Home Lifestyle 238th anniversary of the House in the Horseshoe battle re-enactment slated for...

238th anniversary of the House in the Horseshoe battle re-enactment slated for next month in Sanford

N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

SANFORD —“We will surrender, Sir, on condition that no one shall be injured; otherwise we will make the best defense we can …” Temperance Alston’s words to David Fanning ended the fight between opposing militia forces of the Loyalists and the Patriots.

The patriot woman bravely stepped onto the porch of her home amid a hail of bullets, carrying a flag of truce. The scars of this personal and complicated war can still be seen on the Alston House. Come experience the American Revolution during the 238th anniversary of the House in the Horseshoe Battle Re-enactment Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3-4.

The mutual hatred of patriot Philip Alston and British loyalist David Fanning sparked a skirmish in the summer of 1781. Spend a day in the 18th century learning about these two leaders who were sworn enemies. See the lengths they went to in support of their beliefs and their country.

Musket and cannon firing demonstrations, Revolutionary War militia camps, and a wreath-laying ceremony by the Sons of the American Revolution are among scheduled activities. Many 18th century trades will be highlighted including physicians, fiber-processing, wig-making, and more. Altogether this creates one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 events and a TripAdvisor favorite.


Saturday hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The battle reenactment will begin at 2 p.m. both days. There will also be food trucks and tours of the Alston House, where bullet holes remain. The program is free; parking is $5.

Located at 288 Alston House Road, Sanford, House in the Horseshoe is 16 miles west of Sanford off NC 42 and 10 miles north of Carthage on the Carbonton-Carthage Road. The house was built in 1772 by Philp Alston, who during the American Revolution proved a fiery leader for the Whig cause. From 1798 to 1814 the House in the Horseshoe, under the name Retreat, was home to another Patriot leader and four-time North Carolina governor, Benjamin Williams.

House in the Horseshoe is part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

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