Weekly Spotlight 10/8/19

Richmond County Outdoors

Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at one of our many outdoor attractions that offer opportunities for almost every type of outdoorsman. Richmond County is the prime destination for an assortment of outdoor activities such as biking, boating, canoeing, disc golf, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, hunting, paddling, running, skiing, swimming, walking, and simply viewing the beauty of nature and wildlife. One of our most precious natural resources, the Sandhills Game Land, stretches across 32,235 acres of gorgeous preserved property in Richmond County and offers outdoor enthusiasts countless options for wildlife associated recreation. A neighbor to the scenic North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission’s Sandhills Game Land, DeWitt's Outdoor Sports, LLC includes over one mile of a scenic course that includes more than 14 stations with targets from various angles that simulate actual hunting experiences. Famously known for their sporting clays, pistol and riffle ranges, hunting activities, and target practice, this locally owned facility is rooted in community engagement, family bonding, and sportsmanship. Also in Ellerbe, the North Carolina State University owned Millstone 4-H Camp is another gem of the county tucked away in beautiful countryside. Millstone not only offers an assortment of camps for children in the summer, but also welcomes around 20,000 people annually through other events such as conferences, retreats, team-building seminars, and tournaments. Just east of Millstone, in Marston, another representation of Richmond County’s heritage, racing, is still thriving at the Rockingham Dragway, also known as “The Rock”. This multi-use facility hosts a broad range of events almost every weekend that target various audiences, such as classic/ specialty cars, music/sound, and racing enthusiasts, along with many others. Back to the nature scene and just a few miles down the road in Rockingham, the Hitchcock Blue Trail and Paddleway is another incredibly unique feature of Richmond County. Boating, hiking, kayaking, nature viewing/ walking, picnicking, and an awesome playground are just some of the outdoor options available at this versatile outdoor resource. Many of these opportunities can also be found just down the street at the all-in-one 216 acre Hinson Lake. Additionally, the site that serves as a tremendous source of community pride boasts a newly constructed 18 hole disc-golf course and a rotary lodge that is perfect for special events. Across town and adjacent to the Pee Dee River, boaters and fishermen can now easily access a boat landing at Diggs Tract thanks to the efforts of the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission in 2013. Diggs Tract provides public access to the Pee Dee River below the confluence of Hitchcock Creek that was previously inaccessible from any public river access points. Last, but certainly not least, the Great Pee Dee River is the lifeline of Richmond County. Along with being an integral source of electric power and public water supplies, the river affords countless choices for water related activities and sports, and is especially known as being a prime destination for catfishing. 

        While we are so proud to showcase these amazing outdoor opportunities in Richmond County, we will be the first to acknowledge that the above information does not begin to include the vast amount of outdoor options available, nor does the video, as beautiful and scenic as it is, truly showcase the magnitude of the beauty in Richmond County. As the old saying goes, we can show you better than we can tell you, so come find your rich getaway with us in Richmond County!      

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Weekly Spotlight 10/1/19

Big Pine Retreat

Find Your Getaway in Richmond County amongst the beautiful, tall pine trees of the Sandhills at the Big Pine Retreat. Tucked away in Hamlet, this versatile center is stretched across gorgeous rolling acres that truly inspire adventure. The picturesque setting and turn of the century resort facility has been lovingly restored to its original condition, which includes a rustic log cabin that overlooks the private lake. With a mission of providing an enriching, educational experience, Big Pine Retreat is the ultimate destination for groups, organizations, teams, and many others to collaborate and develop new problem-solving skills while working together to accomplish a common goal. Retreaters learn how to effectively work through anxieties and fears through adrenaline-rushing, heart-pounding, palm-sweating activities in a natural surrounding provided by trained professionals. Through interactive group adventures, leaders will emerge, goals will be accomplished, and participants will form a closer bond as a united team. Activities offered include: climbing wall, high ropes course, low ropes course, mini adventure race, orienteering, rappelling, recreational tree climbing, survival skills, and zip lining. 

        Purchased in 2009 by the current owners, Walt and Pam Easterling, the property also includes a main lodge that is perfect for venue for events such as celebrations, conferences, meetings, parties, reunions, and weddings. Formerly a family recreation center, the retreat center is rumored to have been one of the most visited destinations in North Carolina! According to Historic Hamlet, the property was formerly owned by New York native, A.L. Corning, who built the main lodge and converted it into an ice cream factory for his company, Buttercup Ice Cream, which was based out of Hamlet. Currently, it has been restored to its former condition and offers bathrooms, bedrooms, dining area, kitchen, and a large open great room with a fireplace and a porch overlooking the private lake. 

        Guests can even stay overnight in the restored turn of the century log cabins. Lodge and Retreat Center amenities include: air conditioning and heating, bunk style bedding, canoes, coffee makers, covered porches with rockers and benches, microwaves, fishing at their private lake, flat screen televisions with cable and wireless internet, full baths, full kitchen, hardwood floors, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, roped swimming area, and much more! 

        Embrace the ultimate adventure by catalyzing team-building activities and promoting self discovery and personal enrichment through the group opportunities at the center, or rent this all inclusive, beautiful venue for your next event! Go experience, explore, and escape at this hidden gem in Richmond County. For more information on this incredible venue, visit their website at bigpinenc.com or call Pam at 910-9956101 or Walt at 910-995-0709. 

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Weekly Spotlight 9/24/19

Rankin Museum

Find Your Getaway in Richmond County in the historic hub of Ellerbe: the Rankin Museum. Are you looking to get rich on Richmond County history? Look no further than this hidden gem that offers interesting historical insight, located in the heart of the Town of Ellerbe. Since its inception in 1987, the museum continues to uphold its mission of displaying and preserving historical artifacts, specifically in three main areas of interest: natural history, local history, and Native American culture. Museum founder, Dr. Pressley R. Rankin, also commonly referred to as, “Doc”, began collecting artifacts at the young age of 5 years old. Through his efforts and those of several dedicated community members, his dream to showcase the history of the area was actualized in this 4,900 square foot facility. In addition to the vast assortment of artifacts and exhibits, the museum also boasts an Andre the Giant exhibit, an interactive zone tailored for students, a gift shop, a public reference library, and a self-guided scavenger hunt. The current Rankin Museum Board of Directors President, Brett Webb, said the museum was initially made possible by Doc and several dedicated community members, who embraced his dream of creating a centralized hub of historical artifacts. Webb expressed gratitude for the current citizens who continue to uphold the legacy of Doc and the other founding members. He also raved on the recent efforts of the board, the community, the NC Fossil Club, patrons, and the town of Ellerbe in supporting the events at the museum, such as the Fossil Fair that took place this past weekend. The free fossil fair offered children, ages 3-14, an exciting opportunity to dig for fossils in the new 60 foot flume located behind the museum. The Ranking Museum Mining flume, built in 2017, is another point of pride for the site that resulted from a grant award, the hard work of local volunteers, and the contribution of materials by Sandy Creek Mining Company. Made possible through a Grass Roots Grant in 2016, President Webb says Ellerbe native Senator Tom McInnis was an integral figure in advocating for this addition. 


We encourage you to go visit this hidden gem in Richmond County and get rich on Richmond! Along with being open to the public Wednesday-Saturday (10:00am- 5:00pm) and Sundays (2:00-5:00pm), the museum also hosts group visits and school field trips. The museum is located at 131 West Church Street in Ellerbe. For more information, visit their website https://rankinmuseum.org/, Rankin Museum Facebook and Instagram pages, or call 910-652-6378.   

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Weekly Spotlight 9/17/19

Old School Racing

 Find Your Getaway in Richmond County by supporting a local team that preserves one of the county’s most invigorating, thrilling hobbies; Old School Racing. All born and reared in Richmond County, this NASCAR late stock car racing team has become quite accomplished in short track racing. Gurney Chappell, whose son, Patrick Chappell, is the crew chief and spotter for the driver, owns the Old School Racing #5 Chevy SS. Driven by Ellerbe native, Jake Vuncannon, the #5 is sponsored by the City of Rockingham, Dieffenbach Chevrolet, and the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority.  Since entering the super truck circuit in 2012, the team has transitioned to the NASCAR late model circuit in 2017, which is the top division of Saturday night short track racing in the country. Earning the championship in 2018, Old School Racing firmly established their place in the circuit, and anticipates another victorious year, as a strong finish in the last two upcoming races will guarantee them another championship in 2019. Well into their ninth season, the team is currently leading in points with two wins, three-second place finishes, and one third place.

        By day, Patrick is a Market Executive at Fidelity Bank in Rockingham, and he and his wife Michelle are proud parents of three daughters, Madelyn, Savannah, and Taylor. By weekend, he is the man of many roles on the Old School Racing team, as the crew chief, mechanic, and spotter. Echoing his father’s passion for racing, Patrick says their mission, along with winning, is to continue the rich racing history of our community, while also promoting Richmond County. In recounting the birth and progression of the team, Patrick, says it started at the lawnmower races at the Ellerbe Lions Club and won the championship in 2011 with Jack as the driver. Soon after, Gurney, purchased a late model stock truck, also driven by Jake, and celebrated the team’s first win at Dillon Motor Speedway in 2015. In 2017, the team switched to a higher level of racing when Gurney purchased a late model stock car and blazed into the Dillon Motor Speedway victory lane in four of their seven races. In describing the #5 driver, Jake, Patrick says, “He’s just a natural with incredible balance and hand-eye coordination; he can ride a unicycle!” 

        When asked about his remarkable skills, Jake modestly laughed and said he has always had a love for racing. He began his driving career in his early teen years on a go-kart, and then, at 19, began lawnmower racing. Having known and attended church with the Chappells for years, Jake says he was honored when Patrick called him and asked if he would drive for their team. Although he is typically mild-natured and easy--going, Jake says his competitive side comes alive when the green flag drops. He says the adrenaline rush of navigating the #5 is indescribable with tops speeds on the straightaway reaching 90-100 mph. In reflecting on what sets their team apart from others, Jake responded, “Our priority of putting God first and honoring our commitment to not race on Sundays is one of the most special aspects of our team.” Off the track, Jake is a Commercial Agriculture Loan Officer at Carolina Farm Credit in Ellerbe, and he and his wife Lauren are the proud parents of two sons and 1 daughter, Levi, Zeb, and Evelyn. 

        Both Patrick and Jake expressed their appreciation for the sponsors of Old School Racing along with several others who have supported their team, such as, Kevin Parsons and Keith Hawkins. Additionally, they encourage everyone to come support the team at their next race at Dillon Motor Speedway on September 28. You can also follow the Old School Racing Facebook page for upcoming races and other updates. 

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Weekly Spotlight 9/10/19

Historic Tuckerman Manor: A Country Estate

  Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the beautiful, Historic Tuckerman Manor tucked away in the beautiful countryside of the Sandhills on 45 acres of peaceful, sylvan country land. Among the gorgeous tall pines that surround this secluded Airbnb, guests can find the perfect overnight getaway in this historic estate. John Appleman Tuckerman, who originally built the house, was one of the three young gentlemen that moved their families south from Boston, Massachusetts, along with the Mr. Derby and Mr. Loverling. All three families relocated in Richmond County to pursue peach farming. In 1960, the Tuckerman home transitioned to that of the Hogan’s when Larry and Jane Hogan purchased the estate. The third and current owners, Chuck Davis and partner, Tiffany Evans, purchased the property in 2015 with the initial intention of establishing an event and wedding venue, but after discovering how perfect the destination was for overnight stays, Tiffany’s brainchild was actualized in 2018 when the Tuckerman Manor was established as an Airbnb. In over 5,000 square feet, this former homestead boasts seven bedrooms with a total of 11 beds, five baths, four outdoor patios, and several large gathering rooms to comfortably accommodate 16 plus overnight guests. 

