Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mount Airy

Through with our visit to Virginia, we headed south to North Carolina and plopped ourselves for a week just south and a little west of Winston/Salem.  Our ride was uneventful--just the way we like it!

I know nothing about these towers, just found the contrast interesting.

Most of our ride looked like this.

Next day we hopped the bike for a 60 mile ride north to the town of Mount Airy.  Along the way the scenery included fields of tobacco,

lots of kudzu,

and beautiful landscaping.  We went through several towns, including Boonville where Squire Daniel Boone's parents are buried.

Mount Airy is the home town of comedian/actor Andy Griffith.  In his popular tv show he plays the sheriff in the fictional small town of Mayberry which is, of course, the real town of Mount Airy.  Hwy 601 takes you to the historical downtown area which is the model for Mayberry.  Andy Griffith's boyhood home is on Rockford Rd.  

Our first stop was the visitors' center where we were warmly welcomed and given detailed instructions on where to find the businesses made famous in the tv show and other points of interest in town..  Outside the center is one of several decorated guitars (Andy played guitar and sang) that are scattered up and down Main St.

The town was small enough for a walking tour.  First we went south past the war memorial 

to the courthouse that appeared in many episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.

Andy'll be right back!

 Otis's cell--homey with a light, rocker and tv.

Next door is where Gomer and Goober worked.  Inside are the remnants of the garage which is now a gift shop. From here you can take a guided tour of the town in a black and white squad car.

Next was the TVLand statue of Andy and Opie in front of the Andy Griffith Playhouse which is next to the Museum.  The Playhouse held performances in the evening.  We decided not to tour either this museum or the Museum of Regional History. 

Time for lunch at "the oldest eating establishment in Mount Airy where Andy Griffith ate as a young boy."

Yep, these are the actual prices!  I tried the famous pork chop sandwich, representative of Carolina cuisine.  The chop is flattened, breaded and fried on a griddle, then served on a bun with chili, slaw, mustard, onions, and tomato.  Yum!

The additions to the original restaurant.

This is the original part of the food stand--the fry table and the glass case open to the street.  Unwrapped food and money were exchanged over the glass case.

Next door is Floyd Barber Shop

Inside the shop I was just about ready to sit down and get my mop cut out of my eyes, but we had other places to see.

Squad car tour driving by while we were on our way to Walkers soda Fountain, another original business..

Our last stop was recommended by the nice folks at the visitors' center.  This is the Gertrude Smith House.  It was built in 1903 and has had only one owner, the Jefferson Davis Smith Family.  Mr. Smith was a merchant and owned a vast amount of real estate.  He married Mount Airy native Gertrude Gilmer.  Three of their 7 children remained single and lived in the house with their parents.  Gertrude was the last to live here and willed that the house be left as though it was still occupied and that it be used as a living museum.  It was a beautiful place and nicely updated by Gertrude who was an interior decorator.  Our guide Billie Mae was very informative and entertaining.

Andy Griffith's boyhood home.  The home is owned by the local Hampton Inn and can be rented.  it is decorated in a 1930's-1940's style.

The rest of Mount Airy.

In spite of the heat and humidity, we enjoyed our visit to "Mayberry".  The (historic downtown) welcomed us with plenty of free parking and the people were warm and hospitable and ready to chat about where you're from and have you seen such and such in town.  Mount Airy is not a replica of Mayberry, but it manages to look and feel like Mayberry.

We had nothing else planned for this area except a visit to the local Harley store.  The rest of our stay we spent relaxing, doing chores and playing pickle ball with two couple we met here.  Ironically,  one couple came from the same rv park where we stayed and arrived here just after we did!  The other couple were just across from us.  We all met on the pickle ball court.   
Next stop--Georgia.

Louise and Duane

1 comment:

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

We totally missed Mount Airy. I had it on our list of places to visit, but we got off the list and did a few other things. Looks like a fun place to visit. I cannot believe the prices at the restaurant. What a fine!