By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, June 27, 1949
One thing hindering the full development of rural community life in North Carolina is the general lack of a community gathering place. Especially is this true since so many of the smaller schools have been consolidated into one large, centrally located school. The folks who live out in the small communities say that this arrangement has left them without adequate meeting places, and with no hall large enough for recreation and other neighborhood activities. Such a situation hampers the development of a community and tends to split it up.
The members of the Lingle-Central-Salem Home Demonstration Club in Rowan County know this is true. When they organized these three communities into one club, the made plans right away to build a clubhouse or a community home. Attendance at the regular meetings of the club has been so great that it is hard to find homes large enough to accommodate all the members. The women realized the need of a playground for the children and a hall where they can have dinners or stage plays, square dances and recreational activities for the community.
Under the direction of Mrs. J.C. Ludwig, club president, the members are making plans for a community house. Mrs. Ludwig is being assisted by Mrs. J.L. Goodnight, vice president; Mrs. John Bost,secretary; and Mrs. William Goodnight, treasurer. Mrs. Ludwig says the husbands also are interested and are helping to get the new building.
The building fund was actually started during the war when the club invested its funds in U.S. war savings bonds. Later the club won a $200 prize with an exhibit at the Rowan County Fair. Money also has been raised for the fund by arranging dinners for various civic groups.
Recently, the club purchased two adjoining lots owned by husbands of club members, at a reasonable price. The lots have a combined frontage of 100 feet on the main highway, and they extend far enough back to afford space for a baseball diamond to be built in the rear of the clubhouse.
When completed, the new clubhouse will have an assembly room with an open fire place, a modern kitchen, and dining room facilities, according to Miss Betty Daniels, home demonstration agent for Rowan County.
Each club member is being given an opportunity to raise some of the money, and various methods are being used to raise the money. Mrs. B.M. Cauble and Mrs. W.G. Yeager held a cake and pie sale, from which they netted $20. Mrs. H.T. Wood and Mrs. John Bost have made and sold one quilt for $12.50 and have two others now being quilted. Mrs. L.M. Yost and Mrs. H.O. Bonds are sponsoring a square dance at the local Hurley School, and other members will take over the task of providing and selling ice cream and cake at this dance to further enrich the treasury. Mrs. B.B. Jordan and Mrs. B. Cress Cauble plan a benefit bridge party, and another group will have charge of gathering up all the rags and paper in the community.
Miss Daniels says the members hope to begin building within a short time. They expect their husbands to do some of the carpentering once the rush of farm work is over. They also expect donations of materials from local citizens.