Category Archives: Historical Sites

Evans Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church

Evans AME 2Evans Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church was founded in 1796 by the Rev. Henry Evans, the Father of Methodism in eastern North Carolina.

Henry Evans, a black ordained preacher and a shoemaker by trade was a native Virginian. His remains lie entombed beneath the chancel of this church built on the original site in 1893.

The name of the church has changed over the years from the African Meeting House, where both African Americans and Caucasians worshiped together to Evans Chapel and finally Evans Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion.

The front of the building is characterized by a two-story gable front, two towers, and at the center of the gable a projected leaning Holy Cross said to be indicative of Henry Evans’ early struggle to found a church.

Evans Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church is the oldest church in Fayetteville.

St. Johns Episcopal Church

St Johns Episcopal Church
Founded in 1817, St. Johns Episcopal Church is located on Green Street in historic downtown Fayetteville. The congregation was formally organized April 7, 1817, and it became the first Episcopal church in the city.

When the city was founded, Fayetteville’s Episcopalian families had no congregation of their own. Because the town’s population was mainly of Scottish descent, Episcopalians typically worshiped together with the Presbyterians.

In 1816, John Winslow went to Wilmington to consult the Rev. Dr. Bethell Judd, and the following year St. John’s Episcopal Church was founded in Fayetteville. The Rev. Dr. Judd became the church’s first rector.

The church building was reconstructed in 1832 after Fayetteville’s Great Fire of 1831. The main sanctuary has a seating capacity of over 400 people, features stained glass windows from Munich, Germany depicting Biblical scenes.

The Chapel of the Beloved Disciple provides a more intimate setting for smaller services. In 1990, St. John’s purchased the Kyle House, a 139-year-old home adjacent to the church.

View of St. John's Episcopal Church across  Cross Creek from near the Marque de La Fayette statue.
View of St. John’s Episcopal Church across Cross Creek from near the Marque de La Fayette statue.

Cool Springs and Cools Spring Tavern

Cool Springs Tavern
A natural spring on the bank of Cross Creek, Cool Spring was the water source for the European pioneers who settled here. Cool Springs Tavern is believed to be the oldest building in Fayetteville and housed the North Carolina delegates who ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1789. A folk legend claims anyone who drinks from the spring will return to Fayetteville.

Heritage Square

Heritage Square
Owned and maintained by The Woman’s Club of Fayetteville, Heritage Square includes three important historical buildings: the Sandford House, built in 1797; the Oval Ballroom, a freestanding single room built in 1818; and the Baker-Haigh-Nimocks House, constructed in 1804.

Sandford House

In 1873, former Confederate Captain John E.P. Daingerfield purchased the home. Elliot Daingerfield, John’s son and renowned North Carolina artist, lived here throughout his teenage years. Around 1897, A.H. Slocumb (of Massachusetts), husband of Lillian Taylor (a Fayetteville belle) purchased the home. A.H. Slocumb worked in Fayetteville’s naval stores with the A.E. Rankin Company.  Subsequently, W.H. Powell and his family resided in the Sandford House.
Sanford House

The Oval Ballroom

The Oval Ballroom is a freestanding room with octagonal architecture outside and a twenty by thirty foot oval interior highlighted by plaster cornices and pilasters. Originally, the ballroom was an add-on to the Halliday-Williams House that was demolished in the mid-1950s. The Oval Ballroom is an example of Regency architecture.
Oval Ballroom

Nimocks House

The Baker-Haigh-Nimocks House, built in 1804, is a 1 1/2-story, five bay, frame house and an example of “regular style” Georgian architecture, perfectly balanced and symmetrical inside and out. “Regular” styles are defined by mathematical ratios (such as the golden mean) that are used to determine every measurement from the floor layout to the width to height ratio of the windows. Georgian style homes were typically painted red, tan, and/or white if not constructed from brick or stone.  

It sits on a brick pier foundation and features a one bay wide one-story porch supported by Doric order columns. New England ship builders often wintered in the south during this time period. Their unique building style probably explains the unusual barrel staircase design in the Nimocks House. In addition, the hand carved cornices, wainscoting, mantels, and hand-punched gouge work are beautifully detailed and typical of the period.

The front entrance features a fan light and the light fixture at the top of the staircase was planned for use in the state capital building if Fayetteville had remained the capital.  The two upstairs rooms feature dormer windows and individual fireplaces.
Sanford House

Bath Ruth hit his first professional home run

Bath Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville, NC in 1914. He was only here for about a month and played on the Baltimore Orioles during spring training. It is said that Ruth also got his nickname ‘Babe’ in Fayetteville NC. This marker is at what used to be the Cape Fear Fair Grounds. It stands at the intersection of Gillespie Street and Southern Avenue.

Babe Ruth

Liberty Point

Liberty Point 2
Near this site in June 1775, a group of fifty-five patriots signed a document of freedom, known as the “Liberty Point Resolves”, one year before the Declaration of Independence was signed. A granite marker commemorates their pledge to the cause of Independence and lists fifty-five signers names. Liberty Point is not only a locally cherished historical area but also a vestige of early street patterns with its notable triangular plot.

Liberty Point

Market House

market house
Architecturally unique, it is one of the few structures in America which employs the town hall-market scheme found in England. Meat and produce were sold under the open first-floor arcade while the second floor served as the town hall and general meeting place. Surprisingly, slaves were never sold at this site.

Completed in 1832, it was built on the ruins of the old State House and served as a town market until 1906. It served as Fayetteville Town Hall until 1907 and although no longer used as Town Hall, the cupola bell still rings breakfast, dinner, sundown, and curfew.

This 1814 engraving by Horace Say shows the State House (also known as the Constitution House) which stood on the present site of the Market House.
This 1814 engraving by Horace Say shows the State House (also known as the Constitution House) which stood on the present site of the Market House.