Out in the Raleigh suburban environs there exist small unincorporated hamlets or towns that wax and wane with the times. Some of these include Stony Hill, Purnell, Millbrook, Lizard Lick, Barham, and Bayleaf. Laurinda Elliot and her friend, Leyla Jo Piper, both were taken with the characteristic charm of these small places as they went about their daily activities. Laurinda because these unique gems were new to her, and Leyla Jo because they were in her history as a North Carolinian.
Laurinda passed a scruffy, white clapboard store. One that surely had seen generations of service as a fuel-up spot out in the country. Its red, tin roof sloped in the middle like a sway-back work horse down to a porch overhang supported by thick poles created from white-washed pine trees. She’d noticed long-standing pine poles like those on buildings in other small towns out beyond the population growth and development. The poles supported not just the buildings, but also their tight-knit communities.
These towns existed by virtue of common experience, be it a collection of families farming rich farmland, proximity to a natural resource such as excellent drinking water, a lake that provided swimming, boating, and fishing, or perhaps convenience along the way to or from “somewhere else,” similar to how Raleigh became the site for the new State Capital. Whatever their origins often lost now to the 21st Century, they are much cherished for their heritage of place.