The Mystery of Big Hole Road in Chatham County

Unbeknownst to many, only twenty minutes from the outskirts of Liberty, lies a government project shrouded in secrecy. It may sound like Stranger Things in real life, but hidden on Big Hole Road near Jordan Lake, AT&T Project Office NC-1 remains active. Before you start to speculate of aliens, gravity machines, and time travel, let's do some research first.

The Project Office itself was built in the mid-1960's; featuring shock-absorbing spring foundation, steel and concrete blast doors, rubber plumbing, and tropospheric scatter antennae, a technique to send radio signals slightly farther. For security, CCTV and steel crash barriers were also erected. More recently, a moat has been dug around the complex.  The name "Big Hole" travailed from the amount of earth dug during construction, giving the project an estimated 13 underground storeys.
After completion, it is assumed that it functioned as a telephone switching center, possibly for the military AUTOVON system. Mo…

Basil - Thai To Go

Liberty, North Carolina: just the town you would expect to find small-town diners and drive-ins. Anything too foreign or unconventional would come as a surprise to anyone passing through, let alone anyone who lives here. Tucked away, however, is Basil's Thai To Go.
I drive along Old 421 every day to Siler City, passing by the little restaurant. For whatever reason, I had never given it much thought, until carpooling one day when a friend asked about it. 
Later that night, I decided to try it. After searching for information online, I found the restaurant's Facebook page. I called and placed an order of KraProw Fettuccine, as well as some Coconut soup. After 20 minutes, I picked up my order. I was welcomed with great customer service and my warm food; I was even given free Spring Rolls.
Once home, I opened the package and was greeted with the delightful scent of the food. I quickly and thoroughly enjoyed my meal, savoring the nice balance between spice and sweet. I was more th…

For and By the Community

Among many of the community's attractions, restaurants, and business's you're sure to find a free newspaper, centered around Liberty and it's surrounding towns. Simply named, The Liberty Leader offers an array of information; there are ads of local businesses littered throughout, with few articles in between.

Cluttered with basic grammatical and spelling errors, the first headline of this month's issue celebrates the 50th anniversary of Kidd's Drive In (although the restaurant itself has been around for 66 years). While I'm a fan of the restaurant, the article is hardly legible; it seems to be written by someone's grandmother, who just so happens to be suffering from dementia.

Despite the first article being the worst written, you won't find anything more substantial, or better written. Still, I recommend you to take a look at the paper, here. I love the idea of there being a newspaper for Liberty, particularly if it's free. It's just so po…

Gregson Manufacturing Company | Retro Liberty

Take a seat and jump back in time with this retro cool matchbook cover for Liberty's own Gregson Manufacturing Company featuring their XL Series office chairs. Founded in 1921 by Barnie J. Gregson, the matchbook cover could have been written by the President himself, "Most in Quality.... Most Reasonable Prices". However, this was back when the area code was still 919 and white shag carpet filled the living rooms.
Gregson chairs are designed and styled to add a warm, simple elegance to the architecture of the modern office. Each series is complete with a chair for every use. And there is a series exactly right forevery office - modest or luxurious. The most in Quality and Comfort at the most reasonable prices. [sic] The Gregson family lived in Liberty for over five decades with Barnie's children, Joseph and Dwight joining the company. Joseph was known around town as a volunteer fire fighter and avid golfer who frequented the Sedgefield Country Club.

The company orig…

A Stunning Look at the Depot in Liberty, NC

It's not only the year that Doc Brown went back to the Old West but 1885 was the year that the Liberty Depot was built with its gabled roof and unique octagonal turret. The former Southern Railways depot (and prior, the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad) became dilapidated by 1992 when it was sold to Jim Wilson, a local lawyer who began restoring it. You can see its condition as of 2005:

Believe it or not, when operational, Liberty had it's own public transportation system and this depot served to bring people to and from the town via rail. Liberty's Womens' College at the time (now Liberty School), created such a demand for visiting the town that thousands of students passed through the depot for a better life through higher education.

Randolph County HB2: The most hateful county in North Carolina

In ancient times, public toilets were just that, public, communal. Like a town square, large stone benches with holes in the latrine sat over running water that flowed beneath. Men and women sat side by side having conversations and taking care of business. These days it's all a private affair, so much so that I cannot recall the last time (in this country) I've been in a toilet without partitioned stalls and locking doors. So I'm confused as to why the Governor McCrory felt the need to pass HB2 and more to the point, why Randolph County felt it necessary to publically support the measure? The only answer is hate and fear.

Even more interesting is the Courier Tribune ran a non-scientific public opinion poll of Randolph County citizens showing that the respondents were against HB2. This means that Randolph County Government literally voted to support a measure that was entirely superfluous and did so against the opinion of its constituents. This despite there has never be…

Smokehouse Bistro

A couple of weeks ago I had the keen idea of visiting the Smokehouse Bistro in downtown Liberty. If I'm to be completely honest with myself, Liberty is not a food mecca. That said, it's nice to be able to walk to downtown, grab a meal and enjoy the springtime weather.

The Courier Tribune wrote an excellent review of Smokehouse, so I had high hopes when I walked into the place. The owners have clearly spent a lot of time transforming this downtown café into something special. It's small and cozy with a little bar. It's completely out of place in a town that typically borders on functional rather than charming.

One look at the menu and you realize they're going in the right direction. Taking the bold effort to not offer the typical burgers and hotdogs which is common throughout the town takes gumption. That said, I found something lacking in the food. I ordered the taco salad and my date ordered the brisket. The salad was laden with more of a chili than Mexican fla…