12/14/04 — Man invites county to return to the 1800s

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Man invites county to return to the 1800s

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 14, 2004 2:12 PM

A Wayne County man will return to the 19th century this weekend and has invited the public to come watch.

Andy Anderson has turned his farm into a historic village. And he is opening it to the public for free on Saturday.

A blacksmith and a woodworker will present demonstrations reminiscent of the 1800s from 9 a.m. until after dark Saturday at the Hickory Forge Village.

Black-eyed peas will be cooked all day in cast-iron pots outside in the village next to Andy's Transmission on Dollard Town Road. An outdoor fireplace will be ablaze. Lighting will be provided by lanterns, and there will be no electrical power tools used in the demonstrations.

Anderson, who owns a transmission shop, built the village as a hobby.

"Sometimes," he said, "making a living gets in the way of doing what I want to do."

He started building the village in 1991, and he said he has done it all himself.

He said he became interested in building the village through his great-grandfather Bright Grant, who was a blacksmith. Anderson also gives blacksmith demonstrations at the Old Waynesborough Village.

Anderson built the blacksmith shop first. It was too small, and he enlarged it.

Then came the mercantile store, which started out as an old tobacco barn. He took off the top and moved it to Dollard Town Road. He then added the second story.

Anderson has filled it with antiques and things he has made at the forge in the blacksmith shop. His wife, Sharlene, and daughter, Amanda, will be manning the mercantile Saturday. He will be working some in the blacksmith shop and at other times walking around the village talking to visitors.

Next came the woodworking shop, which he built from scratch.

Sitting off to itself beside the village is an old building he uses for storage for now. His grandfather, Charlie Anderson, built it in 1910.

"It was an old pack house," he said. "Daddy's uncle was going to burn it, and I got wind of it."

The barn was given to him, and he spent $1,500 to have it moved to Dollard Town Road. Then, he put the front and the shelter on it.

The blacksmiths Saturday will be David Cayton of Clayton and Kirt Jarrett of Goldsboro. The woodworking demonstrations will be by Sam Miller of N.C. 111 and John Flowers of Slick Rock.