Buying a book
Finally in Dooley-land for real, but as it appeared we actually didn't spent much time on researching the Dooley-case. I had planned to meet the lady I missed in November, but I happened to miss meeting her once more. Next try will be in the summer of 2017.
Yadkin River at Shallow Ford near Yadkinville.
Our first goal of the day was Wilkes Heritage Museum in the center of Wilkesboro but as the museum didn't open until 10 AM, I decided to show Tim some of the places where I had been hunting ghosts in 2015. So we headed east on US 421 and along the way changed to smaller roads, taking us around the area. We made the first stop at Shallow Ford on the Yadkin River near Yadkinville in Yadkin County, actually near Huntsville, the oldest settlement in the county, but nowadays a part of Yadkinville. During The American Revolution British General Cornwallis crossed this ford with his army in 1781 while on the hunt for American rebels, a year after a battle had been fought the same place between rebels and loyalists - a battle won by the rebels. Towards the end of The Civil War, General George Stoneman crossed the ford during his raid into North Carolina in April 1865. A hard fight was fought with Confederates on the eastern bank of the river. This battle took place on April 11th, two days after General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse. The ghost in question here, should be a rebel colonel from the revolution, but why he hangs around nobody knows for sure. Or at least I haven't been able to find out why.
From Shallow Ford we set the satnav to show us the way to Dinkins Bottom Road, another places I visited in 2015, but unfortunately I had forgotten where it was. The satnav asked us to continue straight ahead across the river, and then onwards for 3 miles till we once again were back at US 421. Then about three miles west on the highway to an exit that took us to Dinkins Bottom Road. Our goal was a bridge across a creek, so we continued along Dinkins Bottom Road until we came to the bridge. This place were also supposed to be haunted, or at least it had been until the old wooden one-lane bridge had been replaced by the present bridge. We never saw the ghost, but as we continued a couple of hundred yards, we were back at Shallow Ford, 80 yards from where we had set the satnav to show us the way. So effective was the "No U-turn" function of the satnav that it took us on a 12 miles drive instead of just turning us around and drive less than 100 yards.
Next stop was Dobbins Mill Pond or just Dobbins Pond north of Yadkinville, which by the way is the county seat of Yadkin County. At Dobbins Mill Pond maybe Jesse Dobbins is haunting the place. Nobody has ever seen him (or rather his ghost), but some people claim that they have felt his presense. He was not too popular in the area in the years after The Civil War. He was a northern sympathizer and had fought in the Union army. He was found dead outside his mill, maybe killed, but it is not known for sure if he actually was killed or if he died of a heart attack. Some people claim that mysterious lights can be seen on the surface of the lake, when somebody has drowned, which has happened to a few people. The final stop on this short ghost hunt was Booger Swamp, or rather Booger Swamp Road. It is not far from the mill pond as the crow flows but a bit longer by road as you have to return to Yadkinville from the pond before heading out again. The swamp was once haunted by a bogeyman and people who met him were known never to return. Rather strange though - if they never returned how would anyone else know if they met the booger? Unfortunately the swamp has been drained and all that is left is a very small creek running through the area. When the swamp disappeared so did the booger.
The Wilkes Heritage Museum is in the Old Courthouse Building from 1903.
As it had now passed 12 we returned to Wilkesboro and the museum. There were two reasons for the visit. First of all had Tim never seen it. On our first visit we only took the guided tour to Old Wilkes Jail and Robert Cleveland House, but I made up for that in November 2015, so now it was Tim's turn to visist the place. The other reason was, that I wanted to buy a book! While Tim toured the museum I visited the gift shop. In the spring of 2016 a new book on the Tom Dooley case by Mrs. Charlotte Corbin Barnes had been published, and on a website I had found out, that it were on sale from the Whippoorville Academy and Village in Ferguson. Unfortunately the open air museum was not open during our visit, but another search had shown me that it could also be purchased at the Wilkes Heritage Museum. The price was an exorbitant $ 50, by far the most expensive book I have ever bought in USA. But as I read it I found that it was well worth the price, and I have since corresponded a lot with the author, and is hoping to meet her on my next visit to the area in the summer of 2017. While Tim completed his visit at the museum I went outside and looked at the small Dooley's Grill and Tavern on the corner of Main Street and Broad Street, next to the museum. I had seen it before, but never looked closely at it. As the menu revealed dishes as Tom Dooley Burger, Laura Foster Dip and more of the same, the case was settled. We simply had to dine there, which I told Tim when he exited the museum. In unison we decided to do so the next evening, as it would be a nice touch on our final day in the area.
After visiting the museum and giving Tim the opportunity to visit the grave of Civil War General James B. Gordon on St. Paul's Episcopal Cemetery, we headed back to Dooley-land once more. Once more we were looking for the grave of Ann Melton's brother, Pinkney Foster, as we had done in 2012 and 2014 and as I had done on my own in 2013 and 2015, but even with the help of gps coordinates from findagrave.com we were unsuccesful. I am beginning to think that the pictures on the internet are photoshopped and that the grave actually doesn't exists. We didn't enter the field where it's supposed to be, but as you have a clear view of the field from Gladys Fork Road it should have been possible to spot it - but it wasn't. So instead we continued to the Dula-Horton Cemetery on Council Farm Drive. We had been there before, and knew how to find it, and we just had a short look at the place, while Tim took some pictures of a modern home - nice but uninhabited. I think it may have been build as a show house for a division that was never completed. The house is foreclosed, and the area around the house looks like it has been uninhabited for quite some time. Where this modern house is, once stood the home of Captain William Dula and his descendants until it burned down in 1949.The cemetery, founded by Captain William before his death in 1835, is at the end of the cul de sac where the house is, and a lot of the wealthier Dulas and Hortons are buried here.
After our visit to the cemetery we headed back to our hotel in Wilkesboro. We relaxed for a bit before having dinner at the local Ruby Tuesday. In spite of us only being in the vicinity of Wilkesboro all day, we managed to drive more than 200 miles that day in reasonable weather. The sun was shining for part of the day, and it didn't rain. The temperature was only around 93 F, when it was hottest and most of the time around 80 to 85. I would have liked to spend the evening to watching once more the Tom Dooley outdoor play, that I enjoyed in 2014, but for some reason the play were on a break exactly the three days that we were in the area.