STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE CHALYBEATE SPRINGS BY
DELORESE S. CAVINESS FOR HARNETT COUNTY HISTORICAL QUILT, 1989
on the Lafayette Highway #401 in the northern section of Harnett County,
two miles south of the Wake County line, about 12 miles east of the
Chatham County lines, nine miles north of Lillington, in Hector's Creek
Township, is an unique village named Chalybeate Springs.
North Carolina Gazette states this area was settled in 1760 and later
was named for a near-by spring. Origin of the word chalybeate is a Greek
word, chalybean, the name of an ancient people of Asia Minor who were
very skilled in working with iron. The dictionary states CHALYBEATE -(1)
Impregnated with compounds of iron such as mineral water. (2) tasting of
iron, a medicine or water containing iron in solution.
to the popularity of mineral springs in the late 1800's, and early
1900's, (1870-1920), some people in this area undertook an adventure of
developing this section into a big resort. Some people predicted another
New York. The land about the spring was bought up; a surveyor was hired
and the area mapped out into streets, blocks and lots. The map in hand
December, 1900 by W. P. Byrd
A. A. Johnson a Justice of the Peace of Harnett County State of North
Carolina, do hereby certify that w. P. Byrd, a surveyor, personally
appeared before me and made an oath that the above plot is a true full
and accurate map of the town of Chalybeate Springs as surveyed, and
located by him on the lands of J. R. Franklin and David Henry Senter in
Hector's Creek Township, Harnett County, North Carolina, situated on
both sides of the Raleigh and Cape Fear Railroad.
witnessed my hand and seal this 1st day of January, 1900
Registered in map
book 2, page 99
Signed by: Alvis
Register of Deeds Harnett County
auctioneer was hired and an auction was held. The lots were sold and the
development began. A springhouse was built with lattice sides and a
concrete collar around the spring. The springhouse contained a seat
around the sides. A pavilion was built and used for recreational
activities such as dances, and picnics, also for political speeches or
community affairs. People would ride the train down from Raleigh in the
morning, spend the day at the spring, then catch the train back in the
afternoon. They came with jugs and pails to take the curative water home
News And Observer, September 3, 1961, carried an article, "Aquae,
Vital: The Mineral Springs Resorts", by Daisy H. Gold of Wilson
mentioned, "Popular mineral springs south of Raleigh included the
Chalybeate Springs, impregnated with health giving salts of iron."
Hotel was never built. The people who purchased the lots gradually sold
them to others. The spring, over-grown, still runs -the spring glory has
Post Office came to Chalybeate about the turn of the century with
the coming of the Raleigh and Cape Fear Railroad, probably in 1904. The
former Post Office was in Bradley's Store, at Kipling only a mile or two
south of the New Chalybeate Springs Post Office. In a very small
building, Miss Katie Bell Furr served as Chalybeate's first Post
Mistress. Later the-Post Office was moved to the A. A. Johnson General
Store not far from the railroad tracks. The mailbag was hung on a hook
located by the railroad track and was transferred to the-train without
the train stopping.
next location of the Post Office was in the Pearson Brothers General
Store. The Pearson Brothers kept the mail office until Junie died in
1939. Brother Walter was a school teacher and the responsibility of the
store was more than he could handle so the Post Office was passed to R.
B. Johnson and here it remained until it closed in 1939. Today residents
of Chalybeate Springs get their mail by rural delivery from the
Fuquay-Varina Post Office.
Post Office, the famous mineral water and spring from which Chalybeate
derived its' name, have passed on with the changing times.
church was organized in 1872. A revival was held in September in
the Carter School house located between the Eli Carter residence and
Hector's Creek, by Brother A. N. Campbell, Elders Orren Churchill and
Allen Betts. Following this revival, in October, a church was organized
with about twenty charter members, many of whom were from the Neills
Creek Baptist and Piney Grove Baptist churches. The next day, eleven
others were received for baptism. On Sunday Brother Campbell held the
baptizing; the first person he baptized was his ten year old son,
"Jim Archie", who later became the founder of Campbell
College, Dr. J. A. Campbell.
building committee was named and a building site was selected about 1.5
miles east of the schoolhouse and Hector's Creek, at the crossroads.
Four acres of land was contributed by Jim Johnson and his sister for the
first church. The church was named the Hector's Creek Baptist Church.
1906 a new church was erected and the name was changed in 1907 to
Chalybeate Springs Baptist Church. Many improvements and changes have
been made in the past 118 years. The second church, while under
renovation was, turned around to face the highway. An Educational
Building was added to the back. A parsonage and activities building were
also erected on the same four acres of land.
cemetery, spacious and attractive, lies on a hillside across the rural
road from the church. Some one has said, "Reading a cemetery you
would think our civilization was obsessed with family, war, and the
lodge in that order." Maybe it is”
first record found of a school in Hector's Creek Township was 1858. This
school was one of the 36 district schools in the county. The chairman of
the board of Superintendents of Common Schools of Harnett County, Daniel
McCormick, reported the salaries of 15 teachers including one female.
The name of Eli Carter was listed with his annual salary of $65.57 for a
three month term.
Hector's Creek Academy was opened in the location of the church area.
Stationery of the academy has been found with the heading:
Y. Smith, B. A. Principal
H. Y. Smith, Assistant
-$2.50 per week
Board -$6.50 per
Store, N. C…190
HECTOR'S CREEK ACADEMY
W. M. Pearson, Principal
three room county school was built later (no date) at the same location
and was known as the Chalybeate Springs School which served this
community until the Lafayette consolidated school replaced the local
school in 1924-1925.
village was typical of rural areas at this time. The turpentine plant
was the first in the middle 1800's, then came sawmills and planers.
There were blacksmith shops, barbershops, general stores (either four or
five), gas stations and garages. The last place of business was the R.
G. Smith Station located on the #401 highway in the spring area. It
closed in 1988.
farmers grew grain, animals, gardens for food, and later cotton and some
tobacco. Then, in the nineties, came the Granville County Tobacco
Growers and tobacco soon became king.
are no boundaries, therefore, no census. The Chalybeate area has had
several progressive organizations. The Masonic Lodge built a building
near the academy. This was a two story building. The first floor was
used by the school, the second floor served as a meeting place for the
Masons and the Junior Order Lodge.
Home Demonstration Club was very active from the late thirties until the
early sixties. The Paul Green Book Club) member of the North Carolina
Federated Women's Clubs, was organized by Mrs. G. T. Profit and composed
of ladies in the Lafayette School District.
membership of Chalybeate Church is drawn from a wide area and has been
the strong leader of this area through many years.
has been no great industry; however, the citizens of Chalybeate Springs
feel its greatest product has been it's strong, honest and faithful
citizens in all walks of life. We challenge any area of our size to
produce more or better industrious farmers, doctors, (Lillington took
our first, Dr. Halford) nurses, ministers, missionaries, lawyers,
principals, many, many teachers and other professionals.
DeLorese S. Caviness
Route 2, Box 231
Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina 27526
Resources : The
Passed This Way -by Malcolm Fowler
Sue A. Sears for her collection of "Bits and Pieces"
Walter M. Pearson, Jr., for his writings
Quilt Square: Row
4 Number 19
Applique by: DeLorese S. Caviness and Evelyn Byrd