Category Archives: Along the Old Plank Road

Articles about Asheboro and Randolph County’s local history written by Nancy Harding Klepacki, a long-time Asheboro resident.

W.W. Lindley: Gentleman. Sportsman Friend.

Nancy Klepacki-Harding
Nancy Klepacki-Harding

So reads the grave of Asheboro’s W.W. Lindley.

It is not known what drew Walter Wiseman Lindley to Asheboro in his 46th year, but what he found in Randolph County in 1920 enticed him strongly enough to remain until his death some 7 years later and to endow Asheboro with what was to become one of our most beloved landmarks — Lindley Athletic Field (now the grounds of Lindley Park School).

Continue reading W.W. Lindley: Gentleman. Sportsman Friend.

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There was a time when Chautauqua programs ruled the day here

Nancy Klepacki-Harding
Nancy Klepacki-Harding

Prior to the Civil War, the idea of learning for enjoyment, for its own sake, was a concept unknown to many Americans.

Those of the upper class, scholars and those in the field of law and medicine certainly found ample opportunity to engage in mental exercises, critical thought and lively debate. But the average individual, by and large, had little access and certainly even less time for the pursuit of culture, especially in the Antebellum South.

Continue reading There was a time when Chautauqua programs ruled the day here

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“The Best Land – The Blest Land”

Toastcard PHOTO: Durham County Library

Nancy Klepacki-Harding
Nancy Klepacki-Harding

When our parents bought their last home in Asheboro, that of the late Ethel and Lucy Lee Lovett, longtime school teachers at Park Street School, the home’s contents were included in the sale.

Among the many wonderful items Mom kept was an antique framed bit of needlework on linen. Embroidered simply with pine boughs, cones and the North Carolina State Flag, a poem was centered on the fabric. Continue reading “The Best Land – The Blest Land”

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Worthville: Gone but not forgotten

Nancy Klepacki-Harding
Nancy Klepacki-Harding

In 1996, the late Becky Bowman prefaced her “Worthville – A Lost Mill Village” by saying, “When I drive through the sad little village of Worthville, I think of all the wonderful times I had there as a child. I know the people who live there today do not think of it that way, but I do and I’ll tell you why. Continue reading Worthville: Gone but not forgotten

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Pop Culture

Nancy Harding Klepacki
Nancy Klepacki-Harding 

Mann Drug was once a popular hangout in Asheboro. The photo above  is courtesy of the Randolph Room.

Had you walked into any of our pharmacy soda fountains — say, Asheboro Drug Company in its heyday, or Mann Drug on Fayetteville in the ’60s — and asked for a “Five-Cent Dope,” what were you likely to have received? Continue reading Pop Culture

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Asheboro saw its own ‘Gentleman Tramp’

Nancy Harding Klepacki
Nancy Klepacki-Harding

The fall of 1905 brought a vagabond to Asheboro. It wasn’t Charlie Chaplin, but rather one L.D. Snow, “The Gentleman Tramp” announced by small silver-colored coins he handed out, engraved with that lofty title.

In exchange for a “souvenir,” he asked only for a signature for his “fact book” (a huge, dirty and overflowing bundle by the time he arrived here, already containing nearly 2,000 signatures) and whatever price the recipient cared to pay.

Continue reading Asheboro saw its own ‘Gentleman Tramp’

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The Sooth, the Whole Sooth and Nothing but the Sooth

Nancy Harding Klepacki
Nancy Klepacki-Harding

“Beware the Ides of March.”

So spake Roman fortune-teller Titus Vestricius Spurinna (try saying that three times fast) in his warning to Julius Caesar, along about 44 BC.

Jules may have been preoccupied that morning, distracted by advisors, affairs of state or a particularly fetching vestal virgin. He failed to heed the sayer’s sooth, ending up bloodily sprawled in the assembly hall of Pompey’s Theatre with 23 stab wounds and an unused double-feature ticket in his toga. Continue reading The Sooth, the Whole Sooth and Nothing but the Sooth

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Heart like a wheel: The love story of Emma & Odell Jones

Nancy Harding Klepacki
Nancy Klepacki-Harding

This is a romance worth telling, albeit a few days past the venerable celebration of Candy Hearts, Visits to “Jared” and possibly Michael Bolton. But, it’s no ordinary love story.

Yes, it begins with all the usual requirements: The meeting of a boy and a girl, friendship blossoming into something deeper, parental disapproval, eventual parental acceptance, marriage, children and so forth. This romance, however, merits a deeper look in that it’s a story of love and enthusiasm that came to envelope Asheboro and a large part of post-WWII Randolph County. Continue reading Heart like a wheel: The love story of Emma & Odell Jones

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Reminiscence and Resurrection

Nancy Harding Klepacki
Nancy Klepacki-Harding

Several times a month, I drive past a signpost so much a part of my history and regional makeup for the past five decades that I don’t really notice it anymore.

It’s like “sweet tea,” oranges and apples in Christmas stockings, Acme-McCrary’s thrice-a-day whistle, the aroma of stew beef at the Big Dipper on a cold day and even the summer loveliness of the lowly kudzu. Yep, I included kudzu. Continue reading Reminiscence and Resurrection

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