January 30, 2014
WHITE OAK — Harmony Hall Plantation has become Harmony Hall Plantation Village, with new signs to be placed everywhere.
The name change came as a result of a recommendation from Seth Lewis, Harmony Hall Unified Committee chairperson, at the joint meeting last week, comprised of Harmony Hall and the Bladen County Historical Society.
Lewis said that the recommendation was encouraged by a member on N.C. Department of Transportation by stating that “Plantation” indicates what the old property used to be and “Village” tells what it is now.
Originally, the Richardson Family History establishes that the 12,000- to 15,000-acre plantation was a farming operation. Today the property has become a showplace for the river plantation house and 12 other buildings. Several old buildings have been saved and brought to Harmony Hall Plantation Village in an effort to prevent the buildings from being lost.
Some of those building include Colly District 41 School, an old church from Kelly, Benny Suggs Store, Wanda Campbell Office building (one of the oldest in Elizabethtown), Brisson Guyton Log Cabin, Shaw-McMillian Kitchen, McClure Gate House, Butler Corn Crib and Cain Kitchen.
“Visitors ask a lot of question about the “other buildings” and are interested to know that their ability to see them at Harmony Hall Plantation Village also increases visits to the property,” Lewis said. “Recently information plaques were placed on buildings to give visitors a real chance to do self-guided tours and know more about the history of all buildings.”
The name change was further encouraged when the NCDOT Sign Department agreed to place new signs around the area approaching the historic site, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites in 1962. Sign engineers are working now to put the finishing touches on the final design for the historic markers.
Also, the new signs should be installed before April 26, the date for the Annual Reunion Picnic, to which the public is invited. It is a day of celebration and activities reminiscent of parties held 20 years ago at the Plantation Village.
— Harmony Hall Plantation Village is open every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. This Sunday, volunteers will cook on an open flame, cooking in iron pots for visitors. Lennie Moore will teach and demonstrate blacksmithing. Also, the Rev. Don Groves will preach at the Harmony Hall Plantation Village Chapel with services beginning at 3 p.m. and a general worship service will be conducted. The public is welcome at no cost. Donations are welcome. Questions should be directed to Field Marshal Bobby Lewis at 910-874-4011.