Tour NC With Me – Biscoe


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Biscoe has recently been in the national spotlight due to native son, Larry Kissell, running in the NC 8th against Republican incumbent, Robin Hayes. Biscoe, NC, is definitely Kissell Country!

It’s a small town in Montgomery County, incorporated in 1901. Filo was the towns original name, but I could find neither record nor person that could tell me why Filo.

Located just to the west of 220 and with highways 24 and 27 running through the middle, most people have been “through” Biscoe, rarely stopping to explore. The southern tip of the county is part of the Sandhills where the old peach orchards and longleaf pines grew. Going north, the environs change, more loblolly, white pines and red clay. Off the main roads through town are antebellum and brick homes with well-kept lawns and tree lined streets. The downtown is changing too, businesses are closing because the mills have closed and taken the jobs over seas.


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In the late 1800’s, the Page family brought the Aberdeen and Asheboro Rail Road through Filo because of its prolific lumbering operations. Major Henry Biscoe of Philadelphia was a commission merchant and purchased much of the lumber, the people of the town changed the name in 1895 to Biscoe to honor him.

In 1907, the first state sponsored school was the Biscoe Graded School and High School, which in the beginning only offered classes to the 10th grade. In 1961, the school was consolidated into East Montgomery High School. Larry Kissell graduated from East Montgomery and taught there before entering the race for the NC 8th seat.

During the Depression, the Federal Writer’s Project, an arm of the Works Projects Administration (WPA), hired people to write travelogues for the American Guide Series.

Established in July 27 1935, the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) operated under journalist and theatrical producer Henry Alsberg, and later John D. Newsome, compiling local histories, oral histories, ethnographies, children's books and other works. The most well-known of these publications were the 48 state guides to America (plus Alaska Territory, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.) known as the American Guide Series. The American Guide Series books were compiled by the FWP, but printed by the individual states, and contained detailed histories of each state with descriptions of every city and town. The format was uniform, comprising essays on the state's history and culture, descriptions of its major cities, automobile tours of important attractions, and a portfolio of photographs.

In the portion about North Carolina, A Guide to the Old North State, written in 1939, a tour started in Ridgeway, VA to Rockingham, NC. As the writer traveled through Biscoe, he noted that it was a “market town for peach orchard business and many families find work picking and packing peaches here”.

The retired men of Biscoe have started “The Good Ol’ Boys Club”, where they pride themselves in the fact that they are not organized, they do not have officers and they have no rules. They gather at “the meeting spot” in a building the town owns behind the Presbyterian Church for good fellowship and to tell tales. Every Labor Day, “The Good Ol’ Boys” serve breakfast to the community which over the years has turned into sort of a family reunion.

Today, Biscoe has joined the ranks of other failing towns in the textile belt. There are no textile jobs left, so the younger generation find work and usually settle elsewhere. It is a town with roads that lead to other destinations. Highway 24/27, leads to Troy, then Albemarle and then on to Charlotte. Old 220 which follows the old railroad route heads to Asheboro and the NC Zoo. Highway 109 takes most of it’s travelers to Baden Lake in the Uwharrie National Forest where there is fishing, boating, trails for both horse riding and four-wheeling and camping.

My favorite stop whenever we’re in Biscoe, is P R Moore’s It’s an elaborate roadside stand, offering plants for gardens, planters and landscapes, statuary, farm fresh produce, antiques, yard art and home canned jellies and jams. This is a favorite stop for hubby and me on our way to Charlotte. We are always pleased with the quality of the offerings and have found numerous treasures in past visits.


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One day I stopped to talk with Roberta Moore of P R Moore’s and asked how her business was doing. “Our Business was supporting me and my family until Wal-Mart came to town. Now I have to work twice as long and my husband has taken another job” She told me that she was fighting hard to keep the stand running, but may have to one day close it down, another casualty of cheap goods from Communist China.

The residents of Biscoe and the rest of the towns in the NC8th district have a very important choice to make in the upcoming mid-term elections. Do they keep their current legislator, Robin Hayes, who casts his votes with his party even if it's not in the best interest of the people who elected him. Or, will they vote for Larry Kissell, who promises to vote and represent the good people of the 8th district with every vote he will cast.

(A special “thanks” goes out to Sam Martin of Biscoe who gave me an hour of his evening offering much of the information contained in this article.)

