March 2013

March 2013 Cover


  • Raleigh Revisited: Nominate your favorite undiscovered treasure – a shop, a restaurant, a coffeehouse – in the Raleigh and Wake County area for a chance to win in this “Raleigh Revisited!” contest.
  • Roadside Eats Extras!: Get more out of our favorite roadside diners, drive-ins, and dairy bars featured in our March 2013 issue with our downloadable checklist, an interactive map, and a special giveaway.
  • Why This Barbecue Tastes So Good: Spend a day with the barbecue masters at Hillsborough Barbecue Company and see how they produce some of the best barbecue in the Piedmont in their custom built pit.
  • Running In Record Time: Ultra runner Diane Van Deren set the record for running the Mountains-to-Sea trail in 2012. We sat down with her to talk about what challenged her most and how the North Carolina trail inspires her.
  • A Blacksmith In Action: See how Charlotte blacksmith Steve Watkins carved a new business out of forging custom knives for chefs.
  • What The Mule Traveler Learned: Listen to Bernie Harberts as he shares what he learned on his 4-month journey across North Carolina with his mule Woody.
  • 10 Books You Should Read: The Thursday Afternoon Book Club of Kings Mountain recommends 10 books that you should read this year.
  • Field Trip Memories: Do you remember the joy of leaving school to discover a new place? Our State staff shares some of their favorite school field trip memories. Share yours with us, too.
  • Fixin’ To Have Church Supper: We’re collecting your favorite recipes for church suppers, get-togethers, and picnics. Send us yours and we’ll share them in our April recipe newsletter. Email today!
  • Sweepstakes & Giveaways: Click for a listing of current sweepstakes.


The Pine Barrens

Photography by Emily Chaplin
Explorers into the southern heart of North Carolina called this land that – “the pine barrens” – believing the sandy wilderness to be worthless for cultivation. But in these woods, animals – the fox squirrel, the pine barren treefrog, the red-cockaded woodpecker – found homes, and towns – Aberdeen, Carthage, Cameron, Southern Pines, West End, Pinehurst, Vass – found life. And amid it all, the ever-present pine, so abundant it became our official state tree 50 years ago, dominated the landscape and gave this place its soul.


The Civil War: Freedom Fighter by Philip Gerard

Illustration by David Stanley
Following Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, a lifelong slave, William Henry Singleton, raises an army of black men: The 1st North Carolina Colored Volunteers.
(Volume 3, Part 3)

Hillsborough BBQ Company by Leah Hughes

Photography by Joey and Jessica Seawell
The stained glass, the hardwood floors, and full bar make this restaurant look upscale, but the flavor of the barbecue is smokey and down-home.

Scenes from 64 by Michael Graff

Photography by Travis Dove
Landscape artist Chris Wilson has taken on a mighty big project: He’s producing 100 large-scale oil paintings of scenes along the 563 miles of the U.S. Highway 64 corridor.

Roadside Eats from West to East by Jeffrey Turner and Sarah Perry

Illustrations by Joseph Edwards
70 Places Just Off the Road
There comes a time, when you’re on the road, when your stomach is growling, and you know that you need food – and you need it fast. We understand the term “convenience,” so we’ve put together a list of 70 great places in the state – all within five miles of a U.S. highway or interstate – to stop when you’re on the go and in a hurry. They’re run by locals, not big chains, and they serve classic American food with their own twists. Enjoy these restaurants for their thick burgers, chili dogs, hand-cut fries, and homemade ice cream. We do.

Tales of the Fourth-Grade Field Trip by Memsy Price

Photography by Travis Dove
Each year, our state’s fourth graders examine North Carolina’s history for a state-mandated project. But one mother found plenty for the family to learn, too.

Safe Exit by Michael Graff

Photography by Joey and Jessica Seawell
They are the overlooked amenities on our state’s highways: 60 state-run rest areas placed for travelers’ convenience and designed to appease road fatigue. For some people, it may be their only introduction to North Carolina. So we want these places to be nice.

Mule Rider by Jeri Rowe

Photography courtesy of Bernie Harberts
Bored with sailing the open seas alone for five years, one man decided to cross his home state in a manner unlike any other. And then he kept on going.

Traveling by Trail by Josh Shaffer

Photography by Duncan Hoge
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail might not have the cachet of the Appalachian Trail, and is even partly theoretical, but for hikers looking for a more varied path, it’s right up their alley.



The Stars at Night by Elizabeth Hudson

Photography by Sara Brennan-Harrell

Our State Quiz

North Carolina Dams by Alan Hodge

Photography by Kelly VanDellen
Cornerstones of infrastructure, dams guard our most important resource – water.

Carolina Culture

Photographing History by Evan Markfield

Photography by Lissa Gotwals
As the Latino population grows in North Carolina, a local Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer captures snapshots of an expanding culture.

Page Turner by Heidi Coryell Williams

Photography by Amanda Clay
The Thursday Afternoon Book Club of Kings Mountain celebrates a century of reading and culture.

Good-time Music by Katie Saintsing

Photography by Bert VanderVeen
Musicians in Beaufort County created a CD filled with traditional and original old-time sounds.

Emotional Connections by Ashley Fahey

Photography by Lissa Gotwals
Eric McRay evokes feelings with bursts of color.

Book Review

Tar Heel Town

Hickory by Brady Dennis

Photography by Travis Dove
A town defined by what it once made is figuring out what to make of today.

Tar Heel History

The Hotel With Healing Powers by Jimmy Tomlin

Photography courtesy of University of North Carolina Library at Chapel Hill
The White Sulphur Springs Hotel in Surry County once attracted governors and world-famous actresses. But not just for the fancy accommodations. They came for the water.

Good Food

Germany Comes to Grandy by Vicki L. Friedman

Photography by Ray Matthews
A quirky combination of a brewpub, butchery, and farm creates an experience that brings in curious travelers from miles around.

Breakfast in Oak Ridge by Jeffrey Turner

Photography by Mat Hulsman
A Piedmont town wakes up early to restore a piece of community history.


Custom Cut by Emily Burniston

Photography by Joey and Jessica Seawell
A Charlotte blacksmith forges original chef’s knives.

Carolina Gardening

Natural Haven by Heidi Coryell Williams

Photography by Steven McBride
Inside the spiritual retreat of Lake Junaluska, Appalachia’s most threatened plant species find a place of refuge.

Buckeye by Leah Hughes

Photography by Melody Lytle
Several species grow across the state and produce a familiar little charm.

Dates and Events

A History of Sport by Jeffrey Turner

Photography by Joey and Jessica Seawell
On Tobacco Road, one museum tells a story of rivalries and champions.

5 Things Every North Carolinian Should Do This Month

Fire on the Dock, Easter Sunrise Service, Green River Revival, “Decade of Determination”, and “Star Power: Edward Steichen’s Glamour Photography”

Tar Heel Image

Following the Stream by Joe Graham of Matthews

Our State

About Our State

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.
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