Latta Nature Preserve

This Preserve was developed from the lands of James Latta, who had his cotton plantation along the Catawba River in the 18th century. The lands have been transitioned into a recreational area for the people of Mecklenburg County.

Here’s what the Preserve has to offer…

Trails for Horse Riding
Picnic Grounds

Kayaking along the river

A Raptor Center

In taking a hike along one of the Preserve trails came across this closed facility. Believe this must be the former lands of the cotton plantation.

Oh how lucky the people of Mecklenburg are to have this Preserve

available to them.

From This Day Forward

This play recounts the persecution of the Waldensian people. It was written by a local Valdese history teacher, Fred Cranford, and has been presented during July and August for the last 52 seasons. The Waldensians were a religious group who were persecuted severely by the Church as they read the Bible. In early Christianity only the Pope was allowed to read the Bible.

Act I

A Waldensian is captured reading the Bible. He is later burnt at the stake for this. All this was depicted on stage.
The Waldensians discussing the possibility of moving to North Carolina for a better life.

Act 2 The North Carolina people in their church discussing how they hope the Waldensians ship sinks as they do not want immigrants in their community. Eventually, the Waldensians win over the North Carolina people and are accepted, however, not after much plight.

The play was well acted, however, be prepared for much violence, pyrogenics, and gunfire.

Following is the Old Colony Players 2021-2022 season. Further information can be obtained at:

  • Love Letters September 17-19, and 24-25 as a dinner theater performance
  • The Rocky Horror Show October 21-24, and 28-20
  • Elf December 10-12, and 16-19
  • A Valentine’s Murder February 2022
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame April 15-16, 21-23, and 28-30

President James K. Polk State Historic Site Pineville, North Carolina

Who was this James K. Polk and what did he accomplish as President?? This restoration with its informative movie answers these questions regarding this little known President.

James Polk was President from 1845-1849. There were several hallmarks to his Presidency:

  • He was instrumental in expanding the United States to the Pacific. He was a close friend and devotee to President Andrew Jackson who also believed in Manifest Destiny. This relationship earned him the nickname “Little Hickory,” as Jackson was known as “Old Hickory.”
  • In his cabinet those in opposition to his beliefs, “his competitors” were placed.
  • He was the first President to have “Hail to the Chief,” played at his inaugural.
  • When he came into office he stated he wished only to be a one term president.
  • He lowered tariffs on cotton.
  • The Mexican War was begun and ended during his Presidency.
  • Began an independent treasury.
  • Lowered prices on government land.
  • Worked incessantly, never took a vacation during his Presidency, which probably led to his demise 3 months after leaving office at 53 years of age.
  • He is known to be one of the greatest Presidents, however, he remains one of our least known.
  • President Harry Truman felt Polk an extraordinary President, often quoting and reading about him.

James Polk was the first born of Samuel and Jane Polk. He spent his first 11 years living on this site in North Carolina working on the family farm which Samuel and Jane received from Samuel’s father as a wedding gift. The family later moved to Tennessee selling their property to neighbors. They had slaves.

The Polk Homestead

Interesting man this James K. Polk was, think I need to read a biography on him. If Harry Truman liked him he must have been a good man.

Fort Dobbs: State Historic Site

I can say much about North Carolina, but, one thing the State does very well is to honor their history. Fort Dobbs is an exceptional historic site and its docents professional and steeped in knowledge.

This block house fort reconstruction of the French and Indian War era exemplifies the colonists as well as American Indians role during that period. Costumed interpreters give insight into this time of tangled history.

Following are pictorial representations of life in a 1750 military post.

Living Quarters of the Militia.

The original well was located in this spot. Archaeologists located several thousand artifacts from excavating the well.

Here are some reproductions:

Fort Storage Area

I learned much of this time period at this visit. Pre-pandemic over 6000 students visited the Fort. It is a must see.

Southern Distilling Company

Just off I 77, 211 Jennings Road, Statesville, North Carolina. Tours and Tastings Monday-Saturday 10-5.

Caught this sign on the interstate and knew I had to stop. Had heard Statesville was filled with “old money,” from the bootleg days so knew this distilling company would be a find, and it certainly was. Since my idol, Stephen Colbert is a bourbon drinker always wanted to try the “stuff,” and it surely didn’t disappoint. Great quality and taste..

Front Door

The Showroom

Antiques from the good ole days..

The tasting area…

Prices were reasonable at 34.95 a bottle.

The Distillery is also building an area for a music venue.