       The gorgeous Historic Tuckerman Manor offers the optimal destination for visitors seeking a beautiful, scenic, and spacious getaway in the outskirts of the county. Although the estate is hidden off Derby Road in the northern end of Richmond County, it is perfectly situated within a 15-20 minute drive to several tourist attractions in Moore and Richmond counties. In recounting previous guests, owners, Davis and Evans, said they have met a variety of people from archaeologists to golfers to hunting clubs to work retreats to those looking for a vacation spot with a homelike feel among nature. Several groups, such as church, student, and professional have been former guests of the Manor, including a recent group of students from the Duke University Orchestra. 

        In addition to offering a relaxing retreat nestled in the graceful woodlands, owner, Tiffany Evans, is listed as a “Superhost” on Airbnb.com. On the website, “Superhosts” are described as experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests. Along with Historic Tuckerman Manor, the couple also owns and lists the former McQueen homestead of owner, Chuck Davis’ grandparents, as “The Homeplace”, located a few miles down the road, as an Airbnb. This stunning country home was also built in the 1920s and has six beds in four bedrooms, two baths, and can accommodate 10 overnight guests. 

For information on booking your getaway at the Historic Tuckerman Manor or The Homeplace, click on the link below

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/22569945?source_impression_id=p3_1568139609_7Wghd49730%2F9uhNX.

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Weekly Spotlight 9/3/19

Cole Auditorium & Community Center at Richmond Community College

Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the entertainment hub of the community, located on the campus of Richmond Community College, the Cole Auditorium and Community Center. Established in 1999, the Robert L. and Elizabeth S. Cole Auditorium features a 1,000 seat auditorium with a full working stage, rigging, theatrical lighting and sound, banquet rooms, dressing rooms, a kitchen area, and a spacious lobby that overlooks the beautiful campus of Richmond Community College. Hosting multiple large scale touring productions and nationally recognized acts throughout the year, this 36,000 square feet fine arts venue offers the perfect date night or family outing here in Richmond County! With the recent announcement of the highly anticipated 2019-2020 line-up for the DeWitt Performing Arts Series and the Fidelity Bank Series, the Cole Auditorium has a very exciting upcoming year with a variety of impressive shows. Along with these awesome entertainment options, the facility is also available for rent and hosts numerous other events, such as celebrations, conferences, reunions, weddings, and other special occasions.    

        Featuring nationally-recognized touring performances from a diverse range of genres, the DeWitt Performing Arts Series kicks off annually in the fall and concludes in the spring. The Four Italian Tenors will start the entertainment season at the Cole on October 1. The schedule for the DeWitt Series begins on October 1 with the Four Italian Tenors, followed by the Midtown Men on October 29, Santa’s Circus on December 2, Wonderful Wizard of Song on January 21, Georgia On My Mind on March 11, An American in Paris on March 19, and wraps up on April 2 with a bonus show with musician Phil Vassar. The impressive debut of the Fidelity Bank Rock ‘N Country Series this year highlights headlining country and classic rock initiating with John Anderson on October 18, followed by Lee Ann Womack on November 15, and culminating with Sister Hazel on February 29. 

        The Cole Auditorium Box Office is located in the office wing of the facility. Inquiries about tickets for Cole Auditorium-sponsored events may be made in person at the Box Office, by telephone or by email. Information about the Cole Auditorium, as well as tickets, can be obtained by visiting the Box Office, calling 910-410-1691, or visiting their website at http://richmondcc.edu/about-us/cole-auditorium. The Box Office is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Although, individual show tickets are available until the night of each performance, these amazing shows are sure to sell-out quickly, so secure your seats today! 

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Weekly Spotlight 8/27/19

Sycamore Lodge

Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at in the beautiful countryside outdoors at Travel Resorts of America’s (TRA) Sycamore Lodge off Sycamore Lane in Derby. This members’ only resort offers a gorgeous scenic environment that is not only relaxing, but also fun-filled for the whole family. Initially developed by the Loverling family from Boston, Massachusetts, who moved to the area in the early 1900s after purchasing the land from another prominent northern family who had moved south, the Derby family, hence the name of the community, the initial intention of the property was a peach farm. Due to sandy soil, the Loverlings were unsuccessful with peaches and decided to establish a tree farm instead. The family planted numerous trees throughout the property, including the trees that line the appropriately named, Sycamore Lane and the entrance of the resort. Planted some time between 1921-1924, Mr. Loverling felt the trees would enhance the property and exude simple elegance. 

        Originally constructed by the Loverlings, the Carriage House, next to the members’ lodge is still in use today. The bottom portion was originally a garage and the top portion was a living quarters for the family.  As the family expanded, the family began construction for their new estate, which was hand-built with trees from the property. Beautifully constructed, the care and effort that went into this structure is evident in the gorgeous wooden floors, wide-angled stairways, and spacious rooms. Additionally, the home boasts an original wood-burning fireplace, quality craftsmanship, the original wood-burning stove in the kitchen, and loft apartment that is now known as the Artist Studio Cabin. Today, the former Loverling home serves as the members’ lodge. 

        Near the mid-century, the Loverlings’ sold the resort to Mr. Kent Hogan, who also used the property for his personal residence. Hogan added central cooling and heating, modern cooking instruments, finished the basement, and renovated the floors. Some time later, the Hogan family vacated the property when they turned it into a hunting lodge. 

