heritage squareFayetteville is filled with gems and secrets and history ... lots of history. The Woman’s Club of Fayetteville oversees three especially significant pieces of Fayetteville’s history at Heritage Square. On Thursday, Oct. 13, the club is set to host a Wine, Brews and Silent Auction. 

“The proceeds from this event are earmarked for the restoration of Heritage Square. We don’t get any money from the state or federal government, but it is important for people to know that every dollar that comes in is used to keep the property up.” said Woman’s Club President Elaine Kennebeck. This particular project is an undertaking that will benefit local school children. The Woman’s Club is looking to expand its educational outreach efforts to area schools. “We are in the process of framing a lot of our archives. We have had them for years and no one gets to see them. We have a closet full of old dresses and uniforms that students love to see. We have an old rope bed. We have all these things for school kids to see on the tour of the property. We hope to see more field trips so we can share this history with students.”  

The evening’s events include an assortment of top-shelf wines and beers, food and appetizers, live music and a silent auction. “We are serving high end beverages with delicious food,” said Kennebck. “We will have a string trio for the first hour of the event followed by a jazz trio. We have more than 100 items for auction. We have all kinds of gift certificates, a TV, handbags, entertainment packages — there really is something for everyone.

At 225 Dicks Street, the Sandford House, Oval Ballroom and Baker-Haigh-Nimocks House make up Heritage Square. These structures are a significant part of Fayetteville’s past and the Woman’s Club is dedicated to preserving their history and sharing their story.

Mark Russell was the original owner of the land that is now Heritage Square. Duncan McLeran purchased the property in 1797. It is McLeran who is credited with building the Sandford house and the Nimocks house. The property changed hands in 1804 when McLeran sold the house to John Adam and his wife, Sarah, and again in 1820 when Sara Adam sold the house to John Cameron. Cameron sold the house to the United States Bank. John Sandford worked as the cashier at the bank where he also lived on the second floor. He purchased the house in 1839. The house changed hands a few more times before the Woman’s Club purchased it in 1945. 

When Margaret Halliday married John Sandford in 1830, the family had a ballroom built for the reception and ball that would follow the ceremony. One hundred years later, it had become the Colonial Inn, a popular tourist stop during the depression. Visitors enjoyed fine southern fare and enjoyed the history of the building. Once the Woman’s Club purchased it in 1956, the group moved the ballroom to its current location on Heritage Square. The Oval Ballroom is an elongated octagon in form on the outside and a perfect oval on the inside. Because of its unique design, the room is registered in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and featured in the book Early Architecture of North Carolina by Johnson and Waterman.

In 1818, James Baker bought some land and a house from Duncan McLeran. He moved his young bride in and they lived there until 1849 when he sold it. By 1852, Charles T. Haigh owned the house, which he gifted to his daughter-in-law and her husband, William. In 1893, after William died the house was sold to Quincy K. Nimocks. The Woman’s Club purchased the house in 1966.

Tickets are $40 per person, $75 per couple. The events runs from 6-9 p.m. For tickets and information, call 483-6009.

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