WAGRAM — Scotland County Genealogical Society was able to learn a little bit more about the area through its annual field trip.
For the trip on Saturday, more than 30 members and friends of the Scotland County Genealogical Society met at Temperance Hall near Wagram for a lecture by Dr. Mary Wayne Watson about her uncle — renowned poet John Charles McNeill. She shared anecdotes about his life and read from his works.
Temperance Hall is built on a small hill above a water spring which originally served as the local water supply, hence the familiar name, “Spring Hill.”
One distinctive feature of Temperance Hall is a large replica of an inverted wine goblet atop a Bible at the peak of the roof. The group also examined pot marks made by bullets fired during unsanctioned target practice by unruly troops of General Sherman during the War Between the States.
The event was hosted by the Richmond Temperance and Literary Society which was represented by its chair, Elizabeth Cooley. The event was financed in part by a Roads Scholar Grant awarded from the N.C. Humanities Council.
The group was treated a homemade lunch at the nearby McNeill House followed by tours of the historic site lead by Dr. Calvin Newton.
During lunch the group was joined by volunteer students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who are associated with Noran Sanford’s Growing Change project at the nearby former Wagram prison camp.
The next meeting of the genealogical society is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the Scotland County Museum. Watson will present a short lecture concerning local customs that originated in Scotland. There is no charge to attend and the public is welcome.