It seems like I’ve been on a lost journey since my last post about travels to the Northeast United States. So here is a little taste of traveling northward through North Carolina.  I like to see some of the small towns and a little taste of life there.

Do you travel sometimes and something catches your eye?


I stopped along the highway in North Carolina and just pondered about this location.  Notice the faded, antiquated sign.  I wonder what was previously here and how this place once flourished.  Now, silently – the frame remains and the stories of long ago are withheld in the locked walls waiting for someone to unlock the past.

As we continued our trek, meandering along the main back road highways, I’m looking. What is next?  While easing through the little town of  Fuquay-Varina I see the small shops and the signs of a peaceful life.  north-carolina-fuquay-varina-street

There are little shops, local bakery, restaurants and coffee houses mixed among the businesses.

I wondered about the history of this place.  So, I had to do a little research.  The website provides some insight.  It states Fuquay-Varina, first known as “Piney Woods,” acquired her unusual names from the fates of history. Among the early land grant families were the Burts, Joneses and Rowlands, but it was a French veteran of the Revolutionary War named William Fuquay who moved his family to the exact site, purchasing 1000 acres of Jones Land in 1805.

Now I realize those of you in Europe and around the globe think our areas don’t compare to the rich history you have; however young we are in the U.S. I think it’s still a long time ago, relatively speaking.

While plowing a field, circa 1858, William’s son Stephen or grandson David Crockett uncovered a mineral spring. “Taking the waters” became an attraction for people with all types of physical ailments, leading to the annual celebrations at the spring on Easter Monday and the Fourth of July. Conveniently, the early timber rail provided a ready means of transportation while hotels, catering to long term visitors, surrounded the spring.


During the “War for Southern Independence,” a young soldier named Ballentine, born just south of the spring, received morale-boosting letters signed with the pen name “Varina.” He later looked up the Fayetteville lady, married her and brought her to live at his homeplace. Continuing to call her Varina, he named his post office and mercantile establishment across from the mineral spring for her. When two timber rail lines crossed nearby, “Varina Station” was born.


In the early 1900’s tobacco farmers, fleeing the Granville wilt devastating their crops, began migrating into Southern Wake County. Their “golden weed” fostered a large commercial tobacco market. Railroads flourished and traffic flowed along Main Street in Fuquay Springs and around the Broad Street station, now known simply as Varina.


Fuquay Springs, incorporated in 1909, joined the neighboring community of Varina in 1963 as 1 municipality. Since that time, Fuquay-Varina has become one of the fastest growing small towns in North Carolina. The town with the hyphenated name and 2 historic districts has been able to successfully retain its small town charm while successfully adding modern amenities and rewarding business opportunities that have attracted residents from all over the United States.


I enjoy the mixture of brick, history and the application of modern business.

The railroad is still an active part of the community and whistles to the silent past, inviting it to come forward.


6 thoughts on “Travels through North Carolina

  1. Read this with a lot of interest, and the photos give a good feel of the place. I love the relatively recent history of the USA, full of details and so much closer to us – more relevant? I know history purists will be horrified! – than … ancient Romans!

    1. Thanks Bea. We’re just babes so to speak on the world stage compared to the ancient ones. We still have roots though that take us back to a place of origin. 🙂

    1. Interesting. I suppose we take it for granted most of the time. If we have a couple of gloomy days without the blue skies then it seems to impact our moods even. I am thankful for the sun and blue skies, and of course the rain too. Thanks.

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