The North Carolina




Visitor Center

Welcome to the North Carolina Visitor Center

From the mountains to the coast and all points in between

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Orton Plantation

In 1663, King Charles II of England granted the eight Lords Proprietors the Carolinas region of America.  Brothers Maurice, Roger, and Nathaniel Moore permanently settled the Cape Fear River region around 1725, by establishing Brunswick Town. The Orton land on the north side of Brunswick Town was first owned by Maurice Moore, but he quickly gave it to his brother Roger, who developed it into one of the most famous of the Lower Cape Fear rice plantations.

Roger first built at Orton in 1725, but the Indians burned down that house.  Roger next built at Kendall, his plantation to the north of Orton.  In 1735 Roger built again at Orton, a 1.5 story house that is the center of the current house, and established his family there.  He cleared trees in the marsh wetlands and built earthen bankings around the wetlands to create the rice fields.  To flood the rice fields, he dammed Orton Creek and created a “reserve” of fresh water five miles in length and averaging a quarter mile in width.

“King” Roger Moore, as he became known for his masterful personality and generosity, was a member of the Council, a body of eight of the most influential citizens entrusted with considerable responsibility for the proper administration of the public affairs of Brunswick Town.  Roger died in 1751 leaving 250 slaves, many thousand acres of land, and other valuables.  He is buried in the Colonial Cemetery at the north end of Orton Plantation Gardens.  His son William died soon after and his other son George sold Orton to Richard Quince in the 1750’s.

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The Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater’s hugely popular annual talent competition is open to regional singers, dancers, musicians, jugglers, competing for a top prize of $1000. Auditions will be held to determine who gets to showcase on our stage, with cash and gift prizes going to the top contestants.

Application deadline is January 29th. Auditions are February 5th (6:00 & 7:30) & February 6th (11am), with potential callback auditions on February 7th (2:00).  The audition form can be downloaded by going to the theater’s web site at . All applications and a $20.00 registration fee must be submitted 1-5pm weekdays to the Carolina Civic Center to the attention of Jonathan Brewington, Stage Manager 315 N. Chestnut Street Lumberton, NC 28358. Submission deadline is 5pm January 29th 2016.  Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Applicants will then be contacted about their audition time.

Please go to for all additional rules and details about prizes. 

The My Time to Shine 3 Talent Competition will be held 7pm Saturday March 19 at the theater. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased 1-5pm weekdays through the theater’s administrative offices at 315 North Chestnut Street in downtown Lumberton, or by calling 910-738-4339 ext. 106.

The Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater is a beautifully-restored 1928 treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places that offers visitors a unique and visually stunning experience. The theater is located at 315 North Chestnut Street in the heart of downtown Lumberton.  First opened as a vaudeville and silent film house the theater offers a wide array of programming including live touring performances, original productions, art exhibits, films, special events and rentals. For more information visit


Harmony Hall

    This historic house was built by Col James Richardson of  Stonington, Connecticut, a military man and a sea merchant.  The first account of Mr. Richardson’s military adventures was that he was with Wolf at Quebec during the French and Indian War.

     As a merchant, he and his brothers owned several vessels with which they carried on trade between England and the West Indies.  On one of these voyages, James was shipwrecked off the outer banks of North Carolina and was delayed several months while his ship was being repaired.  During this time he rambled up river to Bladen County where he subsequently settled and married Elizabeth O’Neal Purdie, widow of Hugh Purdie.  One source says he bought twelve or fifteen thousand acres of land.  Another says he was granted about 600 acres for his services in the war in Quebec. The main thing is that he built Harmony Hall about one mile from the east bank of the Cape Fear River. (The east side was low and prone to flooding near the river.)

    Most of the interest in Harmony Hall and its owners, the Richardson’s, stems from James’s service in the American Revolution and the stories of Cornwallis commandeering the house.  According to family archives, found in RECORD OF THE RICHARDSON FAMILY, Col. James once served with General Greene in South Carolina.  While he was there, General Lord Cornwallis and at least one of his officers came calling at Harmony Hall, first asking for food and rooms.  Later they asked for candles, stationery, ink and quills before going to their rooms, locking the door and demanding that no one disturb them. This last action aroused Mrs. Richardson’s suspicions and she decided to spy on them. 

   After hearing remarks from Cornwallis’ room that “there were spies around,” Mrs. Richardson crept up the stairs to the attic in her stocking feet and listened to Cornwallis’ plans for his next battle.  “Awed and frightened at what she heard, she crept down the stairway to her room, locked herself in, and there by the bedside of her sleeping babes she wrote it all to her husband in South Carolina.”  She then awakened the superintendent of the farm, gave him a knapsack with clothes and food…and especially the letter to Mr. Richardson. 

