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Weymouth Cultural Landscape Report Part II
A Master Plan for the Weymouth Center Grounds
The Friends of Weymouth, Inc. has launched a public survey to assess public use of the Weymouth grounds and its adjacent Longleaf Pine forest. The survey supports outreach initiatives to inform the early planning stages of the Part II Weymouth Cultural Landscape Report (CLR). The CLR will serve as a master plan for the Weymouth grounds, a nationally significant literary center, and gateway to America’s oldest Longleaf Pine forest. The planning effort is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2014.
The survey is one analysis tool employed to understand public use and perception of the Weymouth grounds. By uncovering existing use patterns, this survey will inform future programming, function, and character of Weymouth’s outdoor spaces. A member of the project’s Steering Committee, Rod Brower, whose great-aunt and great-uncle were long-time Weymouth caretakers, believes, “this survey will help Weymouth understand how people use this historic landscape, what they care about, and how welcome they feel here.” The survey will be widely distributed with the intent to reach the residents of Southern Pines, Pinehurst, and the surrounding community. Data collection for the survey began April 12, and will continue through early May.
This master plan builds on the well-supported history that was researched during the Weymouth CLR Part I. Completed in 2011 this landmark study provided a comprehensive understanding of the estate’s recognized period of historic significance spanning the years of Boyd family residency between 1904-1974. The groundswell of support for the Weymouth CLR Part I, inspired a preservation movement of sorts in Southern Pines, resulting in the adoption of The Walthour-Moss Foundation’s 2,852 acres to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013, and the recent update to the Southern Pines Historic District Design Guidelines.
Weymouth was founded in 1904 by James Boyd, Sr., whose heirs would continue to influence the culture and community of Southern Pines for over seventy years. Perhaps best known as the residence of his grandson and namesake James Boyd the author, and his wife Katharine ,who during their lifetime conserved a virgin forest, established the Hunt, and fashioned a design aesthetic and culture for the property, its encompassing community (Weymouth Heights), and the town of Southern Pines. In his 1910 description of Weymouth, Bion Butler described Weymouth’s early landscape character and accessible nature. It serves today as a good reminder of the property’s features held in-common with both its natural surrounds and its neighbors.
Little by little the entire tract is taking the appearance of a park–a natural park, for all the work that is being done is but a restoration… [Boyd] has invited the public–the townsfolk and the tourist–to share its beauties with him.
Southern Pines Tourist, 15 July 1910
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The Writers’-in-Residence Program is offered to published NC writers. Once an application is approved, the writer is able to book a stay for up to two weeks a year (or shorter multiple stays) while working on a project. Please contact our Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and an application.
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DIRECTIONS TO THE WEYMOUTH CENTER
555 East Connecticut Avenue
Southern Pines, NC 28387
Follow 220 south from Asheboro, exit on 211 (marked Pinehurst/Candor, Exit 28), turn left on 211 east. At traffic circle outside Pinehurst, take third exit off the circle, following sign to Southern Pines. You will be on Midland Rd. After 3-4 miles you will pass under US1. A mile farther the road curves to the right and enters town – it is now called Broad Street. Turn left (heading east) on Connecticut Avenue at the railway station. Cross the railroad tracks, proceed for 4 blocks. Weymouth is on the left – you’ll see a white fence and pillars with stone dogs.
From US1 south, take Midland Road exit (Rte. 2 & 22). Turn left on Midland Rd, which will curve right as you enter town, becoming Broad St. Turn left on Connecticut Avenue at the railway station. Cross the railroad tracks, proceed for 4 blocks. Weymouth is on the left – you’ll see a white fence and pillars with stone dogs.
Take US1 north through Aberdeen. Bear to your right, following signs to Southern Pines. At traffic light on Morganton Road, go straight ahead over the railroad bridge. Bear left when the road forks. Keep going, and turn right on Connecticut Avenue. Weymouth is a couple of hundred yards up on the left – you’ll see a white fence and pillars with stone dogs.
