Another Saturday and another day trip. This time we decided to travel on the newest North Carolina Scenic Byway, the Yadkin Valley Scenic Byway which would take us through the area that was designated an American Viticultural Area in 2003 - the first designation of its kind for the state.
I wasn't planning on stopping at any of the vineyards on Saturday; I was just out for a drive and some good snapshots.
But, as with last Saturday, we found some interesting NC historic sites with stories of people and events I had never heard of before (the fact that I went to school in Ohio and learned Ohio state history might have had something to do with that lack of knowledge).
This is Richmond Hill, the home of Richmond Pearson who was elected to the state supreme court in 1847 and later became the chief justice of the state supreme court. He established a private law school here at this site in 1848 which remained open until his death in 1878. Over the years, he taught more than a thousand students, some of whom went on to the state supreme court, three who became governors of North Carolina and three others who became United States Representatives.
The house is only open on the third Sunday of the month from April until October, so unless we can go in October we won't be able to tour it until next spring. From the pictures on the outdoor plaque, the house was a total ruin when it was bought by the Historic Richmond Hill Law School Commission. Little remained intact - the roof had caved in, the plaster had fallen off the lathes and the windows were all broken. It took the commission close to 30 years to buy and then completely restore the house. It now is the centerpiece of a 30 acre park and nature center.
And yet, despite all this history, beautiful setting, picnic shelters, walking trails, etc., we were the only people in the park.