ASHEBORO – The Randolph County Historic Landmark Preservation Commission will consider a nomination of the Searcy/Waddell ford and ferry site on Deep River for designation as a Local Cultural Heritage Site during a meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, in the Historic Randolph County Courthouse, 145 Worth Street, Asheboro.
The body also will consider designation of the Corporate Seal of the County of Randolph as a Local Cultural Heritage Object.
The meeting is open the public.
Searcy’s Ford crosses the Deep River in Brower Township near the Chatham and Moore County lines. William Searcy received the property in a land grant in 1761, operating a ford and later a ferry where the road from Chatham Courthouse to South Carolina crossed the river. Searcy’s family later sold the property to Edmund Waddell, a prominent business and political figure, who took over operation of the ferry.
In addition to being an important part of area road network during colonial and early statehood periods, the ford and ferry was the site where the Continental Army of General Nathanael Greene crossed the river on its march to South Carolina after the battle of Guilford Courthouse during the Revolutionary War. It also was the site of two skirmishes involving Loyalist commander Col. David Fanning.
The proposed designation also includes the Waddell Memorial Cemetery nearby, where Waddell and Windsor Pearce, one of Randolph County first justices of the peace, are buried. Searcy’s son William Jr., a captain of militia during the Revolutionary War, also is believed to be buried in the cemetery.
The seal under consideration is not the colorful one seen on the side of county vehicles, but a seal obtained by the Randolph County Commissioners in the late 1800s to authenticate official county documents. Known as the Corporate Seal of the County of Randolph, it consists of engraved plates in as seal press that imprint a three-dimensional image onto a document.
It is still in use.
The Historic Landmark Preservation Commissions was created in 2008 to identify, preserve and protect Randolph County’s historic landmarks, and to educate the public about those resources and about preservation in general. So far, the commission has designated 20 sites as Historic Landmarks, 16 places or buildings as Cultural Heritage Sites, and four artifacts or groups of artifacts as Cultural Heritage Objects.
To learn more about the commission and the sites and objects designated, visit http://www.co.randolph.nc.us/Visit-Randolph/Historic-Landmarks/sites. For further information, call the Randolph Room at the Randolph County Public Library, 336-318-6815