        In 1986, Holiday Resorts Inc., also known as Red Hawk Ranch, purchased the resort and created the road network, installed the swimming pool and Jacuzzi complex, renovated the Carriage House, wired the first 50 campsites with electricity and water, and implemented numerous other improvements to the property. Two years later, in June of 1988, its current owners, Travel Resorts of America, purchased the resort. 

        Established in 1986, TRA is celebrating 33 years of continuous business with the same ownership serving nearly 17,000 families. America’s largest and most established private resort membership network for a steady 47 years, TRA has been coast-to-coast since 1972. In total, TRA has more than 79 years of resort development and experience. Seven of TRA’s resorts, including Sycamore Lodge, have been nationally recognized as top membership sellers for 33 years. 

For more information on Sycamore Lodge, call 844-209-7205 or visit their website https://www.campnorthcarolina.com/.

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Weekly Spotlight 8/20/19

Bynum Peach Farm

 Find Your Getaway in Richmond County and stock up on some delicious, homegrown produce from the Bynum Peach Farm in the beautiful Windblow community. The three-generation farm, nestled in the northern end of the county, is currently owned by Danny Bynum and his wife, Sherry. It was originally purchased in 1922 by Danny’s grandparents, Charlie Howard Bynum (Pop) and Onis Carpenter Bynum (Mom). When the farm was first bought, cotton, corn, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and wheat were the major crops. Along with caring for seven children, Mom helped on the farm selling butter, eggs, and milk, while Pop maintained the farm, cradled wheat for other farmers, and did carpentry work to make ends meet. 

        As a WWI veteran, Pop invested his veteran bonus check in peach trees and began his peach business. The peach packing shed that was used until the early 1960s, was built by Pop in 1946 and used to grade, pack, and ship peaches up north.  The last load of peaches graded and packed at the pack shed were hauled to nearby Emery Siding, where they were loaded in a refrigerated rail car and sent up north by train. Since this final shipment, the peaches have been sold locally. 

        Upon Pop’s retirement, his son, Homer Bynum, took over the farm with the exception of the peaches, which his brother, Worth Sr., who was Danny’s father, managed. In addition to the peaches, Worth Sr. also raised grapes and worked at the Sandhills Research Station. When Worth Sr. passed away, Danny took over the peach business, which he still maintains today with the help of his wife, Sherry, and son, Trey. Danny also sells peach tree seedlings and his brother, Chris, tends to the grape farm. 

        The Bynum Farm opens annually at the beginning of July and closes on Labor Day. Open every day except Sunday, the Bynum’s take pride in their produce, and guarantee every bag, basket, and box are full to the bream with peaches! They are also experts on storing peaches to extend their shelf life by not refrigerating them, but picking fresh peaches daily. In addition to the delicious peaches, they also sell cantaloupes, grapes, and watermelons. Go find your rich getaway in Windblow, Richmond County, and enjoy the rich taste of the Bynums produce, especially the peaches! For directions or more information, visit their website at http://www.bynumpeachfarm.com or call 910-652-2204.

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Weekly Spotlight 8/13/19

Rockingham Dragway- "The Rock"

Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the legendary magnet for our citizens and travelers, our very own active and versatile entertainment destination, the Rockingham Dragway- “The Rock”. Citizens and visitors alike enjoy this multi-use facility that has welcomed competitors and guests from all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces, Aruba, Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, the Middle East (Qatar, Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain), New Zealand, and Puerto Rico. Purchased in 1992 by the current owner, Steve Earwood, the site hosts a broad range of events almost every weekend that target various audiences, such as classic/specialty cars, music/sound, and racing enthusiasts, among many others. 

Earwood’s knowledge of and interest in motor racing is deeply rooted in his heritage, as his father, Charles, served as Chief Steward for a number of road racing organizations, as well as for the SCCA’s Trans-Am Series. His brother, Terry, is a former U.S. Nationals drag racing champion (1973), who has experienced considerable success in road racing and, currently, serves as the Chief Instructor for Skip Barber Racing. 

        Motorsports and racing is more than just a profession to Earwood; it is a way of life. His stellar reputation as one of drag racing’s most innovative and influential individuals is reflected in his double honors as the IHRA’s national Promoter of the Year in 2001 and 2008 and his inductions in the East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2004, the NHRA’s Southeast Division Hall of Fame in 2012, and the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2016. Since actualizing his dream of owning a track over 20 years ago, Earwood has transformed the facility from hosting only a few events a year to one of the most active tracks in the nation with more than 90 different events, annually. His efforts were again recognized in Richmond County in 2010 when he was named the “Citizen of the Year.” More recently, in June of 2019, he was recognized by the NHRA and received the NHRA’s most prestigious award and the Lifetime Achievement Award. Earwood is a founding and current board member of the North Carolina Motorsports Association, has served on the North Carolina Motorsports Advisory Council under Governor Easley, Governor Perdue, and Governor McCrory, and is a voting board member of the National Fire Protection Association, which is responsible for drafting document 610 that serves as a fire safety guideline for all forms of motor racing. Earwood’s passion for motorsports, supporting his community, and continuing to offer an action packed, diverse schedule for the Rockingham Dragway as a central tourist attraction of our county and state is evident in the upcoming fall schedule. 

