North Carolina People, Places, and Things-January 9
I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.
In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.
What I am finding out real early in my 2016 project to learn more about North Carolina is often time our 100 counties were carved out of existing counties. That is the case with Alleghany County.
Alleghany County represented by shaded blue area on state map.
Alleghany County is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northwestern North Carolina and was formed out of Ashe County by an act of the 1858-1859 session of the North Carolina legislature. Part of the county borders on the Virginia State line.
The population is sparse with just over 11,000 residents and its county seat is Sparta. Alleghany offers up some pretty interesting topography with most of the county sitting on a rolling plateau with elevations ranging from 2500 to 3000 feet above sea level.
In the southern portion of the county elevation drops off pretty quickly by 1500 feet.
The most important thing I learned about Alleghany County is it cares about it’s people. Alleghany is a community that may be small in size but it rallies around those that have a need.
Dec. 3, 2011, then Alleghany High School Senior, Luke Hampton, the state’s top-ranked 1A wrestler at 182 pounds, tripped as he lunged at his opponent. He went head-first into a wall and fell lifeless to the floor. Lives change in an instant.
Air-lifted to Wake Forest Medical Center in Winston-Salem, emergency surgery repaired damage to his C5 and C6 vertebra. Fund raising began for the $40,000 not covered by insurance to airlift Luke to the Shepherd Center, a center for spinal injuries in Atlanta. In spite of a county population under 12,000, a BBQ lunch and auction raised over $20,000. The high school’s electrical trades instructor found volunteers who began building a handicap friendly addition to the Hampton home with donated materials.
Today in Alleghany County their exist a festival called LUKE Fest.
LUKEfest is a benefit concert held each year on the Sunday before Memorial Day in Sparta, NC at Crouse Park.