At the southwest corner of Central School, now known as “East Side Homes,” is a marble stone that predates the 1926 construction of Asheboro’s oldest existing African American school. It reminds passersby about the first African American school in the Piedmont town.
Author: Mac Whatley
A native of Asheboro, NC., Mac Whatley graduated from Harvard University, with a major in Fine Arts and a specialization in architectural history. He has worked for the Virginia Research Center for Archaeology in Williamsburg and the Historic Preservation Section of the NC Dept. of Cultural Resources as an architectural survey specialist. He has published The Architectural History of Randolph County, NC; Randolph County: A Pictorial History; and Notes on the History of Randolph County, N.C. (ongoing Wordpress blog). Whatley also has an MA in Library Science from UNC-Chapel Hill and a JD degree from NC-Central University in Durham and serves as a Trustee of the N.C. Humanities Council, the Adjunct Curator of Machinery and the American Textile History Museum.
Howell Gilliam Trogdon, born in Randolph County in 1840, was the first North Carolinian to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. There is no better illustration of the ever-divided loyalties of Randolph County than one of its native sons, born in the last state to join the Confederacy, who received the highest award for valor in action that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Army of the United States of America.
Offering a different interpretation than presented by B.J. Lossing in his groundbreaking Pictorial Field Book of Revolution, Randolph County historian Mac Whatley argues that historians should do further research and regarding the Regulator Rebellion and the story of David Fanning and Bay Doe.
Coleridge was the home of the Enterprise Manufacturing Company, the southern most cotton mill built on Deep River. Its construction in 1882 was the final link in the chain of Randolph County’s water-powered textile industries that had begun to be forged in 1836.
Though the American army under Baron DeKalb camped for weeks at Buffalo Ford in the summer of 1780 on its way to Camden, and Lord Cornwallis in 1781 spent several days after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse at Bell’s Mill on Deep River, by and large the official history of the Revolutionary War bypassed Randolph County. But far more active and far more destructive was the guerrilla war which took place in the county between neighbors of opposite political persuasions.
The only fulling mill to exist in Randolph County may have been located in the present-day town of Randleman.
After the Battle of Alamance, royal Governor Tryon and his army marched through the Piedmont and distributed what they considered justice to the rebellious in the backcountry. In Randolph County, they burned the house of Herman Husband and others. The end of May 1771 was a soggy time in Randolph County and the creeks and rivers flooded. How did Tryon and his army cross those flooded waterways?
In 1901 the Virginia Iron and Bridge Company of Roanoke received a contract to build a three-span iron bridge across the river in Franklinville at Island Ford. The bridge was more than 350 feet long, and spanned the Deep River in five sections.