        This weekend, 8/17-8/18, the fall schedule kicks off with the seventh annual Powerfest bracket championship before taking an unconventional turn with the Red, White, and Fun family-friendly event that features a barbecue cook-off, corn-hole tournament, moon pie eating contest, and a truck show with quarter mile time runs on 8/24. The following weekend, 8/31, the MXA Motorsports test-and-tune series returns; paving the way for a September that begins with the final event inn the Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Series. Mid September, 9/14, will host another round of MXA street drags followed by the MXA racers, a week later (9/21), sharing center stage with the Ford Mustang Club during the special Mustangs only event. September will conclude with the largest all-Chevy event in the Carolinas, the Super Chevy Show that is comprised of only Chevrolets that will participate in swap meet and racing events over three days with the highlight being on Saturday (9/28) for a program that includes 200 erratic Pro Modifieds and the jet dragster of Terry Rosberg. October 17-20 will host the return of the NHRA with a pair of back-to-back events beginning with the last of six events determining the Lucas Oil Series champions in the Southeast Division. Reigning division champ Sandy Wilkins of Mt. Ulla tries to repeat in Top Sportsman at the wheel of his venerable 1969 Camaro, while former national series champion Jeff Strickland of Red Bay, Ala., poses a threat in both Stock Eliminator and Top Dragster.  A one-day NHRA National Open will be contested on Sunday, providing additional point earning opportunities for races seeking valuable grading points that determine entry eligibility for 2020 NHRA national events. The track’s 50th season of continuous operation will end in December with two more events in the MXA Motorsport Street Drags Series on 12/7 and 12/14. 


For more information on the Rockingham Dragway and to view their entire upcoming schedule, visit their Facebook page or website www.rockinghamdragway.com or call (910) 582-3400.

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Weekly Spotlight 8/6/19

Little River Vineyards & Events Center

  Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the gorgeous, scenic Little River Vineyards and Events Center on Summer Duck Farm off NC HWY 73 in northwest Richmond near Montgomery County. Often referred to as the panhandle of the county, this sparsely populated area has historic and modern dwellings and other buildings and is characterized by farmland and forest. Little River Vineyards and Events Center is nestled on Summer Duck Farm, formerly known as the Powell-Brookshire-Parker Farm, that is situated on the east side of Buffalo Creek near its confluence with the Little River. The rolling fields, the historic house on the hill, and the white picket fence lining the entrance drive way are some of the beautiful and unique features of the property. Along with the private house (the Brookshire House), the property also includes a bridal nook building, catering kitchen/ winery, guest quarters, lodge, and plenty of space for parking. Built in the 1870s, The Brookshire House is on the National Register of Historic Places and was originally built according to the Greek Revival architectural style with early Victorian influences. 

        In addition to the rich history of the Brookshire House, to the northeast of the farmhouse on a wooded rise lies the Powell-Brookshire Cemetery. The cemetery contains a number of finely carved marble monuments from the Antebellum and Post-Bellum periods as well as several vernacular markers and numerous grave depressions marked with fieldstones. The tombstones in the cemetery date back to the 1830s. 

        Along with hosting numerous events during the summer, spring, and fall seasons, the site is also known for various private hunting opportunities in the winter. This beautiful historic landmark, along with the additional amenities of the site make the Little River Vineyards and Event Center the perfect venue for celebrations, reunions, weddings, and other events. Whether you are planning your next big event or a hunting trip, Little River Vineyards and Events Center has you covered! To inquire about rentals or learn more, visit their website, https:www.litterriverwines.com, or call (704) 201-6343. 

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Weekly Spotlight 7/30/10

Longleaf Lodge

Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the gorgeous Longleaf Lodge is uniquely positioned in the heart of the Sandhills Game Land in Hoffman. Established as a horse, human, and hound-boarding lodge and farm in August 2015, this cozy venue is owned by Beth and Paul Bockoven and Nancy and Spencer Willard. The lodge is an optimal destination for equestrians, with the many accommodations for horses. Whether it is the enjoyment of long trail rides, competitions at the Carolina Horse Park, the use of the course to train, or just spending time quality time with your horse, Longleaf is your go-to spot! The amazing location of the lodge in the core of the Sandhills Game Land among 63,000 acres is a horseback riding paradise. On top of that amenity, Longleaf is also located near the 250-acre Carolina Horse Park, which hosts equestrian events year round and attracts international-caliber competitors in hunter jumper, dressage, eventing, and combined driving and the Walthour Moss Foundation. Along with accommodating equestrians, the lodge also provides other accommodations for all guests, especially outdoor enthusiasts, as biking, boating, fishing, hiking, hunting, nature walks, and other activities are available either on the premises or through the Sandhills Game Land. Strolling around the farm, guests can enjoy the beautiful natural scenery, including the free-range chickens and the garden. Other outdoor activities and games for guests, such as good old-fashioned games of horseshoes, badminton, corn-hole, and hula hooping are fun for the whole family. At the end of the day, the glorious Sunset Pavilion is the perfect sitting area to relax and watch the sunset before nightfall when the campfire and s’mores begin. 

        Avid horses lovers, both the owning couples, the Bockoven’s and the Willard’s, are steadfast in their efforts to ensure the lodge offers prime services for and to the horses. They offer short- and long-term boarding for horses. Long-term boarders have their own stall with adjacent paddock that leads to the pasture. Short-term boarders have the option of pasture only or stall boarding while vacationing at the lodge. Pasture water troughs, hay storage, and wash racks are all provided.           Additionally, the lodge boasts a round pen and an arena for boarder use. Horses are not the only four legged creatures that are relished at the lodge; guests are also encouraged to bring their dogs! The lodge and the neighboring Sandhills Game Land with the Field Trial Grounds both have scenic walking trails that are perfect for exercising. Kennels are also available for the K-9 guests. 

        The gorgeous, historical lodge was originally built in the early 1900s and was used as a farmhouse for the 19-acre farm. The property also includes two barns and two different pasture areas. Human accommodations include two kitchens, two dining rooms, two living rooms, twelve beds, and can host up to 17 people. There are two suites with adjoining rooms and single rooms. 

