fabrication, Ultra Armoring. CONSUMER GOODS â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Clearwater Paper, Cheyenne, Southeastern Container. TEXTILES â&#x20AC;&#x201C;PPG, STI, Patrick Yarns, B&W, Fiberglass, Dicey Fabrics, Shelby Elastics. DISTRIBUTION â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Wal-Mart, Hanes Brands, Bay Valley Foods, Owens & Minor.

GEMS & MINERALS: more than just pretty rocks From page 3C help educate the community about the mining history of the area. Mining strongly influenced the early development of the region, and continues to play an important role in the local economy. It is estimated that over one billion dollars of mineral wealth has been extracted from the area. Many visitors were surprised to learn that Kings Mountain was once deeply involved in gold mining. In 1788, a 17-pound gold nugget was discovered by a young boy in Cabarrus County, NC. This discovery led to the first true gold rush

in the U.S. In 1834, Katherine Briggs discovered a gold nugget while collecting water on her familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s property in what is now known as Kings Mountain, NC. Her discovery sparked an influx of settlers to the Kings Mountain area, then known as White Plains. About 75 gold mines and prospects were developed in the area, with Kings Mountain Mine likely being the most productive among them. For 50 years, North Carolina led the nation in gold production and gave the nascent U.S. new wealth and independence from foreign countries. At the peak of the rush, there were more than

600 gold mines in the state, and from 1804 to 1828, all domestic gold coined by the U.S. came from North Carolina. From 1800 to the Civil War, gold mining ranked second only to agriculture as the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most economically successful industry. North Carolina led the nation in gold production until 1848, when the California gold rush eclipsed it. While it is not as widescale as it was in the past, mining is still a big part of the local economy in the Kings Mountain area. Today IMERYS, a large international company about 2 miles south of the City of

Kings Mountain, mines mica and associated minerals for a broad range of industrial and commercial applications. IMERYS continues to be the largest domestic supplier of muscovite mica, and has directed focus on sustainable development and minimizing environmental impacts in their operations. In addition to highlighting local mining traditions, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;KM Rocks!â&#x20AC;? exhibit also underscored the renowned mineral diversity of the Kings Mountain area. The region is remarkable in its richness and variety of mineral resources and is home to many rare minerals, some not yet identified. The mineral Eakerite was discovered at Foote Mineral Companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spodumene mine in 1966 by

local community member and former Foote Lab Analyst Jack Eaker. Geologists at the Smithsonian confirmed that this was a previously unidentified mineral and named it Eakerite. Kings Mountainite is another rare mineral that was discovered locally. The Museum staff hopes that future generations will be inspired by these findings and make new discoveries of their own. From gold to spodumene to mica, the narrative of

which minerals dominate the local economy has been ever-evolving. There is no way of knowing which minerals will become important in the future and what their applications may be, but with the diverse mineral resources found in this region, it seems fair to speculate that mining will continue to evolve and thrive in the Kings Mountain area. After all, as the old adage goes, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If it canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be grown, it must be mined.â&#x20AC;?







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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Hometown

Page 7C

GOLD MINES: There was, and is, gold in these hills From page 4C undetermined date. In Mount Holly, an Italian named Chevalier Riva de Finola set up gold mines west of Tuckaseege Ford around 1830 and had them worked by several families of Irish Catholic immigrants. Six Irish families came to Mount Holly. The families, four headed by the Lonergan brothers, the other two being the Cahills and the Duffeys, came from Cork, Dublin and Tipperary in 1831. On Sundays, de Finila, a devout Catholic of French and Italian ancestry, invited the families into his home to worship in his specially built chapel. But in 1832, when a court-ordered injunction closed de Finilaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s operation, possibly due to the use of mercury in the processing which polluted the river, he left the area and the Irish were without a place of worship. These families would eventually found St. Josephâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church, the fourth oldest Catholic house of worship in North Carolina. The church still stands on NC 273 just outside of town and a NC Highway Historical Marker mentions the miners. Stanley was a good place to look for gold in days gone by. Author Joyce Handsel wrote a report on early 1800s gold mining in Stanley for the Brevard Station Museum there. She described the conditions for miners and their families as â&#x20AC;&#x153;crude and primitiveâ&#x20AC;? with poor to non-existent job training and rough living conditions. One Stanley area mine named â&#x20AC;&#x153;Duffeyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;? was located on

