J.A. Bolton

J.A. Bolton

Friday, 05 November 2021 16:26

COLUMN: The Beast of Bladenboro

Bladen County is one of the oldest counties in North Carolina. It lies about 70 miles northwest of Wilmington and just southeast of Lumberton. The mighty Cape Fear River slowly makes its way through the counties on its way to the coast. The county is mostly rural and only a few towns dot the landscape. Farming is big in Bladen with its rich land and abundance of water. A lot of the county is made up of large forest and swampland: a perfect environment for bears, deer, bobcats and just about any other type of beast.

Friday, 22 October 2021 16:41

COLUMN: The ghost of Ol' Shag

A lot of you may remember the story I’ve told about my favorite pet and hunting companion, Ol ’Shag and how he was tragically killed while stopping for a train.


After dinner on the grounds, my family would wander on down the hill to the cemetery. There we would hear stories about my ancestors. 

Tuesday, 12 October 2021 15:07

COLUMN: The Thompson Reunion

Every third Sunday in October during the 1950s and ‘60s, my family and I would go to the Thompson Reunion out from Mount Gilead. It was held at a small Baptist church of which my great-grandfather was one of the founding members and he is buried in the valley right below the church. The church was located in a beautiful grove of oak trees. Inside the church was an old-time choir loft, beautiful oak pews, knotted pine paneling and an old pump organ sat close to the front of the church.

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 14:26

COLUMN: The fruit of the gods

The common persimmon in America is known by many names — Possum Apples, sugar plum, and just plain ‘simmons. The proper name or scientific name is Diospyros Virginian.

Friday, 24 September 2021 14:15

COLUMN: If the ol' oak tree could talk

Here in the South, many stately old oak trees still dot our landscapes. If not hampered by storms or man, these old oaks can live for hundreds of years. Why, some have lived up to a thousand years.

Friday, 10 September 2021 09:52

COLUMN: Ghostly music at Grassy Island Part II


As we continue this week with some folklore of the Pee Dee River area, we find that, in earlier times, a lot of folks used the ford to cross the river just above Grassy Island.

Saturday, 04 September 2021 14:20

COLUMN: Ghostly music at Grassy Island Part I

Until the early 1900s, the Pee Dee River ran free and clear from the North Carolina mountains to the South Carolina coast with no man-made structures to hinder its flow.

Thursday, 26 August 2021 23:50

COLUMN: Back in the day

In the 1950s and '60s, things here in the South won’t so fast paced. Why, you could still enjoy a Sunday evening ride without someone riding your tail or honking their horn. It was a time when you could see the night sky instead of city lights and a time when you knew all the people in the neighborhood and their families, too. A time when a handshake sealed a deal or a person’s word was his bond.

Friday, 20 August 2021 15:22

COLUMN: Our trip to White Lake

If you have ever lived in the Coastal Plains sections of our great state of North Carolina, you have most likely paid a visit to the 1,200-acre lake known as White Lake, sometime in your lifetime. With its clear water, sandy bottoms and gradual drops in water levels, it’s known as one of the safest big bodies of water in the U.S. — plus it’s a big boast for tourism in Bladen County.

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