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When Pines were King

 

 

 

When pines were king for the Scottish settlers of the Cape Fear Valley region of North Carolina, about 1776, they made a lot of people besides the Scots rich in many ways. The pines were used for ship building, for tar, turpentine, and buildings. They were here as far as travelers went. The only problem was that they had to be moved. This was a job in itself. Waterways were all there were, so the Scots took their lessons from the Indians. They boxed the trees for sap to make pitch, tar, turpentine, and moved it in barrels by water to Norfolk, VA., south to Savannah, GA. and any other seaport town they could get it to.

The products were used all up and down the coat in large quantities. This is why the N. C. people are called "Tar Heels."  These Scots of N. C., the Irish, and the Negro slaves of big plantations began to grow and prosper. Some writers think it started as far back as 1710 or 1720. Early records of N. C. show there was nothing to make a dollar off of except the pines. There was no industry except that, but if a family would endure the hardships, they would plant as they cleared the land of pines, plus get 8 shillings per barrel for raw turpentine. By 1740, it was the major income of the Scots and everyone else. The bigger the family, the more income they made. As they made enough to buy a slave, they did so at the old slave market in Fayetteville, N. C. on the river. This is where the boats came in from Wilmington, N. C., Charleston, S. c., Norfolk, VA and all that could  get trade there for other ports. Small boats and log rafts were used on smaller rivers and streams to move their products to larger rivers, then on bigger rafts made at the trading places. Then came the plank road from upper to lower Cape Fear Valley, which was a toll road for wagons. In wet and muddy places this helped a lot. wagons would carry heavier loads. In dry weather they used the Yadkin Trail that was the old Indian trail from the foothills of the mountains to the coast of N. C.

By about 1760 to 1780, large plantations had sprung up all along the coast and river bottoms from the large grants of land from the Crown. If they had a grant, that covered whatever they could look after.  Boundaries were set, but didn't abount to much until later years. They just kept getting bigger as land was cleared and farming got bigger. The Revolution in the North and all the fighting with the Indians and British in the North only helped the Carolinas at that time in history, in my way of looking at it now. It is said, and history has the records, that the first millionaire in the colonies was Gordon from Aberdeen, Scotland, along with the Williams. With the Mohawk Indians in the North, history says "He took his staff and traveled into the forest and made treaties with the Mohawk Indians while preaching to them of Christian religion.."

In 1754, the Justices got together to hold their first court and designate some certain place to build a courthouse, a prison, and stocks near the center of the county.  The fist courthouse was built on the Cape Fear River at the mouth of Little River in a small place called Choeffington, about two miles from Linden, near Dawson's Landing.  The Scottish people had heavy settlements in this area and during the early settlements of these counties, many of these Scots moved up into Moore County, just north of Fayetteville to higher grounds.

Another piece of interest to the people; the Fayetteville post office is one of the first and oldest established in America, and Fayetteville was on the old original main Post Road from Maine into Georgia in 1798.  The old original Stage Coach House and Post office is still standing and is located in Stedman, only eleven miles from Fayetteville.  Governor Benjamin Williams granted this land to John McMillen in 1799.  Governor Williams once owned the house in the horseshoe and was laid to rest there.

"Fair Oak", the home of E. J. Lily of mercantile fame was built in 1650, and is full of history, especially of the Civil War. Dr. and Mrs. Albert Stewart, Jr., live there. She is quite active in the restoration and preservation of this great city and is responsible for saving the Horne House which houses the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce.

Fayetteville is a beautiful city, gorgeous homes, beautiful yards and claims to have the first hill in the sandhills, located in the business district. From there to the sea, it is all flat country.

Fayetteville is a beautiful and historical city. Just a short while there will prove that it is not all Fort Bragg and Cross Creek Mall.  Cross Creek was thee a long time before the Fort or the mall, along with many of the oldest Scottish Clans in this country.