The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 July 2007

With heels of tar

Tomorrow, barring catastrophe (I use that phrase a lot these days, I've noticed), I begin the North Carolina Slag. First stop, for no good reason, is Fuquay-Varina, mostly because I've always been curious about a town that would keep a name like Fuquay-Varina. (Mental note: Here's an excuse to go to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico next year, or whenever.) This will be followed by a run to Asheville, and then into deepest Tennessee. If you're on the way and would like my cell number, drop me an email.

Addendum: Because I wanted to know:

Fuquay Springs received its name from a farmer named Stephen Fuquay, great-grandson of settler William Fuquay, who discovered a mineral spring while plowing his fields in 1858. This spring eventually attracted attention from people living in other parts of North Carolina, for it began to develop a reputation for its healing properties.

Meanwhile, Varina was affectionately named by a Confederate soldier in honor of the pen name used by his sweetheart in their wartime correspondence. Initially, this name was applied to the first post office, but later the Varina Mercantile Company was formed. In time, a community developed around this store and adopted the name Varina as its own.

Over the years, these two towns grew by commercializing the popularity of the mineral springs and capitalizing on the profits associated with the tobacco industry. In 1963, the two merged into one town.

And now you know.

Posted at 5:22 PM to World Tour '07

Hmmm. I always thought the Varina part had to do with Varina Davis, Jeff's wife.

I sit corrected.

Posted by: John Salmon at 2:23 PM on 17 July 2007