the South Fork River close to Spencer Mountain near present-day Lowell. An ad Handsel cited in the Feb. 17, 1847 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mecklenburg Jeffersonianâ&#x20AC;? newspaper showed the mine as part of a 175 acre tract for sale and declared â&#x20AC;&#x153;a large quantity of ore had been raisedâ&#x20AC;?. The mine was still operating in 1878. Handsel also mentions another Stanley dig called Moore gold mine in her work. This mine was on land southwest of town owned by Alexander Moore. It was first worked by the Moore family, then by a William Folger, then sold in 1832 to Cabarrus Gold Mining Co. of North Carolina. Other Stanley area gold mines were owned by folks such as Samuel Rankin, Thomas Rhyne, and Peter Smith, whose occupation in the 1850 U.S. Census had him pegged as a

â&#x20AC;&#x153;minerâ&#x20AC;?. These days, gold is still likely lying in the ground and creeks in Gaston County just waiting on modern-day prospectors to root it out. Jack Page of Belmont tried his hand at gold prospecting near the former Puett mine, and though he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t strike it rich, found some of the precious metal. A pan with some of the actual gold Page discovered is on display at the Belmont Historical Society Museum. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I went to the site of the Puett mine in the 1960s and got some gold from the tailings,â&#x20AC;? Page said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All that was left of the mine was a large depression in the ground surrounded by barbed wire off Bowen Drive.â&#x20AC;? Page offered this bit of advice for wouldbe prospectors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a job for sissies,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, do it in the winter when there arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t so many ticks, mosquitoes, and snakes.â&#x20AC;? Gold is not the only thing Page has found in his gold pan. Besides lots of bird shot and spent .22 rifle bullets, he also dredged up a 1900 silver half-dollar. For anyone interested in giving gold prospecting a go in Gaston County, there are resource materials available at the main library in Gastonia. Also, the US Geological survey has maps available. Finally, there are many sources online for equipment such as pans and sluice boxes. Armed with the proper information and tools, all a person needs is a strong back and plenty of luck to start their own personal gold rush.



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Page 8C

My Hometown

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Local Company Making A Global Impact Rockwood Lithium is proud to call Kings Mountain, North Carolina home to its North American Headquarters, Lithium Metal Casting, Lithium Foil Extrusion, Lithium Halide Chemical Operations, Pharmaceutical Lithium Carbonate Production, and our newest facility, a Lithium Hydroxide plant constructed with funds from the Department of Energyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Reinvestment & Recovery Act. This plant produces Battery Grade Lithium Hydroxide to help charge the electric vehicles of the future. Rockwood Lithium is the global market leader for lithium compounds and one of the largest lithium raw material producers in the world. The company is also a leading provider of special metal compounds based on cesium, barium, and titanium.

North American Headquarters Kings Mountain, NC formerly Chemetall Foote Corp.

My Hometown Nothing evokes more pride than these two simple words.

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My Hometown

Page 2D

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The cast members of The Fiddler on the Roof launch into a song at the Cherryville Little Theater in this undated photo.

What a difference a play makes! Little Theater a small town entertainment oasis by Michael E. Powell If the playâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the thing, as William Shakespere once said, then Cherryvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Little Theater was then, and is still, the place to be. The Little Theater, or CLT, as it more commonly known among it directors, actors, and supporters, is located at 301 W. Academy St., and is housed in what was the former West Elementary School auditorium. The small venue has been going strong for 41 years, according to current board member and sometime-play director Terry Fisher. Fisher said the theater formed in 1972 and had its first play in 1973. However, plans for the theater had been a-borninâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; since 1971. The first play, so far as is known, performed at the Little Theater was the Neil Simon romantic comedy Barefoot in the Park. Simonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s play originally premiered in New York City on Broadway in 1963. The original play opened at the Biltmore Theatre Oct. 23, 1963 and closed June 25, 1967 after 1,530 performances. It was Neil Simonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s longest-running hit, and the 10th longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history. The Simon play starred the then-still relatively unknown

actor Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley. It was made into a film in 1967, also starring Redford, and Jane Fonda. Since that auspicious beginning Fisher said the little acting troupe has grown and while they have a had a few lulls and setbacks, they have tried to continue as an acting and entertaining force in town. The plays themselves are staged quarterly, with concerts sometimes thrown in for good measure. Thousands of local actors and actresses from all ages and walks of life have, at one time or another in the theaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history, taken part in some way, form, or fashion, in a Little Theater play, Fisher noted. The company itself is a 501-C non-profit entity, having become such as far back as 1978. Local resident Danette Rosenberg said she and her late husband Mike loved the theater, adding both became very active in the CLT and the Greater Shelby Community Theater as often as they could. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For years our entire family was involved in both theaters and they were some of the best experiences of our lives!â&#x20AC;? Mrs. Rosenberg said. The Rosenbergs, along with Norm and Anne Warlick were some of the theaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original founders, Fisher noted,

adding the late Margaret Smith and the late Jim Booker were influential in its founding, as were Butch and Wanda Sneed. For his part, Fisher said he â&#x20AC;&#x153;came on board in 1974.â&#x20AC;? In addition to Fisher on the CLT Board, eight others also See LITTLE THEATER, 4D

