Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Evergreen Academy. Randolph County, NC

One of the joys of blogging is finding out about history and places that I had no idea existed within a couple hours radius of my house. Some I find out by reading other peoples' blogs and some just through serendipitous searching on the Internet. The most recent example of that search was the Antonin Raymond-designed picnic shelter at the Mayo River State Park.

This is a place I found by reading a blog post by Dan Routh who is a commercial photographer here in Greensboro. He lives just south of the city in Gray's Chapel and his family's antecedents in Randolph County goes back generations.

He posted about Evergreen Academy and I was so intrigued that I took a short trip down to see it and take some pictures, too. Here is Evergreen Academy as it looks today almost 150 years after it was originally built:

Not much to look at, you say. So what was the point of driving down there? 

Well, here is some history behind this little schoolhouse, courtesy of the Internet:
"With a large Quaker population, antebellum Randolph County did not have many slaves, and the pro-Union stance of the county in 1861 led Confederate authorities to view the region with suspicion. Increasing desertions from that army led to torture of wives and mothers by Confederates to extract information.
"With the passage of conscription in 1862, Quakers were allowed to pay a $500 exemption fee, but Thomas Hinshaw and other friends refused to pay this fine. They were inducted at bayonet point, harassed and punished for refusing to bear arms. Captured by Union forces after Gettysburg, they were released by Presidential order and journeyed to Indiana. At home, Mary Hinshaw lost a baby to starvation, but joined her husband north of the Ohio River after an arduous 600 mile trek through the mountains with her small children. Upon their return to North Carolina at the war's end, the Hinshaws became involved in rebuilding their community and in the founding of Evergreen Academy, which contributed to the education of the children of the area for many years."
And now you know why I had to drive down and take a snapshot. 


rachel said...

That little wooden building just oozes history - thank you for explaining it to us!

Anyes said...

I really love how much I am learning with you... whether be it about lbj's or historical building or even quilt barns. Thank you for feeding my neurons ;-)

Karen said...

Rachel: It doesn't go back as far as yours there in Newcastle, but it is interesting and uniquely American.

Anyes: My interests are quite all over the place, aren't they? I'm glad you're enjoying it.