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.

Although Graham County was nice enough to get a warship named after it, America and Graham county was not the most hospitable place for Cherokee Indian Chief Junaluska, who is buried in Graham County, or Peter Jenkins.

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 notices that about .5% of Gates County’s current population- or about 60 people- identify as Native American, but was originally inhabited by Nottoway, Meherrin, Chesapeake, Chowanoac, and Nansemond Indians. Matt romanticizes Jodie Foster’s travels in the new world.

Gates County is considered Coastal Plain or tidwater- not quite an IBX member, but just up the Chowan river from Albermarle Sound. A defining feature of Gates County is the Merchants Millpond State Park, presumably home to many corn dog plants aka Cattails- evidently many parts of which can be eaten.

While Merchants Millpond State Park is mentioned on the Gates County Seal it is not featured- you may want to bring a pillow if you want to dissect the county seal.

Chris couldn’t find a beer from Gates County so he toasted Gates County with a Magic Visions Ale from Aviator Brewing Company. Meanwhile Matt recorded leprechaun pirate style, sans beer or rum.

You can find this podcast on iTunes or other podcast apps or listen to it here:

 

Matt and Chris take in the lights as they drive through Gaston County. Chris considers a CountyBoysPodcast.com kickstarter to acquire… countyboys dot com. Matt notes that Gaston County is hosting a free public showing of Beauty and Beast one week in the future- in the past.

Matt notes the legal bullying that got the county seat moved from Dallas to Gastonia.  (Not really).  Chris wonders about the government and business structures necessary to curtail the scourge of… stray dogs. Matt notes how great Alpaca looks when you are hungry.  Chris distinguishes between Kings Pinnacle of Gaston County, the city of Kings Mountain in Cleveland County, and Kings Mountain in South Carolina, site of the famous 1780 Revolutionary war battle.

Courtesy of Tazz250Matt imagines war as a video game (fancy that). Chris discusses the county’s namesake William Gaston, kind of a big deal in 19th century North Carolina- and also Georgetown’s first enrollee (yay!) and first dropout (boo). Meanwhile Matt and Chris compare early admittances against Billy G’s election to the North Carolina State Senate at 22 years old and US Congress at 35 years old.

Matt reminisces about the peaches of youth and wonders about former giant inhabitants of North Carolina. Chris embraces terrible foods. Matt discusses his sleeping arrangements which may or may not be the most amazing thing ever.

Matt and Chris discuss the Mill town politics and the textile strike of the 1920s that happened in Gaston County.

Matt and Chris toast Gaston county with a Mountain Candy beer from Sycamore Brewing located in neighboring Mecklenburg County. (Chris is a big fan of Mountain Candy and you can add him on Untappd).

McAdenville aka Christmas Town USA is home to an annual town-wide Christmas light show that Chris visited in his childhood.  You can see some of the lights on youtube:

You can listen to us yammer about the lights and more on Gaston County at:

 


Matt and Chris harmonize over Franklin County, a “Research Triangle Region Community”.

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.

Matt bombs the quiz concerning the town of Franklin and the county of Franklin. Chris tries to navigate the waters of the Tar River.

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 LawsonChristoph 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.

You can listen to this episode at:

Diggers Dungeon

Chris and Matt toast Currituck county with a Weeping Radish Octoberfest brew from North Carolina.

Chris dispels the notion of an island named Bodie. Matt takes particular notice of how peninsula is (not in fact) spelled.  Matt is blown away by Currituck’s county seal.

The LPs make another appearance on the County Boys via Currituck County’s predecessor Albermarle County which is named after George Monck, 1st Duke of Albermarle and a Lords Proprietor.

Currituck Beach lighthouse

Matt is overjoyed to learn that the town (or unincorporated community) of Currituck is located in Currituck County- and is the county seat. Chris shines some light on Fresnel lenses and Currituck Beach Lighthouse.

Matt may or may not unearth the birthplace of one of the most successful cars the Toyota Corolla.

Chris gets super excited about the Digger’s Dungeon, home to one of the most popular monster trucks Gravedigger.

Sources:
The North Carolina Historical Genealogical Register, Volume 3, Google Books.

You can listen to the episode through download via iTunes or Google Play or here: