A May 2006 trip
to Albemarle by vampirefan
Quote: This charming town is far more than just home to Kellie Pickler, of American Idol fame. Join me on a look at this incredible town.
Attraction | "The Snuggs House"
This attractive, historic home was originally built as a log cabin in 1852. Isaiah "Buck" Snuggs purchased the home, and did extensive remodeling in 1873. The home is the third oldest home in the county and was originally where the Stanley County Museum called home.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 23, 2006
Stanley County Museum
245 E. Main St.
Albemarle, North Carolina 28001
Attraction | "The Freeman-Marks Home"
The Federal-style cottage is the oldest public building in the county, and is part of the first settlement in the area. While the home seems shockingly small by today’s standards, it was considered an ideal home for an up and coming family of the time and was owned by two well off families.
Hours and admission: Tuesday-Friday 10-4:30, Saturday 10-3:30. Admission is free but donations are accepted.
Attraction | "The Stanley County Museum"
Open since 1996, the Stanley County Museum offers visitors a lesson in the history of the county that dates back to more than 10,000 years ago when Native-Americans first arrived. The museum is run by the Stanley County Historic Preservation Commission.
The museum, while small, is still very interesting and shows the history of the area. When you first walk in you will see a large display case showing an general look at Albemarle and Stanley county. There are presentations of photographs, books, journals, advertising memorabilia, and everyday items representing several eras.
When you walk on around the first display area honors those who served in the war. Artifacts, from the Civil War to WW2, are lovingly present. You will find uniforms, weapons, photographs, medals, and other items that once belonged to local citizens who fought in these wars. There is a huge battle drum from a Civil War soldier.
Across from it is a exhibits of the first people to come to Stanley Country-the Native Americans. Visitors can enjoy an remarkable display of arrowheads and pottery that were discovered at a Native American ceremony village that is located about 20 miles away in Mt. Gilead. Most Native-Americans here are from the Pee Dee or Lumbe tribe. Most Cherokee reside in the mountains, but a small number here can lay claim to the tribe, like my husband! There is also an area which tells of the often overlooked fact that Stanley country had a huge number of slaves. At one time 1 in 4 families owned slaves. Albemarle and the surrounding area had so many slaves that it was often referred to as the "black-belt." There are a number of pictures, and other reminders of this horrific injustice in our history. There are also vintages of the local schools, and the growing industrial and transportation industry that once thrived in the county.
For those interested in researching the local area, there is the Morrow Conference and Research Room which can be accessed during museum hours. There is also a gift shop on the premises with a number of fascinating books on the regions history. There are restrooms and the museum is handicapped accessible.
Both the Snuggs House and the Freeman-Marks house are part of the Stanley County Museum. The best way I found to access information is to go to www.stanleycountyonline.com and click on the museum. You can plan on about 90 minutes to tour both house and the museum.
Hours and admission: Tuesday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-4. Admission is free but donations are greatly appreciated.
Attraction | "Rock Creek Park"
One of the largest and prettiest parks around is Rock Creek Park, located just off of Business Highway 52.
This lovely wooded 100-acre park offers a variety of options for visitors. You can swim, play sports, hike, play in the playground, or just kick back with a lovely picnic or bring the burgers and coal and cook up a feast for a few friends.
For walkers and joggers, this is a small slice of heaven. You can simply walk through the beautiful park and along the creek, or take off and enjoy the several trails within the park. Right near the swimming pool there is a short trail that leads through the woods, and a walking trail on past the recreation department offices. Scattered throughout the park, there are a number of small bridges that cross over the creek. This gives a very photogenic quality to the park.
There are lighted tennis courts, a softball/baseball field, climbing walls and an obstacle course to help keep you fit and trim. There is also a swimming pool during the summer months, which offers a changing room and restrooms.
There are 25 picnic benches dotted along the creeks path. Many have grills that the public may use. They are on a first come, first serve basis. There are several large tables for groups. There is also a playground for children well placed, so as to blend it with the surroundings. There is also a very picturesque church on the grounds.
During the summer months the parks and recreation departments hold a large number of things to do for the whole family. There are softball and baseball leagues, teen sports challenges, craft classes, nature classes, as well as trips to nearby attractions such as the famous Biltmore Estates.
This is truly a wonderful place to bring your kids and let them burn up all that excess energy. It is also the perfect place for walking and make sure to bring your pooch-pets are permitted on a leash. This is also another favorite place of mine and Jazzy’s to exercise and enjoy nature.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 24, 2006
Rock Creek Park, Nature Center/Planetarium
5200 Glover Road NW
Washington, DC 20015
Just a scant 10 minutes from Albemarle, you can find yourselves transported to another place and another time. Welcome to Morrow Mountain. Come and enjoy this spectacular state park where you can experience life pretty much as the natives once found it.
