Badin Villager Lead Article
With Badin’s centennial less than a year to go, ideas are flying for ways to celebrate. Badin Museum, Better Badin, the Town of Badin, Badin Inn and other businesses and private citizens are meeting on a regular basis, and there is no shortage of suggestions for a variety of year-long events.
“We are short of volunteers to make these events happen, though,” says Museum Chairman, David Summerlin. “To put on the 10 events we hope to have, we need lots of help from the local citizenry.”
The several events scheduled on a regular basis every year will take place as usual. These include the Best of Badin Festival, the Triathlon and the Poor Man’s Supper. The latter will become a big birthday bash complete with cake and 100 candles.
Added events will possibly include a parade and pageant, 4th of July Fireworks, a West Badin old time camp meeting, a BBQ cook-off, and an Indian pow-wow celebrating the Indian tribes of the Hardaway Site.
Summerlin and John Westbrook are busy creating a History of Badin book With written history and archival photographs, the book will tell the story of Badin from the partial construction of the Whitney Dam until the present day. With 150 to 200 pages, the hardback book will be clothed in silver aluminum appropriate for an aluminum company town.
During the year, special banners will fly from lamp posts around town. The banner design is being created and donations are being accepted. Thirty banners are needed at a cost of $100 apiece. Any sum will be accepted to go towards that cost.
Badin Museum, Better Badin and the Town of Badin hope to see enthusiasm and participation from all the citizens of this small but historically unique town as it celebrates an eventful 100 years.
Meetings are being held on a regular basis. Check with the Town Hall for place, dates and times.
The Badin newsletter has a long history, stretching back nearly a century. The first recorded publication was in 1915, but the regular monthly publication began in 1918 with the Badin Bulletin.
Alcoa put out these informative newsletters for the community until 1996.
In 2003, the Badin town manager, Scott Slatton decided the town needed to resume its monthly publication, citing the need for a way to inform the community about local events.
When Slatton moved on to bigger and better opportunities, the town council agreed to continue the Badin Bulletin with Bridget Huckabee as writer, editor and photographer of the one-page sheet.
In 2008, the Badin Inn sponsored a 4-page, full color edition of the newly-named Badin Villager with Huckabee continuing as editor. Unfortunately, the publication proved too costly and the newsletter was discontinued.
In 2010, 2 local citizens were instrumental in ensuring the Badin Villager resumed its monthly edition of local news and it became, once again, a one-page newsletter currently sponsored by the Town of Badin and the Badin Inn.
Our name says it all,” says Better Badin President, Bill Harwood. “We want to make Badin better.”
And this local organization is doing just that as it distributes funds from its coffers to help the community.
Ten organizations are benefiting or will benefit from money raised by Better Badin through a series of events. The Yadkin Masonic Lodge receives $200 help with its power bill; Badin Volunteer Fire Department receives $500; Badin Library receives up to $500 to renew its out-dated sign; up to $1,500 will go to a sound system for use at the festival and Christmas program; Badin Historic Museum receives $300; up to $1000 will go for a new indestructible basket ball goal if the Badin School approves; a sign planned for the intersection of Valley Drive and Morrow Mountain Road receives $1000; the downtown tree lights and electrical work involved receives $1000. A scholarship to honor Elvin Fisher for a Badin student to attend any college receives $250.
“Better Badin believes in transparency,” says Harwood. “Any one is welcome to see our accounts.”
Decisions on the dispersal of these funds was made by soliciting suggestions from Better Badin members. The long list was pared down and voted on.
“The committees work well together,” says Harwood. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
Funds were raised through-out the year by a golf tournament, the Best of Badin Festival, the Triathlon and the Poor Man’s Supper
Save these dates!
Sunday, November 27, 2011, at 3 pm Badin will start celebrating Christmas with the Singing Americans “Singing in the Season” at Badin Baptist Church as the sanctuary resounding with the songs of the season.
There will also be a tribute in memory of Don Carrick and Elvin Fisher, both charter members of the Singing Americans.
Organizers hope to fill the church and encourage Badin-ites to bring their friends and relatives for this kick-off to the season.
Katie’s Café and Dough Bro plan specials for that evening, and the Badin Inn Pub will be open for business, so be sure to check them out after the performance.
Monday, November 28, 2011, 6 pm will begin the start of the Old Fashioned Christmas celebration with the Badin Tree Lighting. Revelers are encouraged to wear period clothing from the early teens to the 50’s.
Badin Elementary School kindergarten class will sing as Santa and Mrs. Santa arrive. There’ll be treat bags for all the children as Santa empties his sack.
At 7 pm the 60 member North Stanly Middle School Choir will sing on the steps of the Badin Baptist Church.
Plans are for old cars and trucks from T models to the 50’s to line the street.
There’ll be horse drawn carriages offering rides, carolers on the street, and 5 stores open and offering refreshments.
Katie’s Café, Dough Bro and the Badin Inn Pub will all be open. This will be a festive community event not to be missed.
Alcoa recently donated and installed a stainless steel turbine runner (water wheel) as a piece of public art for the Town of Badin. Sitting in a prominent position on the village green across from the Badin Town Hall, the water wheel is a symbol of the Narrows Dam that was instrumental in the creation of the Town of Badin. The Narrows Dam was erected to provide hydro-electric power for the Badin Works, Alcoa’s aluminum smelter, in 1917. The Town of Badin was built to house the smelter’s workers. The wheel is 10 feet in diameter and weighs 28,400 pounds. It powered the 36,000 horse power #1 generator at thet Narrows Dam powerhouse from 1988 to 2009. The function of a turbine runner is to convert the force of falling water delivered through the penstock pipes to rotating energy. Water rushing against the blades causes the runner to rotate like a pinwheel producing energy which is then utilized by the generator in producing electricity.
