Denver Firefighte​rs Have Emotional Reunion With Victim They Rescued 11 Months Ago

Denver, NC – On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, Denver Fire Department, B-Shift personnel, attended a victim-rescuer reunion in the Governor’s Island community in Denver.  Mrs. Rosemary Drury, 67, of Denver, NC, was critically injured after sustaining a fall at her residence on September 4, 2012.  When she fell, she did so down an embankment of large rocks surrounding the adjacent Lake Norman shoreline.  Mrs. Drury was unable to move after the accident and she had to be extracted from the water’s edge by Denver firefighters, utilizing our fire and rescue boat.  Her injuries were such that firefighters had to take great caution and care in how she was moved off of that rocky and watery environment.  Once firefighters rescued this victim, she was taken by our boat to an awaiting Emergency Medical Services (EMS) unit and was then transferred to a hospital for more definitive care of her injuries.



Mrs. Drury was very appreciative and emotional towards all of the firefighters that were responsible for her successful rescue.  As she expressed her heartfelt gratitude to them, she shared her personal story of recovery with the group.  The injuries that she sustained in this fall included a very serious spinal injury in her neck region.  She stated that her doctor told her that the fact that she was moved so carefully played an instrumental role in her successful recovery of this injury.  Mrs. Drury’s family, who were also in attendance, equally expressed their gratitude to all the Denver firefighters and their efforts to rescue her.


After the reunion, firefighters in attendance participated in a meet and greet with other friends and neighbors of this resilient survivor.  A wonderful lunch was served and Denver firefighters had an opportunity to answer questions that the community members attending had.  These firefighters were most appreciative to those who planned and attended this event.  An opportunity to see the positive outcome of our training and service is truly priceless.  It is occasions such as this that memories are made of.

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Take a historical stroll through downtown Lovable Lincolnton

By Sarah Melton

Contributing Writer

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Learning more about Lincolnton is easier than you may think.

    Whether you work or live in the city, or perhaps, simply drive through, finding out more about how Lincolnton came into existence is right at your fingertips – literally. A marketing specialist intern, Madison Lanier, working at the Downtown Development Association (DDA) of Lincolnton created a Historic Walking Tour of Downtown Lincolnton in 2000.

     Brad Guth, Business and Community Development Director for the City of Lincolnton, said Lanier actually started the project as part of her Girl Scout project, but completed it during her time at the DDA. A map to accompany the project was later added.

     The 1.4-mile trail features 20 stops – from historic homes to churches to businesses – with many places listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “The trail could have featured every building downtown, but that was not the purpose,” Guth said. “The purpose was to highlight the most historic buildings in town.”

     The trail, highlighting a city known as “Lovable Lincolnton,” starts at North Cedar Street and ends at West Main Street. Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the businesses, leaders and political movements that shaped Lincolnton, dating all the way back to the 1800s. In fact, here’s a few of the many fun facts you will learn when exploring the trail:

•   Confederate Gen. Stephen Ramseur and William Hoke are buried in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

•   The Lincoln Cultural Center was originally built as the First Baptist Church of Lincolnton.

•   The Lincolnton Post Office features a painting made by Richard Janson in his Wisconsin studio

•   The Mauney Building used to be the Reeves Gamble Hospital.

•   The congregation of First United Methodist Church was established in 1816.

•    The cost to build the Lincoln County Court House in the 1920s was $350,000.

•    From 1835-1845, Lincolnton was home to Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first African American to serve in either house of the United States Congress.

•    Shadow Lawn, on West Main Street, is the last of Lincolnton’s early 19th century brick homes to survive. The home was built by Lincolnton businessman Paul Kistler.

•    Rev. Robert Newton Davis was the pastor for First Presbyterian Church for more than 20 years.

•    The Motz Hotel, later changed to the North State Hotel, was the headquarters for union troops.

•    Emmanuel Lutheran Church was the first organized congregation in Lincolnton and sermons were delivered in German until 1822.