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In this undated photo, Anne Warlick takes the CLT center stage as a ghost during the dream sequence in the play, The Fiddler on the Roof.


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Hometown

Page 3D

Local music scene hits the high notes by Dave Blanton From bluegrass and country to honky-tonk and hard rock, the Kings Mountain music scene has long offered something for nearly every musical taste. But like popular music itself, Kings Mountain and the acts that entertain us â&#x20AC;&#x201C; at festivals, fundraisers and at private parties â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is changing. Musicians and promoters alike have observed a shift in not only the preference of local consumers of music but also in the kinds of bands that are springing up and trying to make their mark on the local scene. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot more competitive now than it was (20 years ago),â&#x20AC;? said Keith Ramey, a Kings Mountain native and mandolin player with local Bluegrass act Timberidge, which books gigs around Kings Mountain and as far away as Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more talent. A lot more people are interested in making bluegrass music.â&#x20AC;? Timberidge was re-

cently a featured act at Octoberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gateway Festival. For Cherryville musician and music teacher Bo Baity, local music-makers here and elsewhere has done a great job of responding to what many critics complain is radioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s increasing blandness. The commercialization and repetitiveness of radio programming has sent young musicians looking for new sounds and new experiences, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Radio has become a wasteland in the last twenty years,â&#x20AC;? said Baity, whose band Ocean Boulevard was recently voted best live band in Cleveland County. The bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sound has its roots in beach music, but also features the eclectic flavors of funk, retro, rhythm and blues, disco and Motown. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been playing locally and in the coastal regions for thirty years. Baity, a Hunter Huss High School graduate whose father is a Kings Mountain native, joined Ocean Boulevard about three years ago. Before that he was a multi-

The Dillards, a longstanding bluegrass band that played The Darlings on The Andy Griffith Show, entertained a crowd at the 2010 Gateway Festival in Kings Mountain. Photo courtesy of City of Kings Mountain

instrumentalist with The Band of Gold, the house band for Magic 96. Baity has performed with the late legendary country singer-

songwriter and Charlotte native Sammy Johns, producing his 2000 album â&#x20AC;&#x153;Honky Tonk Moon.â&#x20AC;? For all the diversity of sound in the local music scene, some say thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a scarcity of public venues. After Patriots Park and the Joy Performance Theater, there is only the parklike greenspace that surrounds City Hall, which has been used for a few concerts in the past. A project Tommy Brooks is working on could change all that and effectively shift the center of live music to This member of the Merrows, a Celtic band from Charlotte, was part of the 2011 Gateway Festival of Kings Mountainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s musical line-up. Photo courtesy of City of Kings Mountain

the Oak Grove neighborhood, with the addition of a music park he expects would seat around 1,000 visitors. It was Brooksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; grandfather Tommy Brooks III who built and ran Crossroads Music Park in 1960 and oversaw it until his death in 1980. During those years, Crossroads booked some of the biggest name in country music, from Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty and Dale Reeves to the Tex Ritter Show and The Kitty Wells Show. The elder Brooks also scouted and welcomed local names. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People are venue hungry,â&#x20AC;? said Brooks, who owns Tomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family Mart and performs in the Oak Grove String Band and Harvest. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the price of gas, people are looking for local en-

tertainment. From a musicianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standpoint the fan base is large. Being in the foothills, we get a little bit of the city crowd and the more rural fans.â&#x20AC;? Brooks, whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been playing a number of genres for thirty years, said the area is bursting with talent in search of a more consistent audience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve traveled all over and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so much talent in the Cleveland County area.â&#x20AC;? A lot of that talent has been banging on Ellis Noellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s door. As the City of Kings Mountainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Special Events Director, he can bear witness to the size and growing variety of musicians who have roots and those who are trying to tap into Cleveland County See MUSIC SCENE, 5D