Early this month you’ll see them all over downtown: the hard-working volunteers of Better Badin and the Badin Museum. There’s the mayor in a bucket truck hanging banners, and other stalwarts buzzing around the museum buildings, the town park and the library. They sweat in the heat, but never stop. The Firehouse Museum and the Badin Museum are power-washed. The sides of the Quadruplex Museum are rinsed with bleach to get rid of mildew. Flowerbeds are weeded, mulch spread and trees trimmed. Inside, the museum displays are spruced up and a new center display is created in the main museum. Named Badin in its Prime, the display features memorabilia from the 1920’s and the 1930’s when the population of the town reached 5,000. There are photographs, old invoices, and ads offering items that include a nice wool suit for $25. Photos of Falls Road show Model-T Fords, horse and buggies and pedestrians strolling along the sidewalk. To add to the town’s historic memorabilia, Alcoa is constructing a water wheel, or turbine runner, to be displayed on the village green across from the Town Hall. It is hoped it will be in place in time for the festival. This piece of public art will show an important element from the inside of the Narrows Dam. To generate hydropower, the Narrows Dam created a ‘head’ of height from which the water flows through a pipe (penstock) from Badin Lake to the turbine. The fast moving water pushes against the blades of the water wheel causing it to rotate. A vertical shaft connects it to the rotating assembly of the generator and transmits that mechanical energy for conversion to electricity. The water wheel on display was used in the Narrows Dam from 1960 to the early 2000’s when it was replaced with a new and improved version.
The seventeenth Best of Badin Festival is on track for September 16 and 17, 2011. Better Badin committees are working hard to put together Badin’s annual showcase of food, drink, arts and crafts and entertainment. From the street dance to the grand finale firework display, the festival in the past has drawn as many as 20,000 visitors over the two-day period of the annual event. Started in 1994 by David Summerlin as a one-day event, the festival got off to an inauspicious start. After weeks of preparation the big day arrived. Rain started in the early morning hours and continued throughout the day. By noon, the few vendors still open packed up and left. “We’ll try again next year,” said Summerlin. And from that day on the weather cooperated. Tied to the festival this year is a new event, the first annual golf tournament scheduled for Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm. Plans are for a shot gun tee off for 20 teams comprised of 4 players each. The opportunity for the tournament was presented to the Festival Committee by the new General Manager of the Badin Inn, Arthur Jeffords. Profits will benefit Better Badin.
It may seem a long way off, but 2013 will be here before we know it, according to Badin Museum chairman, David Summerlin. The recently formed Centennial Committee is already hard at work preparing for a celebration and they need help from the community. “We have a ‘wish list,’ for Hardaway artifacts and we need photos of Badin from the teens and the twenties,” says Mayor Jim Harrison, who is on the Badin Museum board and the Centennial Committee. “We’re planning a 100 page hard cover book to mark the year of Badin’s founding.” The museum will be happy to accept artifacts and photos on loan or as gifts. The Centennial Committee, in need of volunteers, recently joined forces with Better Badin. Meetings are held in the Badin Town Hall at 7 pm on the fourth Monday of each month. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.
Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the world’s largest recycler of electronic waste, announced that it will open a regional recycling hub in Badin, NC. The facility will be ERI’s first Southeast location and is expected to bring up to 200 green-collar jobs to the community. “We are excited about expanding our business to North Carolina,” said John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of ERI. “The enormous influx of new technologies, rendering older devices obsolete, as well as the demand for the safe and secure disposal of data, has created incredible growth in the electronic waste industry, and we look forward to establishing a significant, long-term operation in Badin.” Shegerian made the announcement on Monday, May 23, 2011 before a crowd of 100 community leaders and local officials, including U.S. Congressman Larry Kissell, State Sen. Bill Purcell, State Rep. Justin Burr, Stanly County Commissioner Josh Morton, Badin Mayor James Harrison and Albemarle Mayor Whit Whitley. He thanked the community for the warm welcome that ERI has received in North Carolina. “This announcement is what we have been praying for ever since the shuttering of the Alcoa Inc. smelting operation,” Mayor Harrison said. “I hope that ERI’s selection of Badin is a sign of good things starting to take place for the Badin community and Stanly County.” ERI works with retailers, manufacturers, Fortune 500 companies, government entities, educational institutions and charitable organizations to recycle electronic waste, including laptop computers, cell phones, televisions, printers and other electronics. Some of its notable customers include Best Buy, Samsung, the Salvation Army and the U.S. Government.
Alcoa razed a 120-foot water tower at its former aluminum smelting plant in Badin on Sunday, February 27, 2011 as part of the company’s aggressive plan to redevelop the site to attract new jobs to the community. When crews pulled the water tower to the ground at 8:05 a.m. it represented the latest effort by Alcoa to prepare the 123-acre site for new companies. Alcoa is spending more than $10 million this year to refurbish the buildings, remove old manufacturing equipment, and remove old buildings that have no use for the future tenants. “There is strong interest in the Badin site,” said Kevin Anton, Alcoa’s chief sustainability officer. “We have had productive talks with several companies and will continue preparing the site for new employers.” The water tower, built in the 1960’s to provide a backup water supply for the plant, is the first of more than a dozen structures on the site that will be demolished this year. Carefully observing safety and environmental regulations, crews made several strategic cuts to weaken the tower immediately before it was pulled down with 200-foot cables attached to the tower. The tower landed safely in an open space located inside the site’s fence. The steel structure will be cut into scraps and recycled. “This day represents a new beginning for the Badin site,” said Anton. “We are committed to bringing new jobs to the community.”