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NC Spotlight:

Samantha Bumgarner

"Aunt" Samantha Bumgarner (October 31, 1878 - December 24, 1960) was an acclaimed early country and folk music performer from Dillsboro, North Carolina. She won much praise for her work with the fiddle and banjo. In 1924, accompanied by guitarist Eva Davis, she traveled to New York City and recorded about a dozen songs for Columbia Records.[1] The recordings are also notable for being the first use of a 5-string banjo on a recording. She was a yearly staple at Bascom Lamar Lunsford's Mountain Dance and Folk Festival from 1928 until shortly before her death.

Folksinger Pete Seeger attended Lunsford's festival in 1935 at the age of 16 in the company of his father, composer Charles Seeger, then working for the music division of the WPA, and his stepmother, noted modernist composer Ruth Crawford Seeger, and would have heard Bumgarner perform there. Seeger has credited Bumgarner as his inspiration for wanting learn the five-string banjo. "He learned (he says) to play the banjo after first hearing one played by a mountain girl named Samantha Bumgarten [sic]—came from the Great Smokies" [2]

Bumgarner was also among the artists Lunsford assembled to play before George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England in June 1939 at the invitation of President and Mrs. Roosevelt at a White House concert of American music arranged by Charles Seeger and Adrian Dornbush (of the WPA) for the benefit of the first visit by a reigning British monarch and his consort on American soil. Among the other (racially integrated) performers were American concert artists Marian Anderson, Lawrence Tibbett, and Kate Smith, singing classical and light popular music; and folk performers Lily May Ledford and the Coon Creek Girls; Josh White; the Golden Gate Quartet; Sam Queen and the Soco Gap Square Dance Team, who demonstrated clog dancing; and Alan Lomax, singing cowboy songs. According to Judith Tick, Professor of Music at Northeastern University, "It was a singular moment of glory for the Washington WPA folklorists."[3]

First female Country recording artist[edit]

Bumgarner and her friend, Eva Davis, recorded[1] the same year as another female country singer, Roba Stanley.[4] Stanley, whose recordings were made in July, 1924, is believed by many to have been the first female to record country music, but Bumgarner and Davis' recordings were made three months earlier, in April.[4] The pair recorded both in duet and as singer and accompanist and thus qualify for the distinction of having been the first female country solo recording artists.[4]

Read More at Wikipedia

Watch Samantha Bumgarner on Youtube:

The House in the Horseshoe


In the summer and spring, bright flowers surround this white plantation house whose name comes from its location on a horseshoe bend in the The Deep River. The house (ca. 1770) was first owned by Philip Alston, whose band of Whigs was attacked in 1781 by Tories led by David Fanning. Later, four-term North Carolina governor Benjamin Williams lived in the house, which today features fine antiques of the colonial and Revolutionary War eras. 

Still Bearing the Scars of the American Revolution

As the Deep River wanders through North Carolina's Piedmont plateau and curves in a horseshoe bend, there stands on a hilltop above it one of the first big houses of upland North Carolina frontier country, the House in the Horseshoe. Built around 1772, the house was named "Retreat" by its second owner, Gov. Benjamin Williams. Known as the Alston House, its walls still bear numerous scars and bullet holes from a Revolutionary War skirmish.

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Anson County Historical Society 

 The Craig Building   The Anson County Historical Society is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing educational, cultural, and recreational benefits for the citizens of Anson County and anyone interested in Anson's rich history.  It is dedicated to preserving the artifacts and structures of our past so we can present them in an educational environment for everyone to enjoy.

 Genealogy Because Anson County was established in approximately 1750 and once stretched all the way to the Mississippi River, there is a wealth of historic ancestral information in the county. Genealogy buffs will find easy access to historic records at the local county courthouse, the genealogy room at the county library and at the Anson County Historical Society.

Anson County Historical Society

The history of Anson County is under the watchful care of The Anson County Historical Society. They maintain documentation of the families that pioneered Anson County and the importance of Anson County in the history of this country. The Anson County Historical Society also maintains three museums.

