Rutherford Weekly

April 21, 2022

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

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A local historical landmark has found a new home in Lake Lure. Russell Fort, previously located east of town along U.S. Highway 64/74 on the Rocky Broad River, was disassembled and restored by the team from the hit TV series "Barnwood Builders" and is being reassembled near the shore of the lake on Gentle Winds Lane,Lake Lure. James Sciandra of Lake Lure, with the help of local craftsman Harold Harper, reached out to Barnwood Builders to preserve this important symbol of local history. He plans to resurrect the Fort using the original timbers to preserve the history for future generations. Two shows will feature the move and will be shown on the Magnolia Channel later this year. The history of the Fort is a great American story about a patriotic and pioneering family that settled on the western most frontier of North Carolina along an established border with the Cherokee Nation. Just before the American Revolution an Irish immigrant, George Russell Sr., married a local widow, Mary Whiteside, and settled along the banks of the Rocky Broad just South of Hickory Nut Gorge where Lake Lure Marine stands today. In 1767, the Royal Governor of North Carolina, William Tryon, negotiated a treaty with the Cherokee to reduce tensions by promising to cease westward settlement across an agreed borderline that extended from South Carolina to Virginia. George Russell Sr., a founding member of the Tryon County (later Rutherford County) Committee of Safety, arranged for the construction of the Rocky Broad Station, a militia supply and mustering point to protect local settlers near the border line. The Station served as a home, center for trade, and a rallying point for protection. In 1775, additional buildings were constructed on the high ground (Russell's Fort) to guard against an emerging Loyalist and persistent Cherokee threat; allies to the British. During the American Revolution (1780), British Maj. Patrick Ferguson, a promising young offi cer and trusted aide to Lord Cornwallis (the Commanding General of British Forces in the South) was ordered to scout Western North Carolina to recruit and train a Loyalist cavalry unit and subdue the Patriot militias. The British tactics were ruthless. The British threatened families, coerced young men to join at the "tip of a bayonet", foraged scarce food reserves, and confi scated family valuables. In September 1780, Ferguson established a short-term base camp at Gilbert Town, just north of Rutherfordton. According to family historical archives and confi rmed in soldier diaries; the area, including Russell Station was raided by Ferguson's men. Continued on page 3. ISSUE NO. 16 • April 21, 2022 ISSUE NO. 16 • April 21, 2022 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 Our 30 th Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers 345 South Broadway, Forest City 828-245-8067 IN HOUSE FINANCING IN HOUSE FINANCING M O O RE ' S AUTO S ALES ©Community First Media Community First Media BRING YOUR VEHICLE BY FOR US TO LOOK AT! NO APPRAISAL FEE CHARGED! Top Top Dollar Paid! Dollar Paid! YOUR VEHICLE YOUR VEHICLE We Want to Buy We Want to Buy Sm it h T rad i ng Pos t STP 828-289-6699 WE BUY GOLD 131 W Main St., Spindale Beside Barley's $$$CASH ON THE SPOT WE HAVE MONEY FOR YOU BUYING & SELLING ANYTHING OF VALUE, ANTIQUES, JEWELRY, MORE! OVER 30 YEARS OF SERVICE! PAWN SHOP Article written by David R. DiOrio and submitted by Jean Gordon Historical landmark has Historical landmark has new home on Lake Lure new home on Lake Lure Logs hoisted to the top of the structure. WE OUR READERS! WE OUR READERS! Will be featured on Barnwood Builders A note from the owner James Sciandra: Recently the Barnwood Builders reassembled Russell's Fort at White Oak Point on Gentlewinds Lane in Lake Lure. The Fort was originally built in the 1770's and the Pumpkin Center farm home was built around the Fort (hiding it) in the late 1800's. The Fort once stood on the frontier demarcation line between the settlers and the Cherokee and will now stand guard on our beautiful Lake Lure. The 252 year old Fort will stand with logs exposed as it did when original- ly constructed. Materials from the Pumpkin Center farm home will be used to build the additions to the Fort. The goal is to pay homage to both Russell's Fort and the Pump- kin Center. Local craftsmen Harold Harper will be fi nish- ing the home now that the Barnwood Builders have fi nished the restoration and assembly of the Fort. The house was donated to Sciandra by the Peters family, who lived at the former Pumpkin Center homestead since 2014. The family built their new home on the property and are owners of the Lake Lure Marine there. They donate the log cabin to Sciandra on the condition it be restored. Family, friends and Barnwood Builders pose in front of the log house. Filming for the upcoming Barnwood Builders television show. The date of the television show will be released in the future.

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