In addition to being a cozy Bed and Breakfast, the facility is the perfect venue to rent for celebrations, family reunions, retreats, weddings, and other events. For more information on the Longleaf Lodge or to experience this trail rider’s paradise, visit their website at longleaflodge.com or call 910-696-0239.  

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Weekly Spotlight 7/23/19

Sandhills Game Land

  Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at one of our most precious natural resources and an absolute prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts, the beautiful Sandhills Game Land maintained by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission (NCWRC). The NCWRC has a mission to conserve North Carolina’s wildlife resources and their habitats and provide programs and opportunities that allow anglers, boaters, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy wildlife-associated recreation. The scenic Sandhills Game Land encompasses 63,061 acres across Hoke, Moore, Richmond, and Scotland counties, with 32,235 acres being in Richmond County. The Game Land is one of the largest remaining examples of a Longleaf Pine ecosystem in North Carolina. There is approximately 6700 acres of Oak/Hickory dominant forestland on the Game Land. Additional outdoor opportunities include biking, hiking, horseback riding, and other outdoor recreations. 

        In 1948, the US Department of Defense deeded the Sandhills Game Land to the state of North Carolina for wildlife management. The US Army retained the right to continue to use the property for training purposes, which is currently stilled used for today through Camp Mackall for orienteering the Special Forces. The property also boasts a nationally recognized Bird Dog Field Trial Area that includes a meeting hall and a 56-stall horse barn. The field trial season runs from October through March and garnishes participants and visitors from across the United States.  The field trial facility is also available for rent for events such as birthday parties, foot races, trail rides, and other celebrations and/or meetings from April through September. 

        The Sandhills Game Land is home to state and federally endangered, threatened, and concerned species, such as, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Carolina Gopher Frog, Northern Pine Snake, Bachman’s Sparrow, Tiger Salamander, Oak Toad, Michaux’s Sumac, Sandhills Milk-Vetch, and pitcher plants. 

        Also on the property, the John Lentz Hunter Education Complex at 2030 Gibson Mill Rd. in Ellerbe is open to the public and includes the following: 50- and 100-yard rifle ranges with six shooting stations, 25-yard pistol range with six shooting stations, 5-stand sporting clays range, 3-D archery range, tournament archery range, and two combination skeet/trap ranges. 

Along with the various outdoor sports opportunities, the Game Lands offer field trip and educational opportunities for students ranging from elementary to college aged. Recently, West Virginia University forestry students toured the property to learn about Longleaf Pine ecosystem management. Several amphibian, botany, reptile, and songbird groups utilize the Game Lands for tours, research, and workshops. 

For more information on the Sandhills Game Land or inquire about renting the facility, visit their website, www.ncwildlife.org or call the Sandhills Wildlife Depot at (910) 719-6400. 

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Weekly Spotlight 7/16/19

Hitchcock Creek Paddle Trail & Greenway

  Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the beautiful Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail and Greenway and the many recreational activities within this versatile outdoor resource. Boating, Hiking, Kayaking , Nature Walks, Paddling, Picnicking, Playground, and much more is available at this outdoorsmen’s dream at Hitchcock! Hitchcock Creek is an incredibly unique feature of Richmond County, as it is one of only four streams that originates in the Coastal Plain and flows westward into the Piedmont, instead of eastward toward the ocean. 

        The Hitchcock Creek Watershed Action Plan established the foundation for all subsequent work on the creek in 2006. Three years later, the removal of Steele’s Mill Dam in Cordova marked the first construction project to open Hitchcock Creek for public navigation and reestablish historic fish runs from the Pee Dee River. In the proceeding years, multiple city and community efforts contributed to the construction of the Hitchcock Creek Greenway and Blue Trail. Construction on the first phase of the Hitchcock Creek Greenway was completed in 2012, and included over 6,000 feet of improved walking trails and three pedestrian bridges over Hitchcock Creek. In 2013, the NC Wildlife Resource Commission completed a boat landing and road improvements on public lands adjacent to the Pee Dee River commonly known as Diggs Tract. This project complemented the City’s efforts to develop a blue trail along Hitchcock Creek by providing public access to the Pee Dee River below the confluence of Hitchcock Creek, which was previously inaccessible from any public river access points. 

        Presently, as a result of these efforts, the public enjoys access to 15 scenic miles of paddling opportunities along Hitchcock Creek and the Pee Dee River and over a mile of improved trails in the pristine Pee Dee Lake bed. The 14-mile Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail starts in Rockingham and offers paddlers an opportunity to learn about the area’s unique natural places and history. Additionally, paddlers can enjoy viewing diverse floodplain forests, remnants of historic mills, and rare plants and animals that populate the trail. Other common wildlife along the creek include whitetail deer, wild turkey, gray and white squirrels, raccoons, gray and red foxes, rabbits, a diverse population of birds and waterfowl, and a variety of reptiles including venomous and non-venomous snakes. 

        Numerous public and private entities played a tremendous role in assisting the City of Rockingham to develop Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail and Greenway, including the Resource Institute, American Rivers, the Cole Foundation, the NC Division of Water Resources, and many more. 

For more information on the Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail and Greenway and a map of the paddle trail, visit the City of Rockingham at https://www.gorockingham.net/

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Weekly Spotlight 7/9/19

Town Creek Indian Mound

  

Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at a national historic landmark and the state’s only historic site dedicated to American Indian heritage, Town Creek Indian Mound. With a mission of interpreting the history of the American Indians who once lived there, Town Creek manager, Rich Thompson, and staff welcome guests and encourage tour groups to learn more about the rich native history of the site. The visitor center was constructed in 1960 and features interpretative exhibits and numerous audiovisual displays. 

