Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lockville and the War.

Kevin Stone asked the other day about the Lockville and Haywood communities in Chatham County during the War. Let's look at Lockville.

Lockville was originally known as Ramsey's Mill. There was a mill, dam, ferry boat, and landing. In the 1850s, owner Alston Jones worked out a deal with the Cape Fear and Deep River Navigation Company. The Company came in and raised the height of the dam from six to eight feet, and converted the millrace into a canal that made navigation possible over Pullen's Falls. This was apparently completed in 1859, although the War brought work to a halt and backrupted the Company. It is probable that the name "Lockville" referred to the locks on the river, used to float boats up and down near the falls.

There are a few mentions of Lockville in period newspapers. In March 1861, it was announced that the steamer John Dawson had been purchased to haul freight from Wilmington to Lockville (The Daily Journal March 25, 1861). It appears that the canal was the primary way to haul coal from the Egypt Coal Mine to Wilmington.  Even though it was chartered in 1855, a railroad to the area was almost finished by the time Sherman arrived in 1865.

The Lockville Mining and Manufacturing Company incorporated in 1863 and was located in the area; this was a company that purchased the Endor Iron Works in 1864. An ad in the January 7, 1864, edition of The Daily Progress, announced that the company was looking for miners to work in the cooper deposits.

In 1865, Reese H. Butler, at one time a machinist working for Spiller and Burr, but later at the Raleigh Bayonet Factory (Heck, Brodie & Co.), was building "an extensive foundry and machine shop" near Lockville. (Norman, 59)

The final time Lockville appears in war-time newspapers occurs on Mach 28, 1865. W. S. Downer, superintendent of the Lockville Mining Company, had either been to Fayetteville, or talked to someone in Fayetteville. The letter, dated March 17, 1865, read in part: "Fayetteville is ruined. All the Arsenal buildings, the Market House, Court House, printing Office, both Foundries, all the Mills, Cotton Factories, Oil Works, &c., were destroyed. They robbed the people of everything in the way of food..." (Raleigh Conservative).

I could find no mention of a Civil War Trail marker, or a North Carolina Highway Historical Marker in the area.  (There is a marker for the Egypt Coal Mine in neighboring Lee County.)
Lockville, from a 1870 map.

1 comment:

Kevin Stone said...

That was very well written and informative good sir! Thank you for digging into things for me!