Festivals and Events for next weekend:

2nd Annual NC Muscadine Harvest Festival
9/29/2006 - 9/30/2006

In Kenansville - Wine tasting and Beach Music Concert -Featuring the Chairmen of the Board, the Catalinas, & NC Wineries Children's activities Foods from around eastern NC Tickets $15.00 in advance, $20.00 at the gate includes a commemorative glass. Children 5 years of age and younger free Children and young
Business Phone: (910)275-0008

3rd Annual Western NC BBQ Festival
9/29/2006 - 9/30/2006

In Maggie Valley - Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event. BBQ sauce contest, children's rides and activities, arts and crafts, live entertainment and food vendors.
Toll Free: (800)624-4431

Blue-Gray Heritage Weekend
9/29/2006 - 10/1/2006

In Horse Shoe - The Blue-Gray Heritage Weekend is a Civil War living history encampment with artillery, infantry, skirmishes, artifacts, food and music.
Business Phone: (828)890-4015

Overmountain Victory Trail Re-enactment
9/29/2006 - 9/29/2006

In Spruce Pine - The Overmountain Victory Trail Enactors march through The Orchard recreating the journey from Sycamore Shoals at Elizabethton TN to Kings Mountain for the historic Revolutionary Way battle. The public is invited for skits, stories and demonstrations.
Toll Free: (888)765-9531

Thomas the Tank Engine
9/29/2006 - 10/1/2006

In Spencer - An Operational Thomas the Tank Engine will pull passengers around the property on a 30 minute train ride. 8:30 am - 6 pm daily.
Toll Free: (877)628-6386

Comments

Left at 5 in the morning, got back after dark

Please forgive the late night pics, it was a long, but wonderful day.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

A wonderful report, as always.

You really capture the essence of your visits, Momo, and it's a pleasure to read.

Thanks A, honestly tho

I couldn't be doing these "tours" without the help and encouragement of the whole BlueNC team!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Please recommend

have cross posted at DailyKos and MyDD

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Great Job!

I have a Larry Kissell sign in my yard and my brother has one in his yard. Where are the Kissell signs? Of course, I haven't seen a one for Flip Flopper either.

Lovex7

Thanks Love,

Driving thru Biscoe, Troy, Albemarle,Locust and beyond yesterday, I saw them scattered all along 24/27. Love those big Yellow Kissell signs, they grab your attention!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

PR Moore's

Sounds like it would be one of my favorite stops also. Thanks again for and inside look at NC.

I know it would be dk2

Have you planned your NC vacation yet? Thanks again for taking the "tour"!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

I have an announcement....please read!

The Pilot Newspaper has agreed to let me have my own blog page. It's not like BlueNC or others where you can instantly see your comment, but it's a great start!

Please stop by and take a look-see, the name is Progressive Discussions (at this point not up on the blog front page listing all the blogs...but Ryan Tuck, the blog admin is working on it)

I will be coming to all of you for suggestions and help if you agree. I hope to engage the people of Moore County in real discussions with a liberal lean and hope that this will also be a next step in Citizen Journalism.

Thank each and every one of you for encouraging me to be more active and to know more about local, state and national politics!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Fantastic, Momo!

What wonderful news! Looks like a fabulous opportunity for you ... and for all of us who knew you when!

Before you know it, you'll be THE hot property in those parts, and soon be commanding a kick-ass salary and benefits!

Congratulations!

Now THAT's funny A,

Still doing all of this out of a political committment...no gains other than a better government (hopefully anyway).

But I did like your suggestion of AAA paying for my meals...

So what do you say? Can I lean on your shoulder every now and again for advice?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

:)

I'll help any way I can. Just remember though, the McClatchy subsidiary in Chapel Hill let me go after only one year of writing columns, so I'm not necessarily a good role model. Of course, I did spend much of my time criticizing their lousy news organization, so I can't say I really blame them.

As a regular reader...

...of both your blog and The Pilot, I'm very pleased. People always think that there are no liberals or progressives in Moore County. Heh. Aren't they going to be surprised. I just hope this leads to a print column for you as well.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

Since I've been upfront with the fact that this is Progressive

I'm hoping that any criticism of regressive issues will be expected.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Great news Mo

I'm really happy for you. It's wonderful.


Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files



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

SD, can't believe how fast this happened

One minute I was trying to argue the editor into letting me post about BlueNC and the candidate spotlights we were shining here and the next I was given permission to do a blog!

I owe a lot of this to you, for getting me involved in your Citizen Journalism project, for asking me to cover the Kissell campaign in Albemarle. For all your positive comments and suggestions.

I know you are going to be extremely busy in the next 44 days, but I hope I can get advice from you when you have any spare time. Thank you Southern Dem...you are my inspiration!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Mo

I hope you got my e-mail. I just clicked on the place that said to e-mail you on your new website. I'm just wondering if it is up yet.

Lovex7