Badin Villager Article
My hope for 2012 is to see the economic prospects of Badin Business Park become a reality. The Badin Town Council and I will do everything in our power to ensure job opportunities are forthcoming so that our town may prosper and grow. Happy New Year.
Mayor, Badin, NC
Carol Preisinger loves to visit Badin for the Best of Badin Festival. A teaching golf professional at the Kiawah Island Club on Kiawah, Island, SC., Carol has close ties to Badin. Her parents grew up here and both grandfathers worked for Alcoa. When Badin Museum Chairman, David Summerlin set up a contest to guess the weight of the newly installed water wheel, Carol bought 12 tickets. Using a zip code number, she won as the closest to the correct weight of 28,400 pounds. Carol’s father, George Preisinger grew up playing golf on the Badin course and as an adult he became a pro golfer. Carol has written a book , Golf’s Abundant Elements, chronicling her father’s life. “I applaud the community in its efforts to revitalize Badin,” she says. “It’s a charming, hidden historical gem in the state of North Carolina.”
Crepe myrtles in bloom, colorful awnings, gas lamps flickering and flowers pots brimming: a far cry from Badin’s main street in the 70’s and 80’s. “A video of downtown Badin in the 1970’s shows shuttered stores and grass growing in the cracks in the pavement,” says Vanessa Mullinix, owner of The Cottage House on Falls Road. “Look at us today.” The Town of Badin and Better Badin, working with the Small Town Main Street Program, has brought about a transformation to the one-block center of the town. Twila’s Gifts and Thrifts Store, with Badin native Curt Dorsey, and God’s Country Outfitters, has started a kayak and canoe rental service. The former Legends Café has reopened as the Dough Bro Bistro. Coy’s Antique Shop is considering expanding hours and there are plans in the works for an art gallery and coffee shop next door to be named The Tree House.
The author sold out of her books and the bountiful refreshment table had to be re-stocked. In other words, Badin’s first book-signing event was a success. Badin’s own Heather Ross Miller was on hand Saturday, June 25th at The Cottage House on Falls Road to sign copies of her latest book of poetry, Lumina: a town of voices. “It was a heart-swelling day for me,” says Miller. “seeing old friends, neighbors, schoolmates, and complete strangers who came in. I’ve never felt so honored at any other book-signing. This one was indeed special.” Miller grew up in Badin and is part of a well-known writing family. She writes poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. She has taught many years in North Carolina, Arkansas and Virginia, and is the author of over a dozen published books. She lives in her husband’s home-place on Valley Drive and has two children and two grandchildren.
ERI will be the inaugural tenant in the new 123-acre Badin Business Park. Developed by Alcoa, the Park includes 700,000 square feet of prime industrial space. Alcoa is investing more than $10 million to redevelop the former plant site into a business park for manufacturing companies. ERI will begin operations in July 2011 and plans to begin hiring a local work force of 20 to 30 employees immediately to assist with its start-up operations. As its recycling volume grows it plans to hire up to 200 employees. The company has already named a plant manager for the site.
When Badin’s David Summerlin moved to Valley Drive, he found a load of old bottles in his back yard. Intrigued, he asked friend Jerry Hall, a bottle collector, if there were any treasures among them. The answer was no, but Summerlin was hooked. These days, he and friend Hall attend bottle shows all over the southeastern United States, toting their sizeable collections to show and sell. Both men belong to the Uwharrie Bottle Club begun 5 years ago by Badin native Todd McSwain. On Saturday March 12, 2011, from 8am to 3 pm at the Badin Fire Department, the club will put on its 4th annual show and sale. Bottles date from the 1890’s and up. Top dollar can be as high as $40,000 and as low as $1. A Koca Nola bottle from New London, NC found at the Whitney Dam is one of Summerlin’s treasures. Drink bottles are best sellers and value depends on the town they’re from. Categories include soda, milk, whiskey and poison.
Better Badin goes back well before the incorporation of the town. A unique organization, it has long provided volunteer help to take on extra duties that are beyond the town’s limited time and staff, duties that enhance the quality of our village life. It provided the impetus for the incorporation. For years it has organized the Best of Badin Festival. The triathlon, the Poor Man’s Supper, the Christmas Program and a tour of homes are just a few of the events put on and staffed by willing volunteers. Each January there is a “changing of the guard” as one slate of officers step down and a newly elected slate takes their place. In 2011, Better Badin will be led by chairman Bill Harwood, long-time Badin resident and a former US Airways pilot. “I have no personal material goals for Better Badin,” says Harwood. “But I do have conceptual goals.” His top priority is to attract new members to continue the legacy of the past. Harwood plans to explore grants to accomplish material goals, and hopes to expand event sponsorships. He will welcome new ideas and plans to “tighten” meetings by introducing a little more formality, leaving discussions to committees. Better Badin meets the second Monday of each month at 7 pm at the Badin Town Hall. “Everyone is encouraged to attend,” says Harwood.
The popular Pickin on the Porch continues every Friday night from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. New this year is a Karaoke night in the restaurant every Thursday from 6 pm to 9 pm. On Wednesday January 19, 2011, the Inn will introduce a Trivia Night. Attendees can test their general knowledge skills individually or working as a team. There is a $5 fee to take the pop quizzes and prizes for the winners. Future plans are for a monthly Casino Night. Poker or other games will be played at tables in the restaurant with servers doubling as dealers