You can pick up brochures to walk the trail yourself at the DDA office, Lincoln Cultural Center and Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.  For more information about the Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Lincolnton, visit

The Tour

1. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (1886)-

The tour begins at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 303 North Cedar Street. The congregation of this church was founded in 1841, and the

church was built in 1886. There were very few Episcopalians in the

area at that time. The architect and builder of the Gothic Revival

style church was Silas McBee, a member of the parish. He carved

the altar, reredos, and credence table. The stained glass windows

were made in England by Lamb & Co. and are considered some of

the finest in the nation. Both St. Luke’s and its cemetery are listed

in the National Register of Historic Places.

2. Lincoln Cultural Center (1922)

- The Lincoln Cultural Center was built in 1922 as the First Baptist Church of Lincolnton, a congregation organized in 1859. This building was designed by James M. McMichael, a Charlotte architect famous for his church and hotel designs. The structure is laid in the shape of a cross with a dome sitting in the middle. It became the Lincoln Cultural Center in September 1991 after First Baptist Church moved to

the 321 bypass. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

3. Lincolnton Post Office (1937)

- The Lincolnton Post Office was built in the 1930s for a Work Project Administration Program as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Inside on the wall of the post office Richard H. Janson’s “Threshing Grain” hangs in the same place it has been since 1938. In 1867, Lincolnton’s original Post Office sent mail out of town on Sundays and Wednesdays and received mail from other towns on Mondays and Thursdays.

5. Carolina & North Western Freight Depot (1929)


- Although Lincolnton has been connected to nearby towns by railroad since 1860, this depot was built around 1929. The Carolina and North Western Railroad was the second line to service Lincolnton, and it carried both freight and passengers. A mile of the track that was once part of a 109-mile railroad from Lenoir, NC to Chester, SC has been removed and paved over to serve as the Marcia H. Cloninger Rail-Trail.

6. Central Candy and Cigar Company (1915)

- 205 and 207 South Academy Street has been a restaurant, a jewelry store, a laundry, an industrial roller covering company, and is best known for its utilization as a candy and cigar company from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. The lower storefront was formerly glass, but the molded metal cornice above the first story, the rough granite sills and lintels, and the rest of the brick are as they were when the building

was constructed in 1915.

7. Frank Beal House (1910)

- At  204 South Academy Street is the Frank Beal House. Mr. Frank Beal built this Colonial Revival style home just yards away from his place of work, F.R. Beal & Co. Feed & Sale, on East Water Street. Beal was in the Standard Oil business with C. H. Rhodes, who later owned the business under multiple names. The signs for Rhodes and Corriher can still be seen on the building.

8. First United Methodist Church (1919) -

The United Methodist Church is at 201East Main Street. The congregation of this church was established in 1816 and held their services in a building on the corner of South Aspen and Congress Streets. The graveyard can still be found there today.

9. Pleasant Retreat Academy (1820)

- Chartered in 1813, only 28 years after the city of Lincolnton was established, this school was built from 1817 to 1820, making it the

oldest remaining building in Lincolnton. It was the first school

building in the area. The school educated a secretary of state, and North Carolina’s 30th governor. The congregation of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church met here for two years and the school building was turned into a hospital from 1861 to 1865 during the Civil War. On August 27, 1908, the building, no longer a school, became Memorial Hall and the meeting place of Lincolnton’s Daughters of the Confederacy. The bottom floor served as a library from 1923 to 1965 and was the first library in Lincoln County, informally established by a book club.

10. Academy Street School (1914) -

This building was erected in 1914 as Lincolnton Grade School and shortly afterward became North Academy Primary School. The building served as the Lincoln County Public Library from 1965 to 1975 until our current library was  built.

11. Wampum General Store (1905

) -At 132 East Main Street is a building that began as Wampum General Store. It offered most household items. It has also existed as a retail outlet, department store, and pharmacy. Built around 1905, at the same time as many of the surrounding buildings, the storefront was originally brick with keystoned lintel

and granite detail.

12. Rivoli Theatre (1902) -


119 East Main Street and 121 East Main were originally joined as one building, and while the west half was used for

various stores, the east side was the Rivoli Theatre from 1920 to 1950. This is only one of many theatres that have been located in downtown Lincolnton over the years. In 1920, the building at 112 East Court Square was a movie theatre until it was converted into a bowling alley later that decade. Ab Miller opened the Grand Theatre at 227 East Main Street where it remained until 1940 when he opened the Century Theatre across the street. It remained there until the 1970’s.