Need to follow this company, if they go public want to buy their stock…

Statesville, North Carolina

Really enjoyed my visit to this City. They have done a bang up job to renovate their downtown area. It is a mecca of restaurants, bars, a comedy club, doctor’s offices, music studios, hair salons, jewelry stores, museums, radio stations, lawyer’s offices all surrounded by beautiful flowers, seating.. A picture is worth a thousand words, check it out…

Wine Store line up of live music dates

Best of Statesville

Did some retail and caloric damage here, great Columbian food and pastries. Yummy………

Never saw a storefront music lesson store – what a unique idea.
Don’t you love the logo, what a hoot..

A little art along the street

The City also has an art museum, however, sadly on the day of my visit it was closed. It is known as the Iredell Museum,, or call 704-873-7347, for further information.

There are also other events taking place over the summer. Make sure to get that vaccine so you can partake.

What a blast from the past, everything you’ve always been looking for at bargain basement prices. What a fun shop!

So, if in the area, or dang even if you aren’t, check out Statesville, North Carolina for a visit.

And I forgot the Sweet Things Bakery, best chocolate cake I ever ate~

Mount Mitchell State Park

Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. At 6684 feet is Mount Mitchell.

The Park was developed after North Carolina Governor Locke Craig, (1913-1917), became concerned with over logging on the mountain.

View from the summit.

Near the summit are two walking trails.

This was fragrant trail, however, if allergic to bees bring your Epipen. However, on this 95 degree day it provided cool tree coverage, and wends it’s way back to the parking lot.

The second trail, the Mountain to Sea Trail, is part of a1200 mile footpath across North Carolina.

There also is a small museum at the site.

Kids would love this exhibit. Tom Wilson, (1825-1908), was a mountaineer and guide in the Black Mountains.

The Museum also explains why the trees on the mountain are dying. Natural stressors such as harsh winds, and long, cold winters have affected the mortality of the trees.

Parting shot of the Balsam Nature Trail

Great place for families with children.

Wiseman’s View

Nestled in the Pisgah National Forest is a jewel in the Forest’s crown.

Traveling to this view is a perilous trek, stay alert, take it slow. There are many potholes and craters on the road. If you have a 4 wheel drive, put it in gear. It is approximately 6 miles to the site.

The path to the View is short and paved. Taking the handicapped route is a bit longer, however, it avoids a rather steep incline.

And if you have children in tow..

The stone stairs approaching the site.

Main View

Side View

Don’t miss the gorge..

And for those adventure seekers, hike one of the many trails throughout the forest, and/or camp in the wilderness.

The Hart Theatre: ‘S Wonderful

What a glorious day for a play. Today was Gershwin, but, this theatre company has much going on in it’s 2021 season.

Check out their website for play and ticket information at

Let’s start with the theatre..

Nice lobby, with a good selection of wines, beers, colas, and munchies for pre-performance appetites.

Check out the lobby walls – nice art..

On to the play…

This musical takes place at a party at George Gershwin’s New York apartment. Gershwin and many of his fellow artists sing and dance to his tunes. What a lively and much enjoyed musical event with an amazing cast of singers and dancers. Hat’s off to the actors – great job!

Stage Pre-Performance
Cast performing – Nice Work If You Can Get It
Another Stunning Performance – What talent they have in Waynesville.

Hungry??? A suggestion for after the show, especially for those native New Yorker’s like me missing great pizza and Italian food.

Ian & Jo Jo’s Pizzeria & Restaurant

18 North Main Street

Historic Downtown Waynesville, NC


Ian and Jo Jo are Brooklyn’ers who made their way to North Carolina – and lucky North Carolina folk to have them..

What an amazing Sunday afternoon.

One more lobby pic – aren’t the flowers grand??

Waynesville -The Museum

What a unique and quaint town Waynesville, North Carolina is. Here for ‘S Wonderful, The Music and Life of George Gershwin, at the Hart Theatre, Western North Carolina’s Award Winning Theatre.

Next door to the Theatre is The Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts. Since I arrived early had some time to explore.

As a lover of historic homes was saddened that I had missed the Sunday tour times of 12-2, however, decided to explore on my own through Museum windows.

Besides the home, there are other Museums on the property.

There is a Medical Exhibit,

and a farm exhibit.

Caught these pictures through museum windows. The orange metal contraption held the head of the cow when milked.

And a gift shop of handicrafts…

Some of the items for sale, again captured through the window. Wonder someone didn’t call the police on me..

Then I came across this sign for their annual event,

Since I am moving on won’t be in the area for this event. However, sounds like a fun day if you are.

Check it out and let me know.