        The North Guard Tower and the Stockade are the first two visible structures on the foot tour of the site. The North Guard Tower is one of two “look-out” posts that were used to alert the people inside of visitors approaching the site. Serving as a protective barrier wall, the Stockade is a physical manifestation of the “city limits” for Town Creek. The first building upon entering the site is the Mortuary that was used by each clan or extended family as a home for the living as well as a place of rest for the dead. Several plaques within the structure provide insight on burial remains, wattle-and-daub, and other customs. 

        Beginning as a small earth lodge, the mound was later used as a platform for a Town House to sit atop. The Town House served as a ceremonial and political center of this society, as leaders and elders would often meet at the house to discuss matters of state or for important religious activities or observances. The furthest building from the entry is the known as the East Lodge, where the wattle-and-daub style construction is visible in the unfinished walls. 

        Guests are encouraged to end their visit with short, scenic walk on the nature trail that begins on the south side of the village and culminates at the visitor center/museum. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00-5:00pm and on Sunday from 1:00-5:00pm. For more information, visit their website at www.towncreekindianmound.com or call 910-439-6802. 

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Weekly Spotlight 7/2/19

The Ellerbe Springs Inn & The Spring House

  

Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the beautiful, historic Ellerbe Springs Inn and Spring House. Built in the 1800s as a hotel and restaurant, this property offers visitors rich Ellerbe history, while still providing modern day accommodations. Listed on the Historic Registry, the exterior of the Inn is currently identical to its origins from the 1800s. Ellerbe Springs opened in 1890 as a summer escape and continues to offer travelers and other visitors a place to slow down and enjoy the quiet. The house and its seven guest rooms are beautifully decorated with family heirlooms and artwork from the current owners, Mark and Donna Buckeridge, family. Each of the individually and uniquely themed rooms is available for lodging and includes its own private bathroom. 

        Along with the rich history that includes celebrations, competitions, murder mystery weekends, reunions, weddings, and variety of other special events, the Inn hosted several notable guests. At least one U.S. President, NC Governors and Senators, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, multiple NASCAR drivers and their teams, and Andre the Giant have all visited the Inn. First Lady Roosevelt actually stayed in what is now appropriately titled the “Eleanor Roosevelt Room” when she came to support the National Youth Administration in 1940.  During which time, the facility, was a girls’ school. 

        From 1958 to 1968 the property was owned by the Boy Scouts of America, who used it for many events, including jamborees. To this day, numerous scouts return to reminisce about the adventures and fun memories of these days. As it was during this period, there is still a great deal of camping taking place at the Ellerbe venue on Camp Henning that provides full hook-up spaces for RV's. 

        In 2015, the building that was originally built as a dance hall in 1906 was opened as The Spring House. This family friendly pub serves burgers, pizza, salads, sandwiches, subs, wings, and other favorite dishes. The next time you are in Ellerbe, make sure to stop by, whether it is for a history lesson through a guided tour or some delicious food. It is guaranteed that you will be enriched in Richmond County from this historic asset nestled in the heart of hometown Ellerbe. 

        For more information on the Ellerbe Springs Inn or the pub-style family friendly restaurant, The Spring House, visit their website http://www.ellerbe-springs.com/ or call 910-652-5600 for the Inn and 910-652-5613. 

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Weekly Spotlight 6/25/19

Hamlet Depot & Museums

  

Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the current and historic hub of Hamlet, the Hamlet Depot and Museums. Rich in Hamlet history, this beautiful Victorian Queen Anne style building was originally built in 1900 and moved to the other side of the tracks in 2004 by the same company that moved the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The facility includes the depot, the museums, and a tornado building, which houses a life size replica of the tornado steam engine. The tornado steam engine was the first train to travel through North Carolina in 1840, arriving in Raleigh. The depot boasts a gorgeous lobby, a luggage room with original “left behind” luggage, passenger room, where passengers are still picked up twice a day from Amtrak, and a train display of an HO model set from 1952 Hamlet located downstairs. 

        The present front room of the depot was originally the lobby and includes numerous information sources and tools regarding the railroad. Additionally, a plethora of information is available throughout the depot among the variety of interactive learning exhibits that depict why Hamlet was once known as the “Hub of the South”, including several exhibits that demonstrate the inner and outer workings of the trains, the former life of railroad employees, the duties of railroad workers, and much more! 

        The discerning eye will discover some lost luggage inside the luggage room, in the back left corner, that was found during the renovation of the building in 2004. This “left behind” luggage incites questions of, Whose luggage was it? Why did they leave it? What happened? A conductor suit, complete with an accompanying pocket watch and a conductor hole punch, can also be found inside the luggage room. The passenger room continues to uphold its original intent, as the Silver Star train picks up Amtrak passengers twice a day, in the morning and the afternoon, to travel to Atlanta, Baltimore, Camden, Miami, New York, Southern Pines, and Washington, D.C.

Located downstairs, the HO model train is set as it was in 1952 and includes a picture from this time period in which the original depot can be seen. The O scale model train only has one button that the young museum visitors love to press!

        The Amtrak train passengers are not the only visitors at the Hamlet Depot and Museums, as this venue is a major tourist attraction for Richmond County for people of all ages. While the many interactive exhibits offer children fun learning, the numerous artifacts appeal to everyone, especially the history buffs! Get rich in history in Richmond County at the Hamlet Depot and Museums, where you will find the perfect getaway to brush up on the big history of this famous small town. For more information, visit the Facebook page or the website http://www.hamlethistoricdepot.org/, or call (910) 582-0603. 