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My Hometown

Page 4D

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Quilts warm bodies, and hearts too by Alan Hodge Most people take old scraps of cloth and turn them into dusting rags, but members of the AfricanAmerican Quilters Guild of Gaston County turn them into works of art that warm folksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hearts and bodies. The group currently has about fifteen members and got its start back in 2005. Quilter Barbara Hart was one of the founders and described how the ladies searched for a home base. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We first started meeting at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Belmont where Rev. Kenneth Alexander and his wife extended a warm welcome,â&#x20AC;? Hart said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;After about six months we moved to a meeting place in a little house on Devine St., also in Belmont. We finally moved to Unity Place in Gastonia at St. Stephenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AME Zion Church where weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been for the past two years.â&#x20AC;? According to Hart, members come from a diverse geographical area that includes Belmont, Gastonia, Charlotte, and even South Carolina. Hart and several other members including Jasha Crystal Hunter, Louise Keets, and Flossie Fox recently met at the Belmont Historical Society Museum where they talked about how what led them to the art and craft of quilting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As a child I saw my mother and grandmother quilt, but it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t excite me all that much,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;However, as an adult I took a quilting class at the Lucille Tatum Center and I was hooked. It was a joy putting scraps of fabric into a thing of beauty.â&#x20AC;?

File photo

African-American Quilters Guild of Gaston County members are seen at the Belmont Historical Society with one of their hand made creations. From left, Jasha Crystal Hunter, Barbara Hart, Louise Keets, and Flossie Fox Hunter came from a long line of quilters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My grandmother and great grandmother taught me the basics,â&#x20AC;? she said â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I learned a lot from my fifth grade teacher at Belmont Central Miss Beatty. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always making things, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a crafter.â&#x20AC;? Fox says a quilt she saw at a friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house turned her on to the art. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t grow up around quilters,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I went to visit a friend who was making a quilt and knew right then I wanted to give it a try.â&#x20AC;? A native of New Jersey, Keets is a skilled seamstress and decided to delve into

quilting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been sewing since childhood and mostly made my own clothes,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I moved to North Carolina I started looking for a quilting group and found this one online.â&#x20AC;? Each lady in the AfricanAmerican Quilters Guild of Gaston County brings their own style to projects. Several have made quilts depicting scenes from the Underground Railroad. Others have made quilts for folks that tell a story of the recipientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We made a quilt for a woman who was a hairdresser so it had designs of hairbrushes and driers

stitched in,â&#x20AC;? said Hunter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Another was for a teacher and it included crayons and rulers.â&#x20AC;? Fox says she made a quilt for her brother who is an outdoorsman that included hunting and fishing scenes. The African-American Quilters Guild doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe in just making lovely quilts to be looked at or displayed, they share their work with those who could never believe in their wildest dreams that they could wrap up in something so wonderful. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are also a service organization and give quilts to the homeless shelter as well as those who are sick and shut-in,â&#x20AC;? Hart said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So

far weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve donated over thirty quilts to these and other causes.â&#x20AC;? The guildâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s talents arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just limited to quilts. Other items theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made and donated include knit caps, socks, bootees, and scarves. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have also made quilts to raffle off for money for Relay for Life,â&#x20AC;? said Hunter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have made a quilts as a door prize for the Survivors Dinner to be won by a survivor. That dinner as you probably know is given each year by the Relay for Life committee.â&#x20AC;? Guild members also help needy children overseas in a most imaginative way. First they take a pillowcase or a yard of other material, then add buttons and ribbons to


what a difference a play makes!

From page 2D


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it, then fashion openings on the top and sides, and voilaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, a nice little dress is made. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve sent over 200 pillowcase dresses to children in Kenya and Haiti,â&#x20AC;? said Hunter. Anyone interested in joining the African-American Quilters Guild can contact Hunter at 704-860-0415 or Hart at 704-866-9840. The group also has a Facebook page at QuiltGuildofGastonCounty. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We meet the fourth Saturday of every month at Unity Place from 12-3pm,â&#x20AC;? Hart said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We welcome beginners as well as experienced quilters. This is a group of phenomenally talented, Christian women.â&#x20AC;?

