Temperance Hall

Temperance Hall Historical Marker
Temperance Hall Historical Marker

Search Area: N 34° 53.106 W 079° 22.122

Town of Wagram, Scotland County, NC

The fields and woodlands around the small Scotland County town of Wagram, nine miles north of Laurinburg on U.S. Highway 401, haven’t changed much since John Charles McNeill roamed them as a sunburnt boy more than a hundred years ago, storing up the natural lore and imagery that would later inspire his poetry. McNeill died at an early age, but during his brief life he established himself as the foremost literary figure of the state and was hailed for many years by popular acclaim as North Carolina’s unofficial poet laureate.


In the McNeill Memorial Gardens also stands the restored home of one of the first temperance societies in America, the Richmond Temperance and Literary Society. The society was organized in 1853 and this home built shortly thereafter of red brick, which were molded by hand and burned in homemade kilns. In the center of the ceiling was painted a group of gold stars, one for each member. If a member died, his star was painted over with silver. If a member broke his pledge and drank, the star was painted black. Some stars were said to have several coats of black and gold paint, for only when one reformed was his star painted gold again.

My best shot through the window.
My best shot through the window.

Here the members met regularly to read poetry and other literature and to debate the issues of the day. At the apex of the roof a tall upturned goblet, pointing its base to the sky, stood on a large open wooden book. The goblet represented the temperance idea and the book represented the literary idea. Sherman’s army, moving north during the closing days of the Civil War, shot off the goblet and the book, but they have since been restored. The Temperance Hall is registered as a national history place by the Department of the Interior.

Cup and Book
Cup and Book

The written part of this story above is from a cache page by a fellow cache Medic208. If you would like to visit this site and you are GPS friendly follow the coords at the top of the page.

What color would your star be and how many coats of paint would it have?

Get off the highway!

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