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Weekly Spotlight 6/18/19

Hinson Lake

Find your Getaway in Richmond County at Hinson Lake in Rockingham. This all-in-one 216-acre facility includes amenities to suit almost every type of outdoorsman! Whether your sport is disc golf, fishing, jogging, picnicking, or wildlife viewing, Hinson Lake has you covered. The newly constructed disc-golf course includes 18 holes and recently hosted a successful tournament by Richmond County Young Professionals. Fishermen can choose the perfect spot on the fishing piers or the 300 foot Leath Footbridge that spans across the upper end of the lake and includes a covered observation deck with benches. Hooking the perfect catch is very likely since the lake is annually stocked with various fishing game. The 2.75 miles of improved trails are ideal for jogging or walking, while viewing the beautiful wildlife scenery. Interpretative signs can be found along the trails that provide information about the various habitats, plant life, wildlife, and aquatic life found around the facility.

The facility is also known for hosting the Hinson Lake 24-hour Ultra Classic, a 24-hour endurance run around the 1.5-mile lake troop trail that brings in hundreds of runners from all over the United States every year.

        The onsite Rotary Lodge includes a 1,300 square foot meeting room and kitchen, an office for facility staff, a 1,400 square foot covered deck that overlooks Hinson Lake and the adjacent beaver pond, and outdoor grill/fireplace. The meeting room and kitchen are available for group meetings and cookouts through the City of Rockingham Parks and Recreation Department, which operates and maintains the facility.

        The facility is a collaborative effort by the City of Rockingham and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) with additional funding provided by the Cole Foundation, the Rockingham Rotary Club, the Leath Foundation, and the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority. The property was donated to the NCWRC by the Hinson family in the early 1990’s and sat unused for more than 12 years before the City of Rockingham entered into an agreement in 1990 to develop the facility, as it currently exists. In 2006, the facility officially opened for public use and continues to be a tremendous source of community pride, as a beautiful hub for outdoor fun and fellowship.

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Weekly Spotlight 6/11/19

Millstone 4H Camp

      Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at one of the three 4H Camps in North Carolina, Millstone 4-H Camp that is nestled in the beautiful countryside near Ellerbe. School is out, kids are bored, and gaming/ electronic usage is at its peak. Millstone 4H Camp not only keeps young minds actively learning, but also instills character through interactive outdoor fun. In their 80th year of operation, the North Carolina State University owned facility kicked off their summer camps this past Sunday, 6/9, with a Horsemanship Camp. Around 80 campers are attending the weeklong camp, along with their personal horses. Other camps offered this summer include: three weeks of traditional 4-H, Cloverbud, Shooting Sports, Boating, Fur, Fish, & Game, and Adventure Fur, Fish, & Game.  

      Camp Director, Keith Russell, began his thirty-two year long career in camp directing after working two summers as a camp counselor while he was completing his Recreation degree from Western University. Russell said the majority of the 30 camp counselors and staff hired seasonally to accommodate the 850 plus summer campers are predominantly college students and from all over the state. 

      Millstone holds several events, including the upcoming “Pickin’ in the Pines” event on October 19 to raise money to support the cost of summer camps. In addition to the summer camps, the facility also hosts around 20,000 people throughout the year with various other events and groups, such as, conferences, retreats, team-building seminars, and tournaments. 

      There are a few open slots in the Boating, Shooting Sports, and Fur, Fish, & Game camps. Sign up today at www.millstone4hcamp.com to discover the Millstone Experience disconnecting from the electronics to connect with nature! 

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Weekly Spotlight 6/4/19

Dewitt's Outdoor Sports, LLC

     Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at Dewitt’s Outdoor Sports. LLC. Shooting for some outdoor activities “ammo” fun? Dewitt’s is your one-stop shop for purchasing, learning about, and practicing with an assortment of firearms. Beautifully nestled in the outskirts of Ellerbe, the scenic 1 and 2/10 mile course at Dewitt’s boasts over 14 stations with targets from various angles that simulate actual hunting experiences.  

     This past weekend Dewitt’s hosted the 2019 North Carolina Sporting Clays Championship and had a record number of 290 entrants over the weekend. Contestants attempted 100 targets on over 15 different stations and another 100 targets on Sunday for the final championship. This was the 7th year that Dewitt’s hosted the NC Championship since the inaugural hosting in 2004. 

     Although Dewitt’s Outdoor Sports is known for their sporting clays, pistol and riffle ranges, hunting activities, and target practice, this locally owned facility is rooted in community engagement, family bonding, and sportsmanship. Open to the public 7 days a week, Dewitt’s is also the perfect venue for celebrations, such as birthday parties, class reunions, weddings, and other events. For more information on rentals or the limitless sportsman activities available, call (910) 652-2926 or visit their website http://www.dewittsoutdoorsports.com/ .


Go experience the “blast” at Dewitt’s Outdoor Sports!

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Weekly Spotlight 5/28/19

National Railroad Museum & Hall of Fame, Inc.

     Find your getaway in Richmond County at the National Railroad Museum and Hall Of Fame Inc. in Hamlet. The weather is still smoldering and finding fun, yet educational, options for the whole family can be difficult, but not in Richmond County! The railroad represents one of the historical pillars of our county, particularly in Hamlet. The rich foundational roots of railroading are reflected in the museum's mission to preserve railroad history by collecting and displaying railroad memorabilia, maps, photographs, and a wide variety of other artifacts. Not only does the museum house a plethora of railroad related documents and items, but it also showcases various other historical highlights of the City of Hamlet.

      Museum President and board member, Tim Nevinger, says he and the board take great pride in this non-profit organization that is maintained and operated by volunteers, including himself and his wife, Kay Cavendish. Kay also heads up the popular thrift shop in Hamlet, “The Grab,” from which the contributions of donated items are used to fund the museum.

      Go check out this hidden treasure that evidences a time where railroads were the main source of long distance travel, passenger train service was as its zenith, and Hamlet was referred to as the “Hub of the South.”

      Although they are only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4p, they will gladly open up by request for appointments (910-582-3555).

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