SEVENTY-FIRST ITEMS - 1899 (Pender County)
Fayetteville Observer, Wednesday February 08, 1899
Posted February 14, 2010 by Myrtle Bridges
A long time we have thought of something to have sent you, but Duty that stern daughter of the gods, has been
holding us closely by the hand and leading day by day to Stoney Brook Female Institute, where there are at
present forty-two boys and girls who appear to be literally hungering for knowledge-so it will be readily seen
that necessary duties have filled each day, to the exclusion of some duties which have come to be pleasures.
Perhaps you would like to know something of the school, to which has been given the rather high sounding title
of Stoney Brook Female Institute. It is situated in the eastern part of Pender County, twelve miles from the
coast, in one of the best neighborhoods of the county. The people are cultured, refined and hospitable. Near
here is Holly Shelter Pocasin, a bay thirty miles long and ten miles wide. In sight of the bridge which spans
Ashe's creek are a few posts, decayed and covered with the moss of years-"a green old age"-which are the only
remains of a mill which was built by Lord Rutherford, the original owner of Stoney Brook plantation, from which
is now owned by Mr. R. T. Williams, a prominent citizen here, whose eight lovely daughters make his home an
exceedingly charming and delightful one.
There are, too, some traces of the Revolution. On the roadside along which our feet tread day by day, are yet
to be seen mounds which were once breastworks, and about six miles away is the site of Lillington Hall, of
Revolutionary fame. One regrets that the Hall was destroyed by fire some five years ago: we should have liked
to see the secret panel, with it covering of Japanese moulding, behind which Gen. Lillington kept himself in
hiding long ago. We may write again of this place and tell you of the old cemetery, where rest the ashes of
the earliest English settlers of this section.
Near here, also, is the famous Bear Garden plantation, comprising ten thousand acres, now owned by Col. Franz
Mayer of New York, who recently purchased it for the sum of $65,000. Its game preserves are well stocked with
deer, bears, wild-cats and smaller game and heretofore have been the mecca of numerous hunting parties, but the
present owner has his land "posted", with strict injunctions to his agent to keep it so.
There are a church going people, so on Sunday we attend services at Mr. Williams church, which was originally
a branch of Hopewell church. Mr. Williams was built in 1830, the first structure being a small building of logs,
built and donated to the Presbyterian organization by Mr. Harry Williams, father of the gentleman of whom mention
has been already made. This church as well as Hopewell, Rockfish, Pike and several others in the county were served
for many years by Rev. D.B. Black, who received a part of his education at Donaldson Academy years ago and whose
second son is a beloved minister in our Presbytery of Fayetteville. Mr. Black was greatly loved by the people whom
he served so long and faithfully and is held in most affectionate remembrance by them. In almost every home one
finds his pictured face, calm, hopeful, tender and benignant; and to declare relationship to him is to obtain open
sesame to the hearts of the homes and cordial handclasps. These churches are now supplied by Rev. John Stanly Thomas,
a brother of our recently elected congressman.
Most of the people here are engaged in trucking, and strawberries are their staple crop. Perhaps when monkeys shall
have become generally disseminated throughout the South as cotton picker, they may be employed to gather this delicious
fruit if they be kept from tasting it. Success to the monkeys! SCOTCH LASSIE
A woman's letter is never complete without a postscript, so we add this to say that the farmers here sometimes raise
larger truck than strawberries. This year Mr. C.P. Moore killed a hog which weighed 420 pounds; Mr. David Armstrong one
weighing 430 pounds; Mr. R.T. Williams one which weighed 350 pounds and Mr. John Bannerman one which tipped the scale
at 310. S.L.
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