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In ceremonies held at Weymouth Center May 18, 1996, fifteen North Carolinians were inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, honoring their contributions to the rich literary heritage of the state. The first inductees were James Boyd, Charles W. Chesnutt, Jonathan Daniels, Inglis Fletcher, Paul Green, Bernice Kelly Harris, O. Henry, George Moses Horton, Randall Jarrell, Gerald Johnson, Guy Owen, Thad Stem, Jr., Richard Walser, Manly Wade Wellman and Thomas Wolfe. Additional members may be selected annually to join this distinguished group.
The Hall of Fame is located in the Boyd Room, former study of James Boyd, with displays of plaques, pictures, books and other memorabilia. This study was once the literary gathering place that Jonathan Daniels declared “launched the Southern Literary Renaissance” in the 1920s and 30s.
The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame realizes a dream of the late Sam Ragan, Poet Laureate of North Carolina (1982-1996). It was authorized by joint resolution of the General Assembly in 1993 and formally established by a grant from the NC Department of Cultural Resources for the North Carolina Writers’ Network, an organization serving writers and readers across the state.
In the spirit of those who over the centuries have graced North Carolina with literature of such quality, beauty and power, the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame proudly honors writers who have achieved enduring stature in their devotion to their writing and to their state.
For more information, visit the North Carolina Writers’ Network at, www.nclhof.org.
The Sam Ragan Bronze
In the final months of his life, North Carolina poet laureate and legendary newspaper editor Samuel Talmadge Ragan (1915-1996) sat for sculptor Gretta Bader in his office at The Pilot in Southern Pines. A group of friends commissioned the bust and later organized a statewide campaign to purchase it for the Weymouth Center. This tribute was appropriate for a number of reasons. Ragan was instrumental in preserving Weymouth, the former home of historical novelist James Boyd and his wife Katharine, as a cultural center, and also in creating the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, which is located here. Famous for his flowing white hair, trademark bow tie, and fedora hat, Ragan was the consummate Southern Gentleman. He was for many years executive editor of the Raleigh News & Observer and a leader in many artistic , literary, and journalistic organizations. He knew the Boyds well, visited Weymouth often, and bought The Pilot from Katharine Boyd in 1969. A champion of the arts, Sam Ragan was the state’s first Secretary of Cultural Resources, first chairman of the North Carolina Arts Council, and a member of the founding commission and original board of trustees of the North Carolina School of Arts. Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. named him state poet laureate for life in 1982. His books of poetry were twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His weekly literary column, “Southern Accent,” ran for nearly fifty years in the N&O and The Pilot, promoting the careers of countless North Carolina writers. Ragan was inducted posthumously into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 1997. His bronze portrait was officially presented to the Friends of Weymouth at an unveiling celebration on September 17, 2005.
Artist’s Statement by Gretta Bader
“From the moment I encountered Sam, I sensed his intensity, the warmth of his voice and manner, the richness of his capacity to listen, his accessibility. In this sculpture, there is something in gesture, smile, and expression that convey the extraordinary man I came to know and love. My hope is that it speaks to all of us that Sam is still ready for a good conversation.”
About the Artist
Gretta Lange Bader’s work is in the National Portrait Gallery and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Her more than 30 commissions include U.S Senators J. William Fulbright, Frank Church, and Claiborne Pell. In 2002, her eight-foot statue of Fulbright was unveiled at the University of Arkansas during a celebration of his legacy of peace through education. Closer to home, her life-size bronze figure of renowned golf course designer Donald J. Ross overlooks his masterpiece, Pinehurst No. 2. A graduate of Pomona College, Bader studied art at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste Munich, the Corcoran School of Art, American University, and the Rhode Island School of Design. She has taught at The Art League School in Alexandria, chairing its Sculpture Department from 1984-1989, and has been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. She is married to William B. Bader, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. They live in Alexandria, Virginia.
