• Diana Matthews

Two Columbus County Historic Landmark plaques unveiled


Two Columbus County Historic Landmark plaques were unveiled Thursday, Oct. 26, by the Reuben Brown House Preservation Society.

The historic plaque program, which began in 2015, strives to recognize historic sites in Columbus County that are at least 75 years old. Plaque number 8, at Mill Pond Camp, circa 1929, was unveiled by Vinson Bowers. He grew up on the Mill Pond property and has written a history entitled “The Mill Pond…A Southern Legacy.” Visitors were invited to ask questions and tour the cabin, which originally served as a men’s clubhouse.

After the Bowers family’s time of ownership, said society president Janice Young, the house was the site of many fundraising luncheons for the county’s fine arts committee, the predecessor of the Reuben Brown House Preservation Society. Members of the Mill Pond Hunt Club attended the plaque unveiling as well. Young was pleased that Thursday was “a gorgeous day” in “a beautiful setting.”

Preservation society members then traveled to 905 Pinckney St., where historic plaque number 9 was unveiled by homeowner Larry Beltz and researcher Karen Dawsey. The house was built around 1867 by Eliza Byrne and husband John Henry Maxwell shortly after their marriage. Dawsey spent “hours and hours” locating 18 deeds to verify all the times the house had changed owners in the past 150 years.

Said Young, the house sits on what was “just a small part of the family’s land at that time. They had about 600 acres.”

The Byrne-Maxwell House will be featured on tomorrow’s Elegant Homes Tour as part of the N.C. Pecan Harvest Festival.

From 5:30 – 7 p.m., the Reuben Brown House Preservation Society hosted a wine and cheese social at the Reuben Brown House, 128 East Columbus Street in Whiteville, following the two unveilings. At least 30 members and guests attended.

Literary committee co-chair Pat Ray unveiled one more exciting piece of information at the social: the newly installed U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy Smith will visit Columbus County March 6 and 7 to work with high school and college students and promote poetry to the general public. The Society will provide more information as the visit draws closer, said Young.


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