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.
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.
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