The Rich Heritage of Quilt Trails
I know you have seen them off in the distance – a bright splash of color on an old barn. These are “Barn Quilts” and they are a great tribute to our heritage and “the art of rural America.” They honor our long-gone quilters, like my mother Chloe.
Old Tobacco Barn at Moratock Park with “Tobacco Times” Quilt block
Quilt trails are popping up everywhere the U.S.A. and Canada. You can see them all over the mountains of North Carolina and now we have a trail here in eastern North Carolina. The first barn quilt in Martin County (part of the Tar-Roanoke River Trail) was on the Pack House barn at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast. We now have 12 quilts installed in our county – and more to come. Click to see all the Barn Quilts in and around Williamston, NC
Griffin’s Quick Lunch – a Mom & Pop Icon
Griffin’s Quick Lunch is an Eastern North Carolina Icon
Griffin’s Quick Lunch – Mom and Pop Diner in Eastern NC
Griffin’s Quick Lunch, just like many Mom and Pop diners in eastern North Carolina, is a landmark. Unfortunately, we are losing many of these cafes; Williamston is lucky to still have Griffin’s.
If you go to Griffin’s, you MUST try the Banana Fritters. These were first made famous at Cobb’s Corner Restaurant; sadly, Cobb’s is gone. A relative who worked at Cobb’s gave the recipe for her Banana Fritters to her son; he later bought Griffin’s, so now they serve these sweet delights. I have the recipe, but like the recipes my mother passed down, it is just a list of ingredients. I am still trying to make this recipe work. When I do, I will post it.
Click to see specialties of the house at Griffin’s Quick Lunch…
Picking Peanuts in Eastern North Carolina
Picking peanuts reminds me of growing up in eastern North Carolina. My nephew Barney and I loved to play hide-and-seek in the peanut fields. Back then, the peanuts were dug and stacked on poles to dry. There is a certain earthy smell that is everywhere.
Harry Roberson leaning on his Peanut Stacks in Gold Point, NC, circa 1940 (Thanks to Hank Roberson for the use of his grandfather’s photo)
We loved to hide behind these stacks and to climb them, much to the dismay of my parents. All the children in the neighborhood joined us and we stayed out until way after dark. Sadly, the peanut stacks are gone. Click to see video of Peanuts being Picked
Mule Room Suite — Perfect for Long-Term Rentals
When I was growing up we had mules: Big Red, Little Red, Rock, Kit and Mary. There were other mules before my time, but I don’t remember their names.
The living room in the Mule Room Suite has great views of the lakes
We have spiffed up our mule Mary’s quarters and we call her home the Mule Room Suite. Much discussion went into what to call it. A good friend wanted me to call it a shed, but on this farm sheds only have 3 sides. Click to read more about the Mule Room — past and present …
Big Mill Barn Quilt and the Tar and Roanoke River Quilt Trails
The most easterly Barn Quilt on North Carolina’s Quilt Trail is on the Pack House barn at Big Mill B&B in Williamston, NC. I just love it!
Barn Quilt in eastern NC at Big Mill B&B in Williamston
I used to go to Quilting Bees with my mother when I was a child. I would play under the quilt all by myself. There were no other children.
The ladies made such beautiful works of art. Mother would sew the pieces of fabric together and let me help. When it was all pieced together, we put it in the frame along with the backing and the batting. Then Mother’s friends would come for several days until the quilt was quilted. My father used to make cotton and wool batts for his mother to quilt. I wish I had gotten him to show me how.
In 1976, everyone had caught Bicentennial Fever and felt patriotic so Mother (also named Chloe) made a quilt of red, white and blue. Click to read more about Barn Quilts and Miss Chloe’s LaMoyne Star …
Bill’s Hot Dogs – Eastern NC’s Best Hot Dog
Bill’s Hot Dogs in Washington, NC is an institution
Bill’s Hot Dogs in Little Washington, NC
It doesn’t matter if you like hot dogs or not — you just have to eat a Bill’s hot dog if you are in Washington, North Carolina. Bill’s has been open as a hot dog “stand” since 1928 and it hasn’t changed much; not that I can see.
Located on Gladden Street in “Little” Washington, NC, it is just a short distance from the Pamlico River. Bill’s is an institution for most everyone who has ever lived in Washington or eastern North Carolina. For the locals, this is Road Food at its best. Click to read More about Bill’s Hot Dogs in Washington, NC
Chloe’s Big Mill Barn Quilt : Behind-the-Scenes
Big Mill B&B is going to be part of the Tar River Quilt Trail
Kim Young & Chloe Tuttle examine Quilt Block for Big Mill’s Barn Quilt
How did the Big Mill B&B barn quilt idea and project happen? In essence, I read about the American Quilt Trail and I wanted to be part of it. I picked a favorite quilt pattern – one that my mother made. And I joined the Tar River Quilt Trail, it is now the Tar-Roanoke River Quilt Trail. This pattern is being painted on plywood and will be installed on the side of my Pack House Barn here on the farm. Click to read more about Barn Quilts in North Carolina …
Somerset Place Plantation
Somerset Place Plantation in Creswell, NC, is off the beaten path.
Somerset is isolated. That is one of the reasons it is so haunting.
In 1860, Somerset Place Plantation near Creswell, NC had 328 slaves, making it the third largest plantation in North Carolina. At one time it encompassed 100,000 acres of land and swamp sitting on the shores of Lake Phelps right in the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina, which meant drainage ditches, canals, mosquitoes and basically not an easy life. To read more about Somersest click here
Southern Molasses Pudding Cake Recipe
Molasses is a staple in the south – we use molasses for everything.
Molasses Pudding with Bourbon Sauce is a southern tradition
It seemed like everybody’s grandmother made Molasses Pudding and it was always a treat. In some parts of the country, it might be called Molasses Cake, but southerners call it Molasses Pudding. Once you add the Bourbon Sauce, it does seem more like a pudding.
Friend Nancy and I set out to recreate this old-fashioned southern recipe and we did it! We added the Bourbon Pecan Sauce to spice it up. Southerners love molasses and use it everywhere. Read more about Molasses and Chloe’s Molasses Pudding Cake
The Church Moved by the Hand of God
There is a small wood frame church in Swan Quarter, North Carolina, that was truthfully moved by the hand of God.
Church Moved by the Hand of God traveled by itself to sit on this lot.
In 1874, members of this small congregation in eastern North Carolina tried in vain to buy a piece of land from a Mr. Sam Sadler in order to build a church. This lot was perfect –it was higher land than any other lot in town.
Mind you, almost all of Hyde County is barely above sea level, so a higher lot was important. Mr. Sadler vehemently refused to sell.
The congregation then accepted a gift of another lot behind the courthouse and soon they had a basic structure for the church. It was a simple wood building on piers called the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Folks began worshiping in this new church. On the eve of the dedication, September 16, 1876, a big storm was brewing out in the Pamlico Sound. By the next day, September 17th, a full force hurricane hit all of Hyde County; Swan Quarter was under 5 feet of water. Click to find out what happened next – it’s quite amazing!