Jonesville’s 10th celebration of history and heritage on Saturday, May 4, will open in historic Mineral Springs Park from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and will continue in Lila Swaim Park from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. with an evening of karaoke, skydiving, square dancing, a bluegrass concert by the Grasshoppers and fireworks.
Admission is free.
To accommodate parking in Lila Swaim Park, guests are encouraged to park on the multi-purpose field (from Stadium Drive).
At 9 a.m. in the Mineral Springs Park area, the lower section of West Main will be closed between the Cherry Street entrances. North Mineral Springs Drive and North River Road will also be closed to accommodate parking, a car show, exhibitors, flea market and craft vendors.
Once a respite for nomadic tribes and early settlers who crossed the Yadkin River at Mineral Springs Shallows, the Park will now be home to a memorial to Tri-County veterans who have served since the Regulators Revolt in 1766.
Approximately 3,000 names will be affixed to the memorial, made of railings from the Hugh Chatham Memorial Bridge that was torn down in 2011.
“Our list of veteran names is incomplete,” observed event chair Judy Wolfe. “We’ll collect names on May 4, with plans to update the Memorial two to three times a year: Memorial Day, July 4, and Veterans Day.”
A short walking trail along historic Iron Works Road, dating back to the paths that carried early explorers into the wilderness frontier, will also be opened.
“The trail follows the old roadbed along Mineral Spring Drive,” said Wolfe. “We have the right-of-way to maintain the perimeter of the property. Our goals are threefold: to clean the area, to preserve the old roadbed, and most importantly to provide a safe walkway for students and visitors between the History Center and the Park.”
“The intersection at W. Main and Mineral Springs Drive is busy with low visibility. There is no sidewalk; it is not safe to walk along the street. We’re protecting people and a historic treasure. There is no other known section of the pre-colonial roadbed that once ran through the park to the river.”
The ticket booth from Jonesville’s mid-1940’s speedway is also being reassembled in the park, to become a mini-theater for pre-NASCAR dirt-track racing images and videos.
Given to Jonesville Police Chief Charlie Montgomery by the last Speedway owners, the wooden structure has been preserved by exterior paneling. It is donated to the Historical Society by Montgomery’s daughter, Virginia M. Wagoner.
It will be dedicated to original Speedway developers Jim and Jerry Wright Boyd.
“We do not have sufficient funds or donations to complete the project as of today,” Wolfe said. “But we remain optimistic.”
“We desperately need lumber for the foundation and the roof to restore a 6’ x 8’ section of the booth. We anticipate building a small deck to serve as a bandstand.”
The ticket booth will sit beneath the stack-rock wall, which was an early Works Progress Administration project to support the old road bed above the River.
A step-stone from the Benham Hotel, from which slaves were allegedly sold in the 1830s — prior to residents asking marketeers to leave town — will also be placed in the Park. The step-stone has been donated by Jonesville Mayor Lindbergh Swaim and family.
Effley Howell, Sr., former resident and owner of Thankful Heritage, Inc., will deliver Martin L. King’s “I have a Dream” speech from the step in opening ceremonies on May 4.
Throughout the morning and afternoon, guests will be invited to view historic markers, celebrating Jonesville’s storied past and heritage. Future markers will be placed along other trails that trace Jonesville’s history to the mid-1700s.
Invitees to the opening program include U. S. Representative Virginia Foxx, members of the NC Legislature and Yadkin County Commissioners.
Following a presentation by an honor guard from Yadkin County’s 28th Infantry a patriotic musical program will feature the voices of Tim Cook, Leon Reece and Tim Wolfe.
Vendor applications for Mineral Springs Park are available for a limited number of spaces for arts & crafts, exhibitors and flea market sales. There is no vendor fee, but vendors must register and provide a gift for drawings.
Only food vendors are approved for Lila Swaim Park. The evening menu includes BBQ chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza.
For more information, contact the History Center (336-835-0077), email email@example.com or visit the website at http://jonesvillenc.org.