Fairmont History

This photograph is used courtesy of Mary Tew, whose dad appears in the bottom right area.


During the past thirty years I have developed a fascination with anything related to Fairmont, NC. Old photos, old newspapers, old buildings  decades and old stories all interest me to the point of obsession. This web site is the result of that obsession.

Understand that this will be an incomplete history, one that, to my knowledge, has never before been attempted. Rev. W. W. Willis wrote a nice description of Fairmont's settlement and incorporation in a May, 1915 Robesonian, in the process introducing many of the key folks who built the town. P. B. Thompson, one of the first five Ashpole Institute students, filled in some early details in a 1930 Robesonian regarding the Pitman and Stephens lands which formed downtown Fairmont proper. Wiley Taylor added much detail from the 1930's forward for the town's centennial celebration. This was published in a booklet in 1998 in conjunction with the town's centennial.

Stories that cannot be verified in print have generally been omitted. "Grandma told me's" have also been omitted absent print verification or multiple sources for the same information. There are bound to be errors here since multiple print sources have disagreed on some events. In cases like that I have tried to use the most sensible, logical interpretation.

I will not cite references to specific facts from newspapers, but bear in mind that most of the early research was from old Robesonian newspapers dating from 1897 forward as well as the Lumberton Argus, which published from 1902 to 1905. One copy of the Fairmont Messenger from 1914 proved especially helpful. I used the Times-Messengers from 1947 through 1989 for the more recent history.

From all of this, and from a mountain of old photographs and thousands of feet of home movies, I hope to show how this community came into being and try to answer some of the "whys" in our past. Where possible I have drawn on personal conversations with knowledgeable friends such as Billy Whitted, Charles Webster and Thomas Lewis. Their contributions to this work are immense and much appreciated.

Through all of this I have had some disappointments. For whatever reason, some have refused to share information that they have. Some have offered, then not delivered. Hence, many details may be incomplete. I think, though, that what is here is really good stuff!

If you have anything to contribute to this never-ending project, feel free to contact me and I will try to work it into the narrative.


The contents of this site are copyrighted by Curtis McGirt, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020©. All rights reserved.