• By Walkertown Branch
  • Posted Friday, November 8, 2019

Exhibit about the historic Town Creek Settlement at Walkertown

An exhibit by Phyllis Roberson Hoots about the historic Town Creek Settlement is on display in the lobby of Walkertown Branch Library through the end of December. Townfork Creek Settlement was located in what is now northern Forsyth County and southern Stokes County, near Germanton. The exhibit uses reproduction artifacts and maps to present insight into the history of the settlement.

Townfork Creek Settlement began in approximately 1749, with settlers Henry Banner, Ambrose Blackburn, Anthony Bitting, Gray Bynum, William Haltham, and Samuel Waggoner, among many others. Both Col. Joseph Winston (for whom the town and county seat of Forsyth County was named in 1849) and Col. Benjamin Forsyth (for whom Forsyth County was named) were settlers of Townfork Creek Settlement. “Sauratown" Peter Hairston, whose main home was just beyond what is now the town of Walnut Cove, also had part interest in a general store in Townfork. Hairston owned an ironwork and a number of plantations, including the Cooleemee Plantation property in Davie County.

Judy Stanley Cardwell and Hoots began the Townfork Creek Settlement project about 15 years ago. Cardwell, a historical researcher, conducted property and genealogical research on the settlers, beginning with the first arrivals. She created three large color maps depicting the properties of these settlers and how they dispersed their lands to their heirs.

Hoots' role has been in collecting data to be used in conducting a scholarly analysis of this backcountry colonial settlement. She is a retired professor of history from Forsyth Technical Community College and also taught history at Winston-Salem State University. Additionally, she has a background in archival management and museum studies. Focusing on the first 50 years of the settlement and community, Hoots' says that "We find that far from being a disorganized, unlawful society, Townfork settlers were bent on forging a civilization in the North Carolina colonial piedmont backcountry."

Those who may be descendants of these Town Creek Settlement settlers are invited to share any information they may have with Hoots at 336-767-3873 or phyla@triad.rr.com.

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