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The first James Boyd, a steel and railroad magnate from Pennsylvania, came to Southern Pines around the turn of the century. He purchased twelve hundred acres and created an estate that included stables, tennis courts, gardens and a nine-hole golf course. He named it “Weymouth” because it reminded him of Weymouth in England.
His grandsons, James and Jackson, were frequent visitors. Since they were very fond of fox hunting, they founded the Moore County Hounds in 1914. After World War I they divided the original home of their grandfather.
About 1920, the Boyd’s asked their friend and former Princetonian Aymar Embury II, a renowned New York architect and the official architect for Princeton University, to build their house. He also designed many residences and buildings in this area, including Mid Pines Resort, Market Square in Pinehurst and several buildings on Northwest Broad Street in Southern Pines. James and his wife Katharine Lamont Boyd lived in the gate house until their home was completed. It was there that he wrote and Katharine typed the manuscript for his first and most famous novel, Drums, which was published in 1925. A deluxe 1928 edition was illustrated by the famous artist N. C. Wyeth.
The Boyds entertained extensively and Weymouth became the center of a very lively social life in the 1920s and 1930s, with literary friends such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Paul Green and Sherwood Anderson. Boyd became one of America’s outstanding authors of historical novels. Drums was followed by Marching On (1927), Long Hunt (1930), Roll River (1935) and Bitter Creek (1939). He also wrote poetry and short stories.
The Boyds were active in the community, supporting Moore County Hospital (now First Health) and the Southern Pines Library. They donated property to establish Penick Village. In 1941, James Boyd purchased the local newspaper and became editor of The Pilot, and when James died in 1944, Katharine assumed management until 1969 when it was sold to Sam Ragan, a well-known North Carolina journalist and poet laureate of NC. In 1963, Katharine Boyd gave a wooded tract to the state of North Carolina which became the Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve. When Katharine died in 1974, Weymouth was left to the Sandhills Community College.
James and Katharine are buried in Bethesda Cemetery near Aberdeen. They had three children: James, Jr., Daniel and Nancy.
The Friends of Weymouth was chartered as a nonprofit corporation in 1977 and purchased the home and grounds in 1979 to establish a cultural center. The Boyd House and remaining acreage is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and was awarded a certificate of achievement by the National Wildlife Federation in 2003.
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|555 East Connecticut Avenue
PO Box 939
Southern Pines, North Carolina 28388
Phone: (910) 692-6261/Fax: (910) 692-1815
Join the Friends of Weymouth and share in the life of this very special place. Weymouth is maintained through individual contributions and membership in the Friends of Weymouth. As a member, you receive:
The Women of Weymouth meetings are held at 9:30am on the third Monday of the month, September through May. The membership is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the Boyd House through fundraising activities such as Christmas at Weymouth and other special events.
A variety of opportunities to volunteer…
On 21 acres in the center of Southern Pines, the garden area includes:
THE LONGBEDS, WATER GARDENS, POETS’ GARDEN, WRITERS’ RETREAT, WITCHES’ GARDEN, HERB GARDEN, LARGE AND SMALL ROCK GARDENS, AND MUCH MORE.
A gallant group of volunteers of all ages, both sexes and with gardening experience ranging from slight to extensive, comprise a group of volunteers known as the WEYMOUTH DIRT GARDENERS.
For more information please call the Weymouth Center (910) 692-6261.
Tours may be scheduled by calling the office at 910-692-6261. Tours are $5.00 per person payable at the door or you can prepay when making the reservation. If you are planning a tour and need further information about restaurants or shopping, please feel free to call. We also have directional maps from various areas to Weymouth Center which we will be happy to mail to you when confirming your reservation 10 days before arrival or find them on this website under Directions.
Individual – $75
Couple/Family – $150
Friend – $250-$499
Patron – $500-$4,999
Benefactor – $5,000 – $10,000
Membership is valid from July 1st to June 30th of the following year, and is tax deductible within the limits of the law.
Please call the office for a membership application- 910-692-6261
Friends of Weymouth, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization
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