The History of Castalia, A 1973 Version

THE HISTORY OF CASTALIA

at published in the Town of Castalia’s newsletter in 2007

UPTOWN NEWSLETTER, Volume 1, Issue 2 [no date given]

Researched from articles printed 1973 in:

NASHVILLE GRAPHIC written by L.S. Inscoe

[ROCKY MOUNT] EVENING TELEGRAM written by Clyde Gallop

The town of Castalia got its start during the pre-Civil War day of Nash County plantation life. Castalia is located in the northwest corner of Nash County and is an outgrowth of the community of Belford, developed by the Sills family, and the Captain Adams Harrison estate called Castalia. In America there are three other Castalias, one in Canada, one in Iowa, one in Ohio, and there is a Castalian Springs in Tennessee.

Castalia was incorporated by the North Carolina General Assembly on March 1, 1873. James A. Harrison’s store was the center point of town. From there the town limits were to extend half a mile up the Warrenton road, half a mile along Nashville road in the opposite direction and half a mile wide.

The first mayor was William T. Taylor. The Town Commissioners were James Harrison, John S. Terry and R. A. Harrison. Berry Cox was the Town Constable. Residents of the town were exempted from working the public roads but were responsible for working the streets in the town limits.

The main highway through the town along the Nashville-Warrenton road was

Main Street; the street that crossed Main Street near the center of the town was

Peachtree St. on the side toward Spring Hope (southwest) and the other side (northeast) was unofficially referred to as Goat Street for a goat pasture at the outskirts of the town.

THE HISTORY OF CASTALIA (Part II)

found at:

UPTOWN NEWSLETTER, Volume 2, Issue 7 [Aug-Sept 2007]

http://townofcastalia.com/UPTOWNNEWSLETTERISSUE7.aspx

Researched from articles printed 1973 in:

NASHVILLE GRAPHIC written by L.S. Inscoe

[ROCKY MOUNT] EVENING TELEGRAM written by Clyde Gallop

This issue’s history pertains to the Harrison family and how its members were instrumental in the formation of the Town of Castalia. Before the town was formed an estate named “Castalia” was owned by Captain Harrison, a wealthy landowner whose property encompassed present day Castalia. The oldest building on the Harrison estate was the John Harrison house, most likely erected by Captain Harrison when he returned home after the Civil War. It was Captain Harrison who, with the coming of the Civil War, enlisted a company of his neighbors and all served the cause of the Confederacy with credit and distinction. Some who came back with Captain Harrison and continued to live and work in the community after the War were H.W. Drake, Henry Hedgepath, and Joe Wheeless. The Harrison House was exemplary of the Greek Revival, hip-roofed cottages built throughout Nash County in the 1800’s.  The house had a single story with a gable, but no front jump (porch). The Greek Revival elements included paneled pilasters at the corners of the façade and around the main entrance, and corner blocks at the tops of each window. It was capped by a low hip roof. The Harrison House burned and in its place today stands the Castalia Volunteer Fire Department. Jimmy Harrison, son of Captain Harrison built a similar house known as the “Hi-House.” The difference was the Hi-House was two stories tall and had a front jump (porch). The Hi-House was originally built on Main St. and was moved into the field when S.J. Bartholomew built his colonial style house in 1918. The Hi-House is no longer standing. James A. Harrison’s store, Harrison was one of the first town commissioners, the main business in town was situated near the present location of the post office. Several of the Harrison family members held the position of postmaster in Castalia. The position was held by W.D. Harrison in 1859, T.C. Harrison in 1869 and J.A. Harrison in 1879. The Old Ice House located on the Captain Harrison estate provided the town with its ice supply. When the nearby pond would freeze over, the ice house attendant would break the ice and bring the chunks into the house to keep them from melting. Since there were no refrigerators in that day the attendant would cover the chunks with sawdust and burlap bags. In 1873, the estate of Castalia became known as the Town of Castalia. Captain Harrison and W. T. (Bill) Taylor were instrumental in the incorporation of the Town. Captain Harrison died shortly after the Town of Castalia was incorporated. Dr. Robert Sill, whose family was also instrumental in the formation of the Town of Castalia, married the Captain’s daughter and became overseer of the Harrison property. In January, 1915 the entire estate was sold in lots.

THE HISTORY OF CASTALIA (Part III)

found at:

UPTOWN NEWSLETTER, Volume 2, Issue 8 [Oct-Nov 2007]

http://townofcastalia.com/NEWSLETTER.aspx

Researched from articles printed 1973 in

NASHVILLE GRAPHIC written by L.S. Inscoe

[ROCKY MOUNT] EVENING TELEGRAM written by Clyde Gallop

CASTALIA SCHOOLS

In 1853, 20 years before the Town of Castalia was chartered the old Cedar Rock Academy, three miles away in Franklinton County, was burned and the principal David S. Richardson, from New Hampshire moved to the Harrison and Taylor Community in Nash County and established another school.

Professor Richardson was well versed in classical literature and mythology. He gave the new school location the name Castalia for the place in Greece where the celebrated spring of the Delphic Oracle was located. This was the first school in Castalia. In the late 1880′s the Castalia Academy was formed. In the early days of Castalia the school was housed on the second floor of a building sometimes referred to as “The Old Yellow Store” on Peachtree St.(today it is Barnes St.) In back of the present brick building on the southwest corner of Main and Barnes.   W. J. King taught there from 1875 to 1878. Another well-known teacher who taught at the school in the early 1880′s was W. O. Dunn.

[The construction] of the Castalia Academy building by S. J. Bartholomew in the late 1880′s made a big change for the better in the school situation. At one period in the 1890′s there was no school in Castalia. Main Street became the dividing line between the Rice School several miles out on the Spring Hope road and the Griffin School, which was several miles in the opposite direction at the H. R. Griffin place.

On October 5, 1903 Mr. Bartholomew deeded Castalia Academy to the Nash County Board of Education. Efforts were made to improve the school by securing good principals and teachers. Wingate Underhill, R. H. Burns, E. L. Fox and P. D. Mangum served as principals of Castalia Academy. The Academy offered college preparatory courses as well as elementary education. In 1907, Rev. G. W. May, who had been operating a private school at Red Oak was induced to move his school to Castalia and became the headmaster of the Castalia Academy. He operated the school through the tenth grade. Tuition was $13 a month for the high school students, but the elementary students paid for four months and received four months free. A large two story girl’s dormitory was erected across Main Street near the Academy followed by a boy’s dorm adjoining the Academy grounds and the Academy building was enlarged and improved.

The course of study was expanded to include additional high school subjects, commercial work and music. W. O. Johnson was principal in 1905-1907. He was followed by Oscar Creech who remained until 1912.  During this period Castalia was widely known as an education center. Many boarding students from Nash and other counties were enrolled. Loss of the girl’s dormitory by fire on March 13, 1913 just about put an end to the boarding facilities but Castalia continued to have a strong high school for some years.

Vocational agriculture was added in 1919 with T. B. Elliot as agriculture teacher and principal. In 1918 the old frame building that had been called the Academy was replaced by a two-story brick building with steam heat, indoor toilet facilities and running water. It was the most modern school building in the Nash County school system at the time. The brick building was closed as a school sometime during the 1960s. Today the children of Castalia attend Cedar Grove Elementary School, Red Oak Middle School and Nash Central High School.