Whispering Pines and Carthage Community Information
The history of the Whispering Pines area, particularly Thagards Lake, goes back to colonial days. In 1759, Charles Hurd received a land grant from the King of England for 100 acres on the south side of what is now Thagards Lake. Ten years later, Nicholas Smith received a grant for 50 acres on the north side of the lake. Because this tract included a lake, Smith, an entrepreneur, built a dam and a mill on the lake that was located on the property. The lake was the distinctive feature of this parcel of land. John Ray, a Scot, eventually bought both parcels and subsequently William C. Thagard bought the lake and the surrounding property in 1865.
Thagard had earlier moved to the county around 1850 and lived in Carthage. Around 1865, he and his family moved to a block of land adjacent to the Ray property that was to become much of Whispering Pines. The Thagards and Rays lived as neighbors, and the little community of Thagardsville sprang up. In the early 20th century, I. F. Chandler operated a small factory in Southern Pines, which made wooden baskets to hold produce. By using the factory's waste lumber as fuel, Chandler generated enough electricity to light a few Southern Pines homes as early as 1901. As more residents demanded electric lighting, Chandler decided that Thagards Lake was the right location to build a power plant to provide electrical power to the local area. In 1902, Chandler bought the land and the lake itself.
Knowing that water had great appeal, A. B. Hardee bought the lake and more than 400 surrounding acres in 1959. Hardee, a high school teacher from Lexington, NC, who sold real estate in the summers, decided he would develop the area into a private golf course/residential development. Both Hardee and the residents of Whispering Pines were proud that in only 10 years after ground was first broken for the community, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Whispering Pines charter of incorporation. This charter made Whispering Pines the first municipality in the state to be officially designated as a village.
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