Sure, most people have heard of Haymount, but not everyone knows about the magic of this part of town. Not only is there a great camaraderie between the residents, there are unique one-of-a-kind businesses that offer everything from food to clothing and gifts to healthcare to petcare to entertainment and more. While this community spends most of the year tending to the day-to-day business and busy-ness of life and looking out for each other, this holiday season the Haymount community is excited to host Haymount Lights for the greater Fayetteville area through Jan 1.
The Haymount area of Fayetteville has a lot going for it. The cozy eateries, quaint shops, churches, award-winning theater and neighborhoods with tree-lined streets all contribute to the charm and distinct personality of Haymount. Named for John Hay, an Irish-born lawyer who built his home on the corner of Hillside and Hay Streets, the area was originally named “Hay Mount.” This later became Haymount and later still, the spelling Haymont came into play.
Officially, the boundaries of Haymount are from the foot of the hill up Hay Street to Fountainhead Lane, all of Hale Street, all of Hillside Avenue, Brandts Lane and part of Athens Avenue. “This area is a nationally registered and local historic district,” said Fayetteville Historic Properties Manager Bruce Daws. “It was established because of the cluster of homes in that area that represent Federal-style architecture that was popular through the mid 1820s as well as some of the other architecture of the time.”
Officially or not, just a bit further up the hill are establishments that are considered part of the Haymount district by the people who live, shop, worship, eat and play there. These establishments are as much a part of the psyche of this town as other distinctive areas like downtown, Skibo Road and the Cape Fear River Trail.
Pulling the community together even more is a relatively new organization called Happenin’ in Haymount. Throughout the year businesses and residents come together for things like hosting neighborhood dinners, welcoming new businesses and neighbors and building a sense of community in Haymount through group activities. This holiday season the organization is adding some extra sparkle to the festivities.“We were looking for a traditional event that people can look forward to every year,” said Ashley Culliton, Happenin’ in Haymount organizer and spokesperson. “Throughout the year we have get-togethers and things like yoga in the park and mommy groups. We want to create that neighborhood camaraderie and sense of community where neighbors look out for each other and have life-long friendships. We are trying to make Haymount the community that other areas look to as an example of how to do it right.”
This Christmas season, the Haymount neighborhood is coming together to bring Haymount Lights to Fayetteville. Sixty-one participants, including 21 Haymount businesses, have signed up to participate. It’s fun, it’s free to the public and it is a chance to get out and enjoy the Christmas season. Although there is a lot of love between the participants, no Christmas light display is complete without some competition from the neighbors. Visit the Happenin’ in Haymount Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Haymount for a map and for the form to vote for your favorite light displays.