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Eastover Town Council Meeting Tuesday, October 14, 2014
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How Eastover Got Its Name

…. "from its location on the east side and over the river. It was formerly called Flea Hill. There is a tradition that there was a tavern on the sandhill under which hogs and goats slept - hence the fleas." (From John A. Oakes' The Story of Fayetteville, The Story of Fayetteville and The Upper Cape Fear, 1950, Fayetteville, NC)

Before Flea Hill, the area may have been known as Mary's Garden. There was a US post office in Cumberland County named Mary's Garden located 8 miles from Fayetteville. (John S. Hampton. The North Carolina Guide and Business Office Companion, Raleigh, 1877.)

The Strothers Map of 1808 with data from 1860-1865 civil war era names of towns and such show Mary's Garden in what is now known as Eastover.

According to oral history accounts, when Scots-Irish settlers in the upper Cape Fear River basin named Mary's Garden, the area was named facetiously because the soil was very poor and produced very little in crops.1 (An account by James McNeil "Mac" Williams as told to him by his grandfather, Interview, April 2008).

Fayetteville newspaper accounts also referenced Mary's Garden in 1855. On April 23, 1855, the newspaper reported various wood fires,
"Most serious losses we have heard of were at Mary's Garden, over the river, several buildings of T. R. UNDERWOOD, Esq. were burnt."

On September 17, 1855, the following death report was given:

"At residence of her husband near Mary's Garden in this county, 5th inst.,
Mrs. Rebecca Eliza CULBRETH, wife of Gray CULBRETH, in the 25th year
of her age. Leaves husband & 4 children. Member Methodist E. Church
for last 6 years."

(Click here for Historical Page 2, which provides more details of Eastover's Geographic History. )

The Flea Hill Township was renamed the Eastover Township in 1865 by the NC General Assembly.

The Town of Eastover was incorporated by the North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday, July 26, 2007. The incorporation effort was led by a group of dedicated residents called the Progress Eastover Committee. Members of the committee were: Chairperson Sara Piland, Lawrence Buffaloe, Helen Crumpler, John Dunham, Kim Fisher, Joetta Geddie, Willie Geddie, Robert Grover, Lee Hedgecoe, Cheryl Hudson, Chris Hudson, Don Hudson, Marilyn Johnson, Morgan Johnson, Charles McLaurin, Shirley McLaurin, Lisa Patterson, Benny Pearce, Howard Piland, Howard Piland, Jr., Don Price, Liz Reeser, Barbara Roberts, Rupert (Rudy) Tatum, Jr., and James McNeil "Mac" Williams. The legislative effort was superbly led by one of the most effective legislators in the North Carolina General Assembly, Representative Rick Glazier.

Eastover FIRSTS

"Eastover was one of the FIRST schools in the county to consolidate. The school was opened in the fall of 1902 for the pupils of Rock Hill, Flea Hill, and Bear communities. Cyrus Murphy and Miss Henrietta Holmes were the two teachers." (From John A. Oakes' The Story of Fayetteville, The Story of Fayetteville and The Upper Cape Fear, 1950, Fayetteville, NC, p. 466) It also was reported to be "the first county-supported school with more than one teacher on the east side of the Cape Fear River." (The Fayetteville Observer, February 14, 1947)

"A high school was established in 1909 and it became, in 1919, the FIRST
accredited high school in the county system." (From John A. Oakes' The Story of Fayetteville, The Story of Fayetteville and The Upper Cape Fear, 1950, Fayetteville, NC, p. 466)

"Eastover District was the FIRST district in the county to levy a special tax to extend their school term from six to eight months and is considered by
authorities to be one of the best schools in the county." Bids for the new Eastover High School were awarded on May 4, 1924 and was the "largest of the schools in the county and will have thirteen classrooms in addition to an auditorium, offices, and laboratories. (The Fayetteville Observer, Mary 5, 1925)

Eastover High School, "in 1935, had the FIRST agriculture department in the county." (From John A. Oakes' The Story of Fayetteville, The Story of Fayetteville and The Upper Cape Fear, 1950, Fayetteville, NC, p. 466)

(Click here for Historical Page 2, which provides more details of Eastover's Emphasis on Education on Educational History. )

Eastover was the FIRST community in Cumberland County to establish a rural water system. "Talk of a community water system began in 1994 with members of the Eastover Civic Club" and the bond passed in 1999. Four months later, in January 2000, Eastover won approval for nearly 4 million dollars in loans and grants from the Rural Development Division of the US Department of Agriculture. (The Fayetteville Observer/Times, January 10, 2000)

According to a brochure promoting golf in Cumberland County, "the first round of golf in the New World was played in a pasture just a short distance outside of Fayetteville by a Scotchman named Alex McGrain in 1728." Could this be an Eastover FIRST?????

Eastover History Trivia

"The Fayetteville and Northern Plank Road was laid out to cross the Cape Fear River above Fayetteville and within three miles of the City and thence to Flea Hill (now Eastover) on the old stage road, and then by Averasboro, through Johnston and Wake to Raleigh." (p. 373) (It is believed that this road passed to the east of the Johnny Patterson home on Beard Road.)
The Flea Hill Academy was chartered in 1831. (p. 450)

Two McLarens (McLearan, McLaurin) were listed in Flea Hill District,
Cumberland County, in the 1830 US Census: Duncan McLaurin (070) and John McLaurin (074) The Abstract of Deeds of Cumberland County, N.c., Volume One, Books 1-3, 1754-1770 records a deed on July 8, 1757 from Duncan McLearan of Cumberland To John McLearan for 100 acres on the drains of Locks Creek, on the side of savannah, patent 16 March 1756.

The Flea Hill Church on Middle Road became Salem Methodist Church in 1848. (J. H. Myrover, Short History of Cumberland County, 1905).

Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is one of the oldest churches in Cumberland County. Mount Zion, formerly called "Flea Hill African Methodist Zion": Church dates from 1855 and is the second documented organized African American Church in Cumberland County.

 
 

 

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