Our first trip to North Carolina to visit our son and daughter-in-law was delayed several times due to circumstances beyond our control. Early last year, we determined 2015 would be the year we first visited one of the states that originally was one of the thirteen original British colonies. After visiting with my son about the summer heat in the region, we decided upon an autumn visit. If we were lucky, we would time it right to see lots of fall colors.
My son’s address is Pittsboro, NC, though he lives in a rural neighborhood a few miles from the town itself. Walking through Pittsboro it is easy to imagine life in an earlier time. It could be the 1960s and Andy Taylor could be the sheriff here, as he was in the fictional Mayberry, North Carolina. I think, though, at almost 4,000 residents, Pittsboro is a bit larger than I imagine Mayberry to be on the 1960s sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show. Another nearby community, however, has the best connection to the Andy Griffith Show. More on that in a future blog post here.
Pittsboro has been around for a long time, first mentioned as Chatham Court House in correspondence from shortly after the revolution in the late 1770s. In 1785, Pittsborough was established. The photo above is of the Chatham County Courthouse, the town’s centerpiece and the county seat.
Pittsboro is an artist’s community. On our walk down main street, we stopped by several stores that feature antiques and artistic items. Each of these artist/antique stores attract customers by their striking sidewalk displays beckoning the visitor to stop in and browse. In fact, I was surprised to learn that Pittsboro even has its own local currency, the Plenty. Social media can be very helpful at times. Within a few hours of publishing this article, I deleted a couple of sentences referring to an article I’d used as research regarding the Plenty. According to @chathamcountynews and @pittsboronc, the experiment in local currency, called the Plenty, was a huge failure leaving some merchants with nothing but worthless paper.
Lunch today found us at the S & T Soda Shoppe. It took no imagination on my part to picture Andy and Barney grabbing a quick lunch, maybe even bringing back a takeout bag for Otis or one of the other residents of the local lockup. Lunch, in fact, was excellent, but I will leave the restaurant review to my son who shares his take on the country’s best food and drink on his blog at http://potandpanhandler.com/ Suffice it to say that we didn’t leave hungry and the owners are warm and friendly North Carolinans.
Pittsboro has another tie to American television. Roy Underhill hosts the PBS how-to program, The Woodwright’s Shop. For over 35 years, Roy has shown viewers across the country how to work with manual woodworking tools. No plastic handles or power tools allowed.
Pittsboro is home to The Woodwright’s School where you can learn woodworking with tools of an earlier time. There are several teachers offering classes at the school, but if you’re lucky, you might just get to participate in a class taught by the master, Roy Underhill himself. More details on the school can be found here.
If you look at the gallery of images here, you won’t see many autumn colors except in the displays at the antiques shops. When we got to North Carolina, we arrived before the peak colors, but as we stayed for over a week, the colors improved. I will share some fall colors pics in a future gallery. In the meantime, I submit a small gallery of images taken at Pittsboro, North Carolina.