Center Fair and BBQ ~ A Davie County Institution
If you missed the opening day today you still have one more day to enjoy the delicious food and displays ~ all day Saturday, September 10th. There are tons and tons of slow-cooked, moist, tender, juicy, pork barbeque! Held on the grounds of Center United Methodist Church and the historic Center Arbor built in 1876, the Center Fair has been an institution in Davie County for decades.
Center Fair Ribbons Are Coveted Prizes
The Center Fair and Barbeque is the closest thing Davie County has to a county fair and residents of Davie County are welcome to show their artistic, culinary, and horticultural talents to fair-goers. Cash prizes and coveted “Center Fair Ribbons” are awarded by category and by age group.
Barbeque will be served all day on Saturday, or until the barbeque runs out. Proceeds benefit the Center Community Development Association and Center Volunteer Fire Department.
Center Arbor ~ A Brief History
The Center Arbor is a local landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is one of Davie County’s most historic buildings. The Center Arbor, completed in 1876 was built for “Camp Meetings” during the height of the Third Great Awakening, a period of Christian revival that swept across America with great impact in the Piedmont and mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. People came from great distances and camped out for the week-long revival meetings held here each year. [continued below]
Pictures of the Center Arbor from your Davie County Photo Stream on Flickr
(Note: High resolution originals available here)
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157624781967971″]
Logs for the structure were cut on the Billy Tutterow farm, about two miles south of the Arbor on Hunting Creek. The structure is put together with wooden pegs in the “timber-frame” style. Citizens of the community cut the logs, hewed the ones that needed it and fit the structure together.
The board roof was replaced with a metal roof in 1923 and new benches with backs were put in the Arbor. About 1925, church member Luther M. Tutterow, whose home and separate general store stood across the road from the Arbor, installed a Delco Power System for his home and store and also had lights installed in the Arbor. That system lighted the Arbor until Duke Power began service to the area in 1933.
In 1941 the German siding replaced the old weatherboarding, and windows were installed at the back of the stage. The structure was painted white, and the roof has been painted several times.
In May of 1989 a storm which produced a tornado in nearby Farmington blew off several pieces of the metal roof and that damage was repaired. Around 1991 some renovations were undertaken by church members in which the flooring on the stage was replaced along with some of the smaller beams and some steel plates were added in a couple of areas to strengthen some original beams. At this time the windows on the back of the stage were replaced with wooden louvers which were hand crafted by church member Lawrence Carter (the grandson of Brice P. Garrett).
On September 3, 1991, the Center Arbor was named to the National Register of Historic Places. On Sunday, April 26, 1992, the Arbor was rededicated in a Service of Celebration. A plaque was dedicated commemorating the Arbor as a Historic Building on the National Register. In the spring of 2004 a large wind storm swept through the area and seriously damaged the Arbor. Winds of 70+ mph ripped off a large portion of the Arbor’s old hand-crimped metal roofing. The extensive roof damage and some other structural damage required the entire roof to be replaced. A new standing-seam metal roof was installed to resemble the older hand-crimped roof.
The Arbor continues to serve the community hosting Homecomings for Center United Methodist Church, the annual Center Fair, an occasional wedding and various other events.