serve. They are: H.L. Beam III, Wade Stroupe, Tim Moss (President), Julie Stroupe, Doug Whitworth, and Jyma Atwell, with two positions currently vacant. Recently, the theater has experienced a resurgence under the co-direction of Connie Fox and Page Thompson, who have brought childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plays by Disney to Cherryville, amid much success. The plays were The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella KIDS. Another play involved characters from the Junie B. Jones series of childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s books. The Cinderella KIDS play had one of the biggest turnouts for auditions and characters Fisher said he had ever seen in his years with the group. Fox said she and Thompson, along with Fisher and all those associated in some way with CLT, are â&#x20AC;&#x153;very pleasedâ&#x20AC;? with the support they receive from the community and surrounding area. It is hard, exacting work to put on a play, she noted, adding that at the end of the day, all the work, while exhaust-

ing to cast and crew, is â&#x20AC;&#x153;worth it all.â&#x20AC;? About the plays, Fox had this to say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Page and I are so excited that the word is getting out about Cherryville Little Theatre! Our local residents seem particularly excited. Also, we had more parents to pitch in to help. This is always needed and appreciated!â&#x20AC;?

Middle school student Ely Thompson as Cinderella.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Hometown

Page 5D

MUSIC SCENE: hits the high notes From page 3D audiences. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What really works here is bluegrass, country and Southern rock,â&#x20AC;? Ellis said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big audience for that in Kings Mountain.â&#x20AC;? Blues and jazz acts, on the other hand, have yet to build or attract audiences in the area. Ellis said as the Joy Theater became the home of the Kings Mountain Little Theater a few years ago, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s become more of a destination venue. This fall, the popular and TonyAward winning Red Clay Ramblers, an old time band with mostly Raleigh-area roots, played there, as well as David Holt, the Grammy-winning roots singer and storyteller who makes his home in the Asheville area. As far as the Oak Grove String Bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Brooks is concerned, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Joy Theater is a gem waiting to be unearthed. It could compete with the Don Gibson Theater (in Shelby),â&#x20AC;? which Brooks said hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t historically promoted a lot of local bands. Noell said the biggest change heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s noticed in the last decade or so is on the technology front, especially the sound gear. Speakers a fourth of the size are able to pump out as much or more sound as their predecessors. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s less wire and equipment clutter in general, as bands have been able to replace clunky soundboards with computer tablets that weigh just around a pound. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing is saving space and making a lot more room onstage,â&#x20AC;? he said. Regardless of the genre or what kind of stage music makers stand upon to rouse their audiences, playing for a hometown crowd will remain a unique experience for many musicians. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always special playing in your hometown â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your friends and family,â&#x20AC;? said the luthier and Timberidge mandolin player Ramey, who said all the members of his band live within a twelve-mile radius of Kings Mountain. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your old friends might not get to travel. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be here for them.â&#x20AC;? The O'Kaysions delighted crowds with their "I'm a Girl Watcher" at Kings Mountain's Beach Blast 2010. The band, originally known as The Kays, scored a top ten hit with the popular tune in 1968. Photos courtesy of City of Kings Mountain

Kings Mountain native Keith Ramey has been making music and custom mandolins for nearly a generation. He's seen here with his bluegrass band Timberidge, which books gigs around Kings Mountain and as far away as Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. He said he's seen the bluegrass genre grow in popularity in recent years.




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My Hometown

Page 6D

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In the beginning . . .

Dr. Luther P. Baker

Dr. Robert N. Baker

Dr. Robert N. Baker

Since 1907, five Bakers, spanning three generations, have continually practiced dentistry in Kings Mountain. The business was founded by Dr. Luther P. Baker after graduation from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. Dr. Robert N. Baker joined his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s practice in 1945, and his brother Dr. Thomas P. Baker, joined the practice in 1961. Dr. Luther Baker retired in 1964 after 57 years in practice in Kings Mountain. Dr. Bryan S. Baker returned to Kings Mountain in 1988 after graduation from the UNC School of Dentistry, and Dr. Stephen Baker joined his brother and father in 1991 after graduating from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. Following Thomasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; retirement in 1995, the Dr. Thomas P. Baker brothers remodeled the existing office and added office space. In 2008 they celebrated a grand opening and 100 year patient appreciation celebration at their new, state of the art dental office at 703 E. King Street. This office offers the most modern and advanced technology available Dr. Thomas P. Baker

A caring family tradition continues . . .

Dr. Bryan Baker

Dr. Steve Baker

From humble beginnings a third Baker generation is continuing the tradition of high-quality dentistry in North Carolina. A move to a more modern facility is just part of the 100-year plan of offering Preventative, Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry.

Baker Dental Care To schedule an appointment contact Baker Dental Care today! Call 704-739-4461



My Hometown 2013


My Hometown 2013