2021 Mid-eastern Road Trip Part 4A

1 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 4 – 7/15/2021

I headed north out of Fayetteville on US-401 about 50 miles this morning for my first visit to the New Hope Valley Railway located in New Hill, NC.  As it turned out, this location is the terminal depot for the 5-mile steam train ride between New Hill and Bonsal, NC where the museum is located.  The museum features a collection of beautifully restored steam & diesel locomotives and antique rolling stock dating from 1869.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

I continued northeast about 20 miles on US-1 to visit the Legends of Harley Drag Racing Museum located in Raleigh, NC.  This museum is situated on the second level of the spacious Ray Price Harley Davidson dealership and displays exhibits and the history of world-famous drag racing champion Ray Price and others.

Photo credit:Bill Lites

After learning all about the history of motorcycle drag racing, it was only a few blocks to where I visited the Raleigh Fire Museum.  This museum displays several beautifully restored pieces of fire-fighting equipment and other fire-fighting memorabilia dating from their 1905 American LaFrance Steamer.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

On my way to visit the Mordecai Historic Park there in Raleigh, I passed the Capital building and stopped long enough to take a photo of that grand edifice.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

At the Mordecai Historic Park, I learned that the Mordecai House is the oldest house (1785) in Raleigh.  The Andrew Jackson (17th U.S. President) Birthplace House was built in 1795, and is among seven other restored buildings, at the park, that are part of the original Mordecai Plantation complex, or have been moved there over the years. 

Photo credit: Bill Lites

I wanted to visit the Neuse River Valley Model Railroad Club there in Raleigh, but they were closed.  I was disappointed to miss a visit to this club because I’m always amazed at the detail that goes into the model railroad layouts at these model clubs.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed northwest 25 miles on US-70 & I-85 to visit the Duke Homestead & Tobacco Factory Site located in Durham, NC.  The Duke Homestead was built in 1852 by Washington Duke who founded what evolved into the first, and largest, tobacco firm (the American Tobacco Company) in the early 20th century.

Photo Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC6rot_u8l8

It was only about another five miles west on I-85 to visit the Bennett Place Historic Site there in Durham.  This site is known as the 1789 home of James Bennett, where General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his Confederate army (last to surrender) to General William T. Sherman on April 26, 1865 effectively ending the Civil War.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Another 15 miles west on I-85 took me to the Orange County Historical Museum located in Hillsborough, NC.  This museum has the distinction of being the site of North Carolina’s 1788 Constitutional Convention and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to Hillsborough and the surrounding Orange County area from the pre-settlement period thru the 1950s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed west another 20 miles on I-40 to visit the Whistlestop Exhibit at Company Shops Station located at the Alamance County’s AMTRAK passenger station in Burlington, NC.  This exhibit includes models of the 1800s Company Shops with scenes of life in the 1900s with steam and diesel engines coming thru the engine house.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

One Response to “2021 Mid-eastern Road Trip Part 4A”

  1. divoran09 September 1, 2021 at 8:00 am #

    Good post


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