13. Lincoln County Court House (1923)

- This building is the fifth court house of Lincoln County since 1785 when Lincolnton was named the county seat. Construction of the building was begun on September 30, 1921, at a cost of about $350,000.

14. Goodson, Jones, and Hoyle Building (1924)

-This building was erected in 1924 by C.L. Goodson, C.A. Jones, and P.A. Hoyle. The building was constructed for a fuel oil company and was later known as Bumgarner’s Service Station and then the Central Service Station. Automobiles would drive in fromlarge open bays off of North Aspen Street. The original offices were on the second floor. In 1970, the bays were enclosed to become storefronts for Ramseur’s Sandwich Shop and Mary’s Yarn which closed in 2006 after 31 years of service.

15. Emmanuel Lutheran Church (1920)

- The Old White Church was built on the site diagonally across the intersection from the current church and next to the graveyard in 1788. It was a building shared by Lutherans and Presbyterians and was used for public worship, burial of the dead, and as a school house. The Lutheran congregation was the first organized congregation in Lincolnton, and the sermons were delivered in German until 1822. The Evangelical Lutheran North Carolina Synod was started in this building when there were disagreements with the Tennessee

Synod. The Old White Church was burned to the ground in 1893 and a brick church built on the same site was entirely Lutheran. The Presbyterians moved to West Main Street.

16. North State Hotel (1852-1975)

- The old North State Hotel (seen above) used to stand where the parking lot of the Lincoln County Citizen Center is today. It was built by John Motz in 1852. He lived there and owned the hotel which was originally called the Motz Hotel. The hotel was taken over in 1865 by Union Troops and General Hart used it as headquarters until the end of the war later that year. John Motz died in 1862 and the hotel was sold to the Lander family. In 1906, Thomas Edison arrived with his son and brother-in-law looking for cobalt for an experiment with the alkaline battery. The trio stayed for ten days paying two dollars a day for room and board. In 1934 the hotel was given the name North State Hotel. The entire hotel was torn down in 1975 for a parking lot.

17. Reinhardt Building (1909) -

Robert S. Reinhardt, the original owner and the man after

whom the building is named, is also responsible for the building that holds North State Books today and for the rest of the buildings on the west side of the Court Square. His name and the date of construction can be seen at the top of several of

these buildings, and it is often called the Reinhardt block.

18. First Presbyterian Church (1917)

The building you see today was finished on September 16, 1917, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.The congregation came from the church that was built on the corner of West Main and Government Streets in 1892 and brought with them some of the old church’s bricks and several of the arched window frames to use in the construction of the new building.

19. Butt-Brown-Pressley House & Medical Office(1849)

-This house is considered to be a Greek Revival, but it is suspected to have been built as a Federal Style structure when it was constructed some time prior to the Civil War.Dr. Zephania Butt bought the house around 1849 and remodeled it. A stone wall, grape arbor, and boxwoods in the back yard are thought to be over 100 years old. The home was later sold to Dr. Martin L. Brown and then to Dr. John Pressley.

20. Shadowlawn (1826)

- 301 West Main Street. This home was built in 1826, making it the last of Lincolnton’s early nineteenth century brick residences to survive. It was built by Paul Kistler, a successful Lincolnton businessman who owned a tannery between Water and Church streets. The gutter boxes are dated “1826″. Charles Raper and Annie Elliot Jonas began living in the house in 1935 and named their home Shadow Lawn. Mr. Jonas was a prominent Lincolnton attorney who served in the United States House of Representatives for twenty years.


Images from Cherryville Post 100 and Lincoln County Post 455

Confessions of a self-diagnosed nutcase

I have a confession to make. At least I think I do. You see, I’ve never actually been diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. But I’m pretty sure I have a touch of it. I’m the sort of person who has to have everything “just so.”


Allyson Levine

Allyson Levine

If my fiancé puts the jar of almonds back in the pantry, I have to make sure he put it in there with the label facing out. Full disclosure: He didn’t. At my day job as a cashier at a local restaurant, I have to have all of my money facing the same direction or I basically can’t function. And, unlike some of my less crazy friends, I cannot leave dishes in the sink for any longer than is absolutely necessary. Yes, I usually wash the pots and pans before I eat the food I cooked in them.

