Tour NC With Me - Robbins

As a way of contributing to Bluenc, I am going to do a Sunday "insert" and take a look at the towns that make up this wonderful state. The first offering will be about Robbins, NC.


Robbins is probably best known for being the hometown of John Edwards, the senator who ran as VP on the 2004 Kerry/Edwards Democratic ticket. (A smart fellow who knew how to get back into the "hearts & halos" mode with SD.) Edwards kicked off his bid for President in front of a closed mill that his father worked in. The other hometown son was Astronaut, Charles Brady.

This “small town, USA” has a fascinating history, generally forgotten by its inhabitants. It was originally established as Cagels Goldmine Community in the 1700’s. Named after Leonard “Lionheart” Cagle who emigrated from Philadelphia. Then, Alexander Kennedy, a gunsmith also fled Philadelphia and established a gun factory in 1795 on the falls of Bear Creek and supplied Washington’s Continental Forces with firearms. It was then renamed Mechanics Hill, and then changed to Mechanicsville.

When the gun factory closed in 1838, the townspeople cleared the land for agri use and gold was discovered and the town experienced a minor gold rush. In the early 1900’s, John F. Lenning and Associates brought the Durham and Charlotte railroad line through and designed the streets for the town. The new unofficial name of the town became “Elise” after Mr. Lenning’s daughter. When the Post Master, George Horner tried to register this name, the federal authorities rejected it. Instead, he registered the name as Horner’s Hemp; the name was shortened and then begrudgingly accepted in 1915 as Hemp.

During the 1920’s, the town experienced industrial growth and was supplied power in 1923. The next year, Moore Mills Textile plant, the first textile mill was established. Karl Robbins purchased this mill in 1930 and renamed it Robbins Silk Mill. Throughout the depression, the town was booming because of the mill.

Karl Robbins was committed to developing and improving the community and donated money to the local schools and churches. He built parks and playgrounds and funded the first water and waste water system. In 1943, the citizens of the town changed the name to Robbins in honor of their benefactor.

Robbins, like many towns in the south, has become a run-down mill town.
Down Town Robbins
The buildings along Main Street are mainly lawyer’s offices, a dress shop and too many vacant storefronts. Often, an entrepreneur will try to open a shop, only to close within a year due to lack of patronage. Most of the local residents do their shopping in big box types stores, where they can stretch their too thin budget on goods from Communist China.

Robbinites are survivors though and have applied and won a spot in the NC Step Program, (NC Small Town Economic Prosperity). A call has gone out to all citizens of Robbins and Moore County to “think outside the box”. Planning meetings are being held to revitalize this dieing town.

To date, they have established a “dark park” outside of town because there is very little light pollution. Annually, MASP (Mid Atlantic Star Party) holds a week long party of stargazing, swap meets and celebration at the Occoneechee Council Boy Scout camp. The town is now trying to pass a light pollution law to preserve this classification.

Another company that has shown interest is American Growlers, Inc., a privately held manufacturer of military vehicles used by the US Marine Corps. American Growlers announced that they will relocate from their current site in Ocala, Florida.

Robbins is also in the running for a “biomass” fuels plant. A new kind of power plant that generates electricity from manure. Although the chicken plant closed a few years back, there are still many chicken house farms surrounding the area that would be able to sell their “sweepings” instead of their current habit of piling it in mounds on their property.

This past weekend, August 3rd, 4th and 5th, was the 51st Annual Farmers Day Celebration, Robbins’ one shining moment in the sun. The planners of this event, the Robbins fire department members, tried to have something for everyone.

The main street through Robbins was closed and everything from arts and craft booths to food booths were set up.
carnival food #2
The sites and smells were reminiscent of old time fairs. In every large open space, carnival rides, pony rides, rock climbing walls, and petting zoos were assembled. Three stages were spread out through the town for live music ranging from gospel to country to southern rock. They even had a novelty group, The Bahama Mamas steel drum band.

In the early years, everyone came to town on Thursday night, and set up their “camp” site. This could be anything from a tent to a bail of hay and a blanket. Kids ran free, as long as they were back at camp by dinnertime. Even though some continue to camp in town; sadly, the majority bring their horses and mules in trailers on the day of the parade. It was a common sight in years past, to see horse drawn carts and carriages mixed in with car traffic on the roads leading to Robbins.
Farmers Day 2006 005

It was part of the allure, akin to a circus coming to town.

What had started in 1955 as a bunch of farmers, gathering in town for a celebration culminating in a parade to show off their horses, mules and tractors, has grown into a major annual event.

ridding to town



I'll fix your links for you. You're wonderful. I was about to email you the pictures resized and I see you don't need them. :)

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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Recommended to front page

Links fixed. It's beautiful. I'll have my piece up later today about sites around the First CD. I just wish I could experience them first-hand the way you did Robbins.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thank you SD,

What had I done wrong? Ohhhh, I'm sorry about the pics, i knew i forgot something! Lance steered me toward Flickr and it has an easy re-sizing option on it, so i just used that. Thank you so much for your help.

Wonderful description

of the heartland. I hope people in Robbins get to see it!

Recommended, too!

Not a problem at all

I have been swamped with getting the girls ready for the beach (they went with their Gramma) and my dear hubby decided with them gone that now would be an eeeeeexcellent time to get things done around the house. I didn't get to them until late. On the links instead of href you had hrep. Otherwise, beautifully done.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thanks everyone,

As much as possible, I will post from an "eye witness" view point. I hope to bring as much to this site as I have been able to take away. Thank you everyone for bearing with me during my learning process!

ARGGGG, need help, again

I'm trying to cross post this at dailykos, keep getting this error message: Your HTML has the following error: Attribute TITLE for Tag A is not allowed...WTF?

This is about your link tags

In tag-land, "A" stands for "anchor" and "href" stands for "hypertext reference," and the two together make a link. There are other features, or attributes, that you can add, but it sounds like dKos wants you to keep it simple. So look where your links are, and you'll see something like this:

<a href="" title="Click here to go to">the link text</a>

dKos would prefer that you leave out the "title" attribute. That won't cause any problems with your links, so just change them so they say something like:

<a href="">the link text</a>

It's the Flickr links

They contain

title="Photo Sharing"

Just cut that out and you should be fine. This is a case of Flickr trying to be more helpful than the law will allow. (What I don't understand here is why dKos doesn't just strip out the title attribute rather than kicking back a frustrating and road-blocking error.)

Posted at DailyKos, without Pics

I tried to erase the parts that were "illegal" but no pic showed, so I just erased all the pics and noted that they could come here to see the pics...

BTW, I'd like to thank my son-in-law, Michael Holliday for the beautiful pictures he took. I took a few too, but his were much better!


I drive through Robbins every time I go to visit my son. I knew about it being the home town of Edwards and Brady, but I didn't know the rest of the story. I will never think of it the same. Thank you so much. Can I make a list of the other towns I want to know about? You did a beautiful job.


Lovex7, input is appreciated

I'm trying to do some on areas in the 1st CD to go with our Citizen Journalist project. SD sent me a link to the NC Tourism site and I've been looking at upcoming "Events and Festivities".

Any and all suggestions are encouraged and appreciated!

And thanks

go momo!

awesome job sweetie! impressive!

Great Job! MOMO! Inspriring!

You give me hope! Citizen Jounalist - theres hope for me yet - here I come. Can't say it enough, Great job, loved reading it, makes me look forward to your next Tour!