Please contact the Historical Society directly for admission to the museums. At this time, the museums are open by appointment only. 704.694.6694

Boggan-Hammond House

206 E. Wade Street

Wadesboro, NC 28170

Phone: 704-694-6694

Ashe-Covington Medical Museum

East Wade and Washington Street

Wadesboro, NC 28170

Phone: 704-694-6694

Alexander Little Wing

206 E. Wade Street,

Wadesboro, NC 28170

Phone: 704-694-6694

Museum of Early America

101 W. Martin Street

Wadesboro, NC 28170

Phone: 704-694-6694


Photo:  L to R:  Joe Pena (Board Member), Chris Jennings (Chairman TCK Board). Phillip Wright, FACHE- CEO, Kimberly Brown Czaja (Exec Director TCK), Stacy Waldroop (Board Member)

Physicians “Re-Gift” for Community Causes

Physicians on staff at Haywood Regional Medical Center customarily receive a small holiday gift from administration – this year they unanimously opted to “re-gift” the funds to various community charities.  One selected charity is The Community Kitchen of Canton.  The Community Kitchen is a non-profit organization serving all residents in need in Haywood County by serving an evening meal every night at 5pm, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.  In 2014, over 12,500 plates were served. Twice each month, food boxes are distributed to individuals and families in need. Over 1600 food boxes were distributed in 2014 – and the numbers are rising each year. TCK has become a family of people of different ages, races and needs. There are elderly and disabled who live on fixed income, low wage working folks and unemployed people who are seeking jobs. There are individuals, couples and families who eat at TCK to stretch their money.  And there are homeless who depend on TCK for daily food.  The ministry of TCK happens because people care about their fellow human beings and the community has come together to take care of their own. The TCK is primarily funded through private donations, church donations, and two fundraisers per year (a golf tournament and a holiday mail campaign).  You can provide much needed assistance in the following ways:

-       Donate food, paper products or cleaning supplies

-       Create a special day each month to collect food or donations at your church or office

-       Make a commitment for regular financial gifts to TCK

-       Volunteer to cook/serve at TCK

-       Volunteer to keep the food pantry clean and organized

-       Instead of buying Christmas gifts of birthday presents, make a donation in a love one’s honor

-       Encourage someone you know who needs help to come to TCK for their evening meal

The Community Kitchen is also part of the United Way family. They receive support through grants each year – by participating in the United Way Fund Drive – you  support TCK.  Donations may be mailed to: The Community Kitchen, P.O. Box 513, Canton, NC 28716. TCK is located at 98 Pisgah Dr., in Canton. Call 828-648-0014 for more information. Follow the Community Kitchen on Facebook or visit their web site at:

Haywood Regional Medical Center is a 169-bed hospital serving Haywood County and surrounding counties. Through our outpatient facilities, urgent care centers, health & fitness center, hospice facility and multi-specialty physician clinics, Haywood Regional Medical Center ensures the health and wellness of our community.  As a part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, Haywood Regional Medical Center is supported by Duke University Health System’s world-renowned leadership in clinical excellence and quality care and LifePoint Health’s extensive resources, knowledge and experience in operating community hospitals. Visit us at .


Visit Fort Defiance!


Considered to be one of the most unique restorations in the country, Fort Defiance houses more than 300 pieces of original furnishings and historic artifacts. The home, which was lived in continuously by the Lenoir family until 1961, has been fully restored to its late 18th / early 19th century splendor.

This exquisite 1792 home was built by Revolutionary War hero, General William Lenoir and is named for a frontier fort that stood nearby.  

Lenoir began building his home in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina in 1788.  Taking four years to complete, he finished building in 1792.

When William Lenoir began building his home here in 1788, he referred to it as Fort Defiance and so for over 200 years the home has retained the name of the original stockade. He finished building the house in 1792.

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January's News from the Mountains
Dear NC Visitors Center Calendar of Events,  

Hello and Happy New Year! After a downright warm December, we are finally experiencing some colder temperatures here in the Smokies. And before you ask, no, none of us hit it big in the Powerball either. We'll stick to fundraising the old-fashioned way with awesome guided hikes, amazing special events, and donations from generous people like you.

In January's News from the Mountains, we kick off the National Park Service's 100th anniversary with a special hiking challenge, introduce a new way to donate to Friends of the Smokies, and look ahead to our Park Support List for 2016.

We know this year will be a spectacular one for Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the entire National Park Service. We are excited to celebrate with you!

Thank you for being a Friend,
Brent McDaniel
Friends of the Smokies

Visit: for more information

Some of North Carolina’s greatest treasures can be found off the beaten path. You never know what you might find... an old-time general store, local artisan, or simply a picturesque view that takes your breath away. You’ll be swept away by the untouched natural landscape found on the backroads of this rural county.

In Anson County, you can discover all that and more. Come. Visit. Surround yourself with the beauty of North Carolina’s best kept secret.


Please support our Wounded Warriors

Hands Together is a nonprofit organization devoted to educating, inspiring and encouraging people to understand the importance of responding to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. Our Mission, as we strive to build a more compassionate and human world, proceeds from the spiritual belief that we are all members of one, equal, interconnected family under a loving God.



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