Matt and Chris walk the mountains and float the lakes of Graham County. Matt opens by quickly explaining why Chris couldn’t find a native brew from Graham County. Chris is surprised that Graham county even exists in the first place. Somehow a forest discussion leads Matt to some quick math comparing Graham County and Manhattan.
Graham County is home to the famous Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, a famous poet and World War I casualty who likely never set foot in North Carolina. Graham County is also a veritable land o lakes- or at least two lakes, Lake Santeethlah and Fontana Lake. If you want to hear more about Fontana Lake and its floating homes, check out the episode Floating Homes of Fontana of Our State Magazine‘s podcast Away Message. (Please don’t sue us).
Chris gives an objective measure to the mountainous topography of Graham County, and takes issue with the term Nantahala i.e. land of the noon-day sun. Matt considers whether Lake Santeethlah is really just a Graham County ‘water feature’, and Chris notes the entire mountainous area of North Carolina was a water feature during the Paleozoic Era. Chris almost gets lost down the black hole of midi-chlorians.
Matt notes a bunch of things that Graham County is not named after, which is pretty much everything that sounds like or rhymes with Graham except for William A Graham. Graham County may be the only North Carolina county to have a Naval Ship named after it- the USS Graham County.
As Graham County is North Carolina’s last dry county Matt and Chris can’t actually toast the county with an official native beer, we decided to toast mountainous Graham County with a Buncombe County mountain brew, Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing. Meanwhile the County Boys discussed various forms of crackers to wash down their beer with.
You can find something to toast this episode by listening to it here:
Don’t come here expecting spoilers for future counties- It’s all Gates County all the time in Episode 37. Chris notes a defining feature of Gates County, the Chowan River, which leads Matt to wonder what the weirdest ocean creature to make its way up the Albermarle sound up the Chowan River is- which somehow wound up with Matt singing Amazing Grace as a manta ray.
Chris compares the population of Gates County (12,197) with the number of IBM employees in the triangle and the capacity of Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. Matt wonders whether Bill Gates could buy Gates county outright- and whether it would come with the furniture and the pigs.
Chris talks about not-long-for-this-world Bute County and the Duke of Earl, the exploits of Benjamin Franklin, and the Tuscarora Indians. Matt notes the downfalls of wearing Franklins. Chris wonders about the pronunciation of Franklin County’s seat, Louisburg. (Charming since 1779!) Matt pitches Franklin County livin’ for its proximity to the Triangle.
Chris notices that Franklin County is home fo the World Whistling Championship… and promptly gets sucked into an internet blackhole of whistling. It’s all true.
Perhaps Chris should have looked harder for some of the beer on the banks of the Tar River flowing through Franklin County. As it is Chris toasted Franklin County with a Skillet Stout from Buncombe County’s Burial Beer, while Matt throws down with Some L.A. Crow Ten.
Hopefully you don’t have to look hard to find a link to this episode- you can listen easy at:
In episode 33 Matt and Chris don’t just hang out on the perimeter- but dig in to the juicy middle of Edgecombe County, with imagined graphical accompaniment.
Edgecumbe was formed in 1741 and unfortunately for the county’s namesake Richard Edgcumbe, the county founders got the spelling wrong. But Richard wasn’t an LP and Chris couldn’t really figure out why this guy was deserving of a county anyway. So at the end of the day maybe that’s why it was misspelled- folks just didn’t care all that much about him.
The Tuscarora Indians of Edgecombe County had multiple towns- and they did not get along with each other. As it turns out one of the factions of the Tuscarora Indians played a role in the history of other NC counties- specifically Chief Hancock who captured John Lawson & Christoph von Graffenried.Hancock ultimately killed Lawson- which did not work out well for Lawson or Hancock’s lower town Tuscarora Indians.
Donkeys or large pieces of ice? Tarboro, formerly Tarrburg, is Edgecombe County’s county seat.
In an alternate reality Matt and Chris toast Edgecombe county with a brew from Tarboro Brewing Company. As for this Earth, we could not find any TBC beer in time for recording.
Whether or not you are enjoying a brew from TBC, you can enjoy a listen to this episode at:
In episode 32 Matt and Chris get the lowdown on Dr D, the bull of Durham, Duke University, and Black Wall Street- all of Durham County North Carolina.
Before diving in, Matt and Chris play a little game of Operation on North Carolina to try and find the heart of North Carolina. Matt plans a romantic getaway. Chris treads down the Great Trading Path with the Siouan-speaking Eno Native Americans.
Chris warns all listeners away from chewing tobacco. Somehow the subject of hobos comes up again. Matt wonders about the relationship between Bladen County resident Wesley Snipes and Dr. D.
Matt and Chris toast Durham county with a Rocket Science IPA from Durham’s own Fullsteam Brewery. Somehow we did not wind up drinking a Cackalacky from Fullsteam.
Durham County’s County Seat and practically only city is Durham, not surprisingly. Unfortunately, no Lords Proprietors are mentioned in relation to Durham County.
Matt gets… somewhat excited about the boundaries of Davie County, which include the Yadkin River to the east, and to the south with… the South Yadkin River. Chris questions the sources on where exactly High Rock Lake begins- which may be the confluence of the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers, but might actually be in the town of Yadkin.
Speaking of the geography of Davie County, Matt and Chris debate the pronunciation of the Piedmont. Next Chris and Matt discuss the county’s RiverPark at Cooleemee, home to the famous Bull Hole. Matt reminisces about the Jesus reunion tour ’86 which may have gone through Jerusalem but probably did not go through Mocksville, which evidently is a hotbed of crime.
Speaking of Mocksville, Chris discusses the Daniel Boone Family Festival of Mocksville and Boone’s Cave Park just across the Yadkin River from Davie County. The County Boys get excited about a cameo appearance of a Lords Proprietor.
Matt dives deep into Davie County’s NC Bike Fest (NSF normal people).
You can dive into the Bull Hole and listen to this episode at:
Matt reminisces about his two uneventful trips to Davidson County. Chris discusses the surprisingly high population of Davidson County. Matt discusses Pat Summit and the amateur and professional basketball career of Davidson (College) graduate Woodrow Wilson. Chris speculates about whether the Sapona Indians hold a grudge about losing their river name. Matt notices the dichotomy between Thomasville being home to the big chair but not being the county seat of Davidson County.
Davidson County is associated with a handful of famous- or semi-famous people, including its namesake Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, Revolutionary War patriot, and Thomasville’s namesake John W. Thomas.
Chris and Matt toast Davidson County with a Fearrington Summer from Durham County’s Fullsteam Brewery. Appropriate in Chris’ mind since sweet tea goes well with barbecue. After having perhaps too much Fearrington Summer, Matt volunteers various places he aint too proud to swim.
Chris lays out the differences between ‘western’ or Lexington style barbecue and ‘eastern’ style barbecue. Matt recommends BBQJew.com for its domain name and bbq reviews. Matt wonders if it is enough in life to be delicious.
The boys also talk about High Rock Lake, a bit about the Uwharrie Mountains, and Thomasville’s Everybody’s Day.
Chris talks about the Qualla Boundary, colloquially known as the Cherokee reservation- despite the fact that the land that was purchased privately and not reserved by any government for the Cherokee. Matt expresses his anger at the treatment of Native Americans during their relocation in the 1800s on the Trail of Tears. Chris discusses the process of pumping water up to the top of a damn to store energy. Matt admonishes Chris for mentioning other forms of media or entertainment that may distract our listener. Matt notices the frequency with which leaders go into the woods and come up with an epiphany that starts a movement. Chris points out that “they” have in fact done a religious-themed putt-putt course.