north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program
 

 
 
 

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Essay:
     Located near the community of Snow Camp, Cane Creek Meeting is the oldest Quaker meeting in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Attracted during the 1740s by cheap land, warm climate, and a longer growing season, Quakers from Pennsylvania traveled down the Great Wagon Road and established settlements throughout central North Carolina. By 1751, thirty Quaker families from Pennsylvania had settled near Cane Creek in present-day Alamance County. That year, Abigail Pike and Rachel Wright traveled 200 miles to Perquimans County to attend Quarterly Meeting at Little River seeking permission to set up a meeting on the banks of Cane Creek. With the authorization from Perquimans the first Monthly Meeting at Cane Creek was held on October 7, 1751. Fifteen certificates of membership were issued on that date, and by the end of the first year, sixty-eight certificates granted membership to Friends. In 1764, William Marshall and his wife Rebecca Dixon donated twenty-six acres on which a meeting house was built.

     Herman Husband, a leader of the Regulator Movement, was a member of Cane Creek until the meeting disowned him for voicing his dissatisfaction over the dismissal of another member. During the Revolutionary War, the home and gristmill of Cane Creek member Simon Dixon served as a resting place for Lord Cornwallis and his troops. After the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781 Cornwallis made his headquarters there for a week, and, during that time, his men used the meeting house benches as woodblocks for butchering cattle and sheep they had collected from the surrounding area.

     In 1866, the meeting, with the assistance of the Baltimore Association, built a school. Known as Sylvan Academy, it operated under the Cane Creek Meeting until 1903. Sylvan Elementary School, the public school that stands today in Snow Camp, takes its name from its Quaker predecessor. Four different structures have stood on the original land given to the Meeting (a fifth building, the original meeting house, stood one mile east of the land given in 1764). The meeting house that stands today was constructed in 1942. The meeting hired its first minister in 1918 and its first full time pastor in 1941. Before then, members preached without pay for their services. Often called the “Mother of Meetings, the Cane Creek Monthly Meeting gave rise to several other Quaker meetings in the area including the Rocky River, New Garden, Spring, Centre, and Deep River meetings.


References:
Bobbie Teague, Cane Creek: Mother of Meetings (1995)
Seth B. Hinshaw and Mary Edith Hinshaw, Carolina Quakers: Our Heritage, Our Hope (1972)
Walter Whitaker, Centennial History of Alamance County (1974)
Chatham News, June 1, 1972
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