Chalybeate Springs

History of the Quilt


Project Description

Evaluations of Accomplishments

Future Plans for the Project

Proposal Letter

Request to Commissioners

Biographies by Homemakers Clubs

Biographies by Friends of the Library


Chalybeate Springs

Located 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.

The 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.

Due 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 is marked:

Surveyed December, 1900 by W. P. Byrd

I, 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.

This witnessed my hand and seal this 1st day of January, 1900

A. A. Johnson

Registered in map book 2, page 99

Signed by: Alvis Connor Holloway,

Register of Deeds Harnett County

An 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 to enjoy.

The 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."

The 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 passed.

The 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.

The 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.

The Post Office, the famous mineral water and spring from which Chalybeate derived its' name, have passed on with the changing times.

The 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.

A 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.

In 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.

A 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

The school -the 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.

Later Hector's Creek Academy was opened in the location of the church area. Stationery of the academy has been found with the heading:


H. Y. Smith, B. A. Principal

Mrs. H. Y. Smith, Assistant

Tuition -$1.00 -$2.50 per week

Board -$6.50 per month

Bradley's Store, N. C190



W. M. Pearson, Principal

A 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.

Industry about the 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.

The 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.

There 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.

A 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.

The membership of Chalybeate Church is drawn from a wide area and has been the strong leader of this area through many years.

There 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.


Written by: DeLorese S. Caviness

Pineknoll Farm

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

Embroidery and Applique by: DeLorese S. Caviness and Evelyn Byrd