Jonesville History Center hopes to open park mid-summer
by Jessica Pickens
Members of the Jonesville Historical Society hopes the Mineral Springs Park will be ready to use the middle of this summer.
“We plan on clearing out and cleaning up the area when the weather starts to get better,” said director of the Jonesville History Center, Judy Wolfe. “We are also planning to put a stage under the wall, along the road.”
There is still a good bit of work to do on the park including leveling land and adding pathways for handicap accessibility, which were discussed at last Thursday’s Jonesville Historical Society meeting.
“We are going to add railings to bridges because some of them are hazardous,” Wolfe said. “As soon as we spread the grass seed we can start making signs and pedestals for the area.”
Eight historical markers are going to be at the park including Civil War and Revolutionary War markers, Wolfe said. The society has been given a $12,000 grant for the markers.
“Our Civil War marker will be in reference to the Yankee ex-patriots that were southerners and fought up north during the war,” Wolfe said. “When they came back to Jonesville they had a vengeance against the area; running every able bodied man out of town and ransacking businesses, churches and homes looking for spies, slaves and deserters. They made every effort to destroy the community and economy, which they did.”
The Revolutionary War marker will be dedicated to the Piedmont Patriots, who brought troops back from the Battle of Kings Mountain towards the end of the war. There were also troops that stayed in Jonesville, then known as Allen’s Settlement, to protect the area until the end of the war, Wolfe said.
Other markers include ones for the tannery, the Academy, the old hotel and the Mineral Springs, which were believed to be healing waters at one time.
“There was a legend of the springs that they were healing waters,” Wolfe said. “The spring runs through bedrock, which people thought were carved by early nomadic tribes. This land was attractive to Native Americans, because it was good for farming and wildlife. People would go to the springs and soak their swollen joints for arthritis or other illnesses, hoping to be cured.”
The markers will help reflect the history of Jonesville and give tribute to veterans in the area as well.
“We are going to a military tribute with all known men and women who have served in all wars dating back to the Revolutionary war,” she said. “We focus on Jonesville, but aren’t going to discriminate on people from Elkin, Yadkinville, Surry County or Yadkin County.”
There were plans for Jonesville Jubilee to be at the new Mineral Springs Park, but it is uncertain if the grass will have grown enough.
This year’s Jonesville Jubilee is going to be a military tribute and is set for Saturday, May 5. Part of the celebration will include Cinco de Mayo dance, Jonesville High School reunion dinner, a military tribute and local vendors along with the scheduled fireworks.
“I have met up with some military reenactors from Statesville,” Wolfe said. “They are going to set up camp and it will be like a Vietnam fire base.”
The reunion dinner will be held at the senior center. Wolfe plans for Porter Pit Barbecue to cater the reunion dinner.
Continuing with the Jonesville military celebration, the history center planning to have a gun salute from a high point in town, for either Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day.
“It would be nice if all the churches could come out for a gun salute and celebrate our veterans together,” Wolfe said.
Tentative dates have been set for Juneteenth, Freedom Float and Community Watch Night, but are not yet concrete.
Items recently donated to the center:
•Several money donations from the community.
•A 1776 flag from the bicentennial in 1976.
•Hair combs dating back to the mid-1880s.
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