By Addle J. Wood © 1985
Issue: March, 1985
Recently a movement has been underway by a small group to rename a North Carolina town Mayberry, in honor of the Mayