Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day Trip of the Month: Southern Pines, NC

Today we visited the town of Southern Pines: a small, charming town established with the coming of the railroad and boosted by the timber and turpentine industries. Developed primarily during the late 19th through the 20th century, Southern Pines quickly became a resort town known for its healthy pine-filled air and warm climate for northerners. Its proximity to luxurious golf resorts like Pinehurst and Weymouth and its active equestrian community made it a prime location for tourists and natives alike seeking recreational activities.

The downtown area of Southern Pines is remarkably intact and I give it a thumbs-up for preserving so much of its original streetscape.  The surrounding historic district with its quaint cottages, late Victorians, and mid-century homes is equally charming and retains a high degree of integrity.  Architecturally, Southern Pines is a 20th century small-town gem in the Sandhills region of North Carolina. 

I LOVE these cool reflector light fixtures with the large bulbs and cage guards (I even spotted some in the form of streetlights): 

However, I must say that in the area of antiquing, Southern Pines left much to be desired. I was pretty disappointed.  I guess I just didn't realize how few real antique stores there were in relation to the vast amount of retail shopping located downtown.  Additionally, even though one afternoon is probably not enough time for me to develop an accurate impression, I left without a strong desire to visit again.  Perhaps I am focusing too much on the negative, I really wanted to fall in love this community, but it didn't happen for me. 

Even still, it was a fun day getting away from home for a bit and seeing a new part of NC! 


  1. Megan,

    I have fond childhood memories of Southern Pines. Dr. Vida McLeod was my mom's doctor when my parents were first married and my dad was stationed at nearby Pope AFB. It was 1955, and my mom was 18 going on 19, and had a baby. Dr. Vida (the namesake of one of my sisters) Had been widowed in the 1920s. She had gone to Vandy med school and took over her husband's practice. She raised two boys - one became an Admiral, the other the head of Vandy's Heart Clinic. Over the years my parents would visit with their ever expanding brood. Dr. Vida lived in two old houses joined by a sunroom. One of her sons was a big rock collector and the place was a museum. And then there was this giant treehouse in the back. I remember visiting in the late 1970s. I think one of her sons (who is quite old) lives in the house, as I was there in 2007. Dr. Vida lived to be more than 100. So many stories, this just the barest of them.

  2. HI Dr. Nystrom! That is so cool! I love hearing stories about these little historic towns-it really brings them to life for me. I would love to see the house(s) that Dr. Vida lived in!

  3. This is a small world. Dr. Vida was also my pediatrician. However that was a few years before you were around SP. I was born in 1936 and she took care of me the first few years of my life.

    George C.

  4. Wow! What a small world! Dr. Vida sounds like an interesting person. Would love to learn more about her!

  5. Dr. Vida was my Great Aunt. I wish I knew more about her. Last I saw her I was very young, and Miss Hattie was still with her then. I know the tree house. Does anyone know where I can find more about her?

  6. Dr Vida was my Great Aunt. I last saw her when I was very young...I remember the Tree House and Miss Hattie. My mum and I were visiting her with her sister Inez. I wish I knew more about her. Does anyone know where I could find more about my awesome great Aunt?