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NC School of Science and Mathematics
2004 Student Intensive
The Search for Fish Dam Road
Notes from the Field
Sera Haith, Student
Wednesday, April 7
With the weather neither too hot nor cold, the morning was nearly perfect as the group left NCSSM to search for the nearing end of Fish Dam Road.
After riding for a bit and safely making our way past a stopped garbage truck we stopped on the side of the road to look at a portion of the Panther Creek where Fish Dam Road crossed. Panther Creek continued on to the north where it flows into the Neuse River. After exploring the road for a bit on the side of Panther Creek, we headed back to the bus and drove to a wooded area with a path that led to the Redwood Hotel. Along the path was a little rundown building that Mr. Liles explained to us to be a tobacco-curing barn. We passed through a forest of blue spray painted trees until we came to the Redwood Hotel itself. Though, it had once been a two story hotel in the midst of a lumbering area, all that remained of it was the chimney and several bricks lying about. We were then given the puzzle of finding both the graveyard and the lost part of Fish Dam Road. Two of the students claimed to have found the graveyard, but no one believed them because they didn't want anyone to find it and "disturb the spirits." So, in other words the cemetery is still lost.
Everyone went in search of the road and many groups found different road beds. Eventually we found the rest of Fish Dam Road. It had been running parallel to the paved road and directly in front of where our buses had been parked.
Our next stop was the goat pen near the Holloway house. We opened the pen and enjoyed the company of our fellow kids. The runt seemed to be the most popular of them all.
We didn't stay too long with the goats because the Fish Dam Post Office across the street was our next destination. After fighting a sea of thorns and brambles we made it inside and immediately began to tidy and rearrange the disarray of some of the old remains in the building. Many interesting things were discovered like the spittoon, old books, newspapers, a chemistry lab notebook, a math book, a measuring scale and much more. The building wasn't completely clean but there was a clear walkway, and we returned home with the personal satisfaction of helping to preserve history and the excitement of a day's worth of discovery.