The largest and second-oldest historic property in Fayetteville, Heritage Square boasts structures dating back to the late 1700s. These buildings tell the stories of some of Fayetteville’s founding families – and have intriguing tales of their own. Sherman’s Army headquartered in one during the Civil War. Another is an oval stand-alone ballroom – part of an 1850s murder trial dubbed “The Trial of the Century” at the time. Still another was the home of one of the area’s most powerful landowners in the 1700s. The grounds and gardens are tended by master gardeners, creating the serenity and sense of nostalgia that can only be found in a well-kept Southern estate. It’s all nestled in downtown Fayetteville at 225 Dick St. Oct. 6-7, the Heritage Square Historical Society will open this property and all the fascinating buildings to host its annual Christmas Bazaar.
“We did this last year, and it was a huge success,” said Heritage Square Historical Society President Elaine Kennebeck. “We had people donate Christmas decorations and art, and we got beautiful things. A lot was brand new and still in the boxes.”
From tchotchkes to substantial pieces, rustic to refined, Kennebeck promises it’s worth coming to see the offerings. “Last year, we had ... some vintage items from the ’70s. We still have some left. We have a little of everything - thousands of items.”
If the eclectic inventory of one-of-a-kind and hard-to-find items is not enough reason to come, Kennebeck is certain the deals are. She searches websites like eBay for similar items and prices the bazaar pieces at about half what the online auction sites demand. Shoppers get to see and handle the wares before buying, and the atmosphere is relaxed and jovial. There will also be a room filled with costume jewelry and other assorted items for sale, including gift baskets.
The fact that the event is held inside is a bonus because guests get to experience the property as well.
Like much of Fayetteville, Heritage Square suffered significant damage from Hurricane Florence, some of it not covered by insurance. “Every nickel of this goes to maintaining and preserving the homes,” said Kennebeck. “We are trying very hard to recuperate from (the hurricane).”
The Heritage Historical Society does more than maintain the properties. Its goal is to share them as well. It rents out the property for events like weddings, receptions and baby showers. “We have beautiful grounds,” Kennebeck said. “We also have the oval ballroom, which is unique. The property is for people to enjoy. If you are looking for an authentic intimate Southern wedding, this is a great place. We have a full working kitchen, which caterers love. People can bring their own food, too.”
There is also an educational initiative in progress designed for students of all ages – and it’s not your standard historical tour. The experience uses common Victorian-era items and relates them to modern life. Not surprisingly, many of the examples connect to modern-day cell phones. Today’s phones do the work of a bevy of appliances from yesteryear. We talk to each other, listen to music, correspond, take pictures and more. It used to take wall phones, record players, typewriters and cameras to do the same. And the Heritage Historical Society can share what that was like.
The Christmas Bazaar at Heritage Square, 225 Dick St., is open Friday, Oct. 5, from 8 a.m.-4p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 6, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. It’s free to attend. Call 910-483-6009 for more information.