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New River Country
How old is the New River exactly? Is it really the second oldest after the Nile? Geologists differ. But it is certain that this waterway is a remnant of the Teaz River prefiguring the Ohio River system. While Colonel Abraham Wood of Virginia was surprised to discover it in 1654, Native Americans, especially the Cherokee, had been fishing and hunting in the area for ten thousand years. Join Bland Simpson for a trip along our country’s only major northward flowing river and the spectacular surrounding valley including the treasured biodiversity of the Bluff Mountain Preserve. Click here to visit New River State Park.
In 1946 on Topsail Island, the U.S. Navy embarked on a top-secret missile development program. Foreseeing the role of missiles in future combat, the Navy constructed a research station including eight towers used to photograph rockets that whizzed by at speeds up to 1500 mph! Eventually the program outgrew its barrier island site and was transferred to California. But the remnants of the program remain…two of the original towers still stand among the dunes and the original explosion proof assembly building serves as the Missiles and More Museum. Join Billy Barnes as he reveals the fascinating mission behind “Operation Bumblebee”. To learn more about the Topsail Towers,
visit the Topsail Historical Society website .
Carolina Chocolate Drops
In the Piedmont, traditional black stringmusic ensembles featured the banjo as lead instrument with a fiddle or guitar as accompaniment if one was available. There’s a new force in stringband music that’s reviving the Piedmont’s musical heritage. Using a variety of traditional old-time instruments, Rhiannon Giddens, Justin Robinson and Dom Flemons form the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Their tutelage under Joe Thompson, said to be the last black traditional string music player, along with their diverse musical backgrounds, has helped them carry on the area’s musical traditions. Come meet these outstanding musicians and hear how Carolina Piedmont stringmusic is going strong.
Click here to find out more about the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
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