Another symptom of my disease is that I refuse to drink out of glasses or cups when I eat out because I really have no idea who is washing that stuff. Give me a straw or I will probably thirst to death. However, it dawned on me the other day that I do use forks when I eat out, which I realize makes me seem even more nutty and, as a bonus, pretty darn hypocritical.

Perhaps I should go all Jack Nicholson in “As Good as it Gets” and tote my own individually wrapped plastic cutlery. This crosses my mind two seconds before I remember that I’m also supposed to be an amateur environmentalist, and using disposable utensils doesn’t really jibe with that. So now I’m thinking of only dining on foods that I can eat with my hands. I do love sandwiches. And French fries. Recently, I tried Ethiopian food, which is a cuisine that involves using pieces of bread as the sole vehicle for food delivery.

But then I think about how much hand sanitizer I would go through if I eschewed the use of forks – as if I don’t already go through enough to warrant owning stock in Purell.

I guess this is just a no-win situation for me. Sigh. I think my love of dining out is stronger than my OCD tendencies, which confirms for me that I’m not completely nuts. I just have a teensy weensy touch of crazy that keeps my pantry organized and my sink dish-free. And, in the words of Martha Stewart, a lady who may just have a smidge of the OCD herself, that’s a good thing.


Loose floodboard leads to lost love letters in Crouse

By Allyson Levine

Dearest Christine,

Can’t help from writing you – again – thinking of you so much…

     The letters are fragile, some of them riddled with holes from mice who found them over time. It seems no human being managed to find them for 84 years, not until the couple that bought the house in May decided to take out the carpet in the upstairs rooms. That’s when Jim Wilmoth and Scott Cornwell, contractors with Watson Carpet & Tile in Lincolnton, noticed a loose floorboard. Inside was a collection of love letters written by a young college student to his sweetheart back home.

The Sears and Roebuck House

     The house that hid them for all those years is located in Crouse. Locals know it as the Sears and Roebuck house because it was built as part of the Sears Modern Homes program, a mail-order arrangement that allowed people to build their very own dream home using materials from the Sears, Roebuck, and Co. catalog. The house, located on Crouse School Road, was built by Lafayette and Ella Carpenter. Their daughter, Christine, was the recipient of those letters.

   photo house  Tina Evans is the daughter of Christine Carpenter and Bill Houser, the letter-writing suitor who would become Christine’s husband. Evans says she doesn’t know all there is to know about the house, but she knows that the materials came in by railcar and included an instruction book that it appears Lafayette Carpenter put to good use.

     “I know my grandfather was a jack of all trades,” Evans said.

     Lafayette Carpenter died in 1949, but his widow, Ella stayed on in the house until her death in 1970. That’s when A.J. and Pat Heavner bought the place. When A.J. Heavner died, Pat moved into a smaller house next door, and their daughter and son-in-law, Myra and Bobby Ford, moved in. According to the home’s current owner, Mike Cooper, A.J. Heavner made some changes to the house, which used to look more like a farmhouse.

     “He put all the scroll work on the front,” Cooper said.

      There are also some stained glass windows that aren’t original, as well as some additional square-footage that the Fords added in the 1980s.

     No one is sure of the exact year that the Sears and Roebuck house was built. According to Cooper’s wife, Pati, the couple was told that tax records list the house as having been constructed in 1900. However, according to the Sears Archives, the Modern Homes program didn’t start until 1908. That tidbit of information – like so many other things about this story – will likely remain a mystery

     “There could have been an existing structure,” Pati Cooper said, speculating as to why the tax records would say 1900.

     The Fords sold the house to a Texas family, the Lawrences, in 2005. They were the last people to live there before Mike and Pati Cooper moved in on May 25.

The Discovery

     The Coopers didn’t notice anything unusual about the hardwood floors in the second story of their new house because they were covered up by carpeting .

      Now that the floor has been uncovered and refinished, it’s easy to see several places where pieces of floorboard were pulled up over the years. According to Mike Cooper, it was likely done for the purpose of electrical work. It seems that Christine Carpenter found another purpose: a secret hiding place in the bedroom she shared with her older sister Faybelle.