The mountain ranges here is amongst the oldest mountain ranges in the eastern part of the country. The forces that drove these mountains began almost a million years ago and after years of erosion have reduced the Uwharrie range to less than 1,000 feet. During the 1930s the state began development on the park and by 1937 had over 3,000 acres of land. In 1939 the park was finally opened to the public as a NC state park. Over the years development was added and by the 1960s the land grew to encompass more than 4,742 acres.
Today’s modern visors can find a variety of options here in the park. There are more than 15 miles of well marked trails throughout the area. You can hike the easy .6-mile Laurel trail to the 9.3-mile Long Loop. There are also three bridle trails. During the summer months, park rangers conduct a number of nature classes for all ages. Pets are permitted on a leash.
Fishing is permitted in Lake Tillery with a permit. From June through Labor Day you can beat the summer heat with a dip in the lake. There are changing rooms and showers available in the bathhouse as well as a place to grab a snack or cold drink. There are several boating ramps. Or if you don’t have your own, rowboats and canoes may be rented at the boathouse. There is also a swimming pool within the park.
Make sure to take the time to stop and see the Kron House located at the foot of Fall Mountain. Dr. Kron was a prominent local physician, horticulturist, and educator. His family home, his office, and greenhouse (which were reconstructed in the 1960s) are a great place to wander or to enjoy a picnic. The buildings are not open except on special occasions.
There are two picnic areas within the park. There are both picnic tables and near the pool a large 10-table picnic shelter which can be rented out for private use. If not rented then the shelter is on a first come first serve basis. You can find 106 campsites for both tents and RVs within the park. Restroom and showers are provided as well as dump stations for RVs, but hook ups are not. They are also first come, first serve and a modest fee is charged. For the not so adventurous there are six rustic, yet comfortable vacation cabins for rent. During the summer they rent by the week and in the spring and fall they also have weekend rentals.
This truly is a magnificent place to visit. It has become a favorite place for Jazzy and I to go for our walks. Make sure to take the drive on up to the scenic overlook. From here you can a breathtaking view of the mountains and valley below. There are also picnic areas and restrooms here. There are so many beautiful things to see here so make sure you bring your camera. For more information as well as park hours, directions, information on classes and camping please go to www.ncparks.net and click on Morrow Mountain Also given the long history here, this place is bound to attract a few spirits who seem to like this place as much as the living. One of our senators is also a well regarded historian, folklorist, and author. Daniel Barefoot has a collection of ghost stories that gives spine tingling tales from each of our 100 counties. The one from Stanley county deals with an odd occurrence at Morrow Mountain. Make sure to check out NC Haunted Hundred to see exactly what happened here!
One of the loveliest city parks in the area can be found at the City Lake Park. This 90 acre park is built around the 112 acre City Lake.
The lake once was a reservoir and served as the counties drinking water supply. In 2000 the city began plans to have the lake turned into a city park. The lake was drained and cleaned up. It was then filled and stocked with fish. In 2003 the park was open to the public as part of the parks and recreation department.
Upon pulling into the park’s drive, you take a ¼-mile drive along a beautiful tree lined drive. There is plenty of open space between the roads for walkers and runners who do not wish to go into the park. There is parking when you first arrive for those only wishing to walk the driveway.
Once you come into the park there is another large parking lot surrounded by a magnificent collection of trees and flowers. There is a playground for the children and a covered picnic area next to it. The shelter can be rented for special occasions. There are also several other picnic tables near the lake.
Fishing is permitted on the lake and permits are not required. There is s public boat launch on the lake as well. The lake areas is a beautiful place to just sit and relax, kick back and read, or do like many local artists and bring your sketch pad and pencils. There are also a number of ducks running around so bring some bread for an even better time.
At the end of the paved walking path you will find an entrance into the woods that leads to the rest of the lake and the hiking trail. There are a number of well marked trails leading around the edge of the lake offering stunning views of the water and the wildlife. If you follow the path on around you will find the falls area which leads to Long Creek. There is a path that will take you out to the bottom of the falls and from there will lead you down the pathway of the creek. This heavily wooded area offers a variety of trees, plants, and wildflowers that are worth taking the time to stop and enjoy. There are several interesting things along the way including what looks like an old retaining wall that is broke now allowing the water to wander on its path. There is also the remains of a 1920s water waste management building that is currently being restored and will one day be open to the public for touring and for rental for parties and weddings.
If you find your self here while it is raining your in for a treat. Last time Jaz and I were here it was pouring rain and we had the park to our self. The canopy of trees along the hiking path keep you dry, and the sounds of the rain hitting the trees were peaceful to say the least. This is also a favorite walking spot for Jaz and I. As you can guess, pets are permitted on a leash.
Future plans for this already wonderful park include more hiking trails, additional picnic shelters, and an outdoor amphitheater. The park opens at 8am and closes an hour before sunset. It is located directly off of Hwy. 73. For more information you can go to www.stanleycountyonline.com and click on parks and recreation.
Charlotte, North Carolina