It was under this loose floorboard where the letters were found.

It was under this loose floorboard where the letters were found.

  As far as anyone knows, Jim Wilmoth was the first person to discover Christine’s hiding place.

     “Several people over the years had put carpet over it and never noticed it,” Wilmoth said of the hiding place. “Scott reached his hand down there and started pulling out these letters.”

     A history buff, Mike Cooper was excited to hear of the discovery. At the time, the Coopers had no idea that they would be able to track down the daughter of the woman who hid those letters so many years ago. But they were still tickled with the find.

     “They were just cool anyway,” Pati said of the love letters, which were hidden in the little cubbyhole with an old report card and, oddly, a pair of plastic underwear.

     Wilmoth felt the same way.

     “That was definitely the coolest thing I’ve ever found in a house,” he said.

The Letters

According to Mike Cooper, it was some of the ladies from Crouse United Methodist Church who told him that the love struck young man who wrote the letters was Bill Houser, a pharmacist who had founded Houser Drug in Cherryville in 1935. And here’s where things got even more interesting: Mike Cooper is also a pharmacist. He works at Sentry Drug on East Gaston Street in Lincolnton. Another pharmacist, Tim Moss, who is one of the current owners of Houser Drug, helped the Coopers track down Evans. He found her at Wal-Mart in Wadesboro, where she works as, you guessed it, a pharmacist.

    campbellP1 (1) “She had ridden by here several times with her kids, hoping to see someone outside,” Pati Cooper said of Evans.

     Evans wasn’t at work the day the Coopers called to tell her about the letters. When she came back, she couldn’t figure out why her co-workers kept smiling at her.

     “I thought someone was pregnant,” Evans said with a laugh.

     After that, Evans made the trip to Crouse and didn’t have to just hope that someone might be sitting on the front porch of the house where she visited her grandparents as a child.

     “The house really looked nice,” she said.

     Evans says she has no idea why her mother hid the letters all those years ago. At one time, the house was used to board out-of-town teachers who were visiting a nearby school, and Evans wonders if maybe her mom was hiding the letters from a teacher who may have used that room. Another theory is that she was hiding the letters from her sisters.

     “Now there’s no way of knowing,” Evans said.

     Bill Houser died in 1995; his wife in 2001. Yet their love lives on in those letters written so long ago. Bill was only 16 when he wrote the earliest of the letters as a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill. Christine was just 13 when she first received them. The letters paint the picture of a young man away from home for the first time. In one, he tells his love why he can’t meet her for a date on a particular day; in another, he writes that he worries about her getting close to a “certain boy.” In yet another, he says that he’s glad to hear from her because he worried that she had forgotten about him.

     There is an innocence about the letters that harks back to a different time – as does the fact that the envelopes are addressed simply to, “Miss Christine Carpenter, Crouse, NC.” Some of them are difficult to read, partly because of their delicate condition and partly because of Bill’s penmanship. According to their daughter, reading the letters was difficult for an entirely different reason.

campbell“I kind of felt guilty,” Evans said. “I kind of felt like I was prying into their privacy.”

     There is no one alive who can answer the question of why Christine Carpenter Houser hid Bill’s letters under a floorboard in the house she grew up in – or why she never retrieved them. What we do know is that a young man wrote those letters to the girl he loved, the girl he would eventually marry. Those letters, fragile and faded as they are, stand as a lasting testament to that love – as well as a reminder of a time when people still appreciated the magic of putting pen to paper.

Dearest Christine:


     Can’t help from writing you-again-thinking of you so much-well this is a little worse than writing everyday-this makes three times to-day.

     Well old gal-how is everything. See that everything goes on alright up at the CHS just got through writing “Maw” Stroupe-Maw don’t get mad!  You will not I don’t mean any harm about it.  Make her show it to you so you can see for yourself.  If that won’t do I will not absolutely not write to any of the old Cherryville girls-not even Margaret R- Pete is still wrighting and wants me to write while he is- So I up and said I would write another one to you- You want have to answer but one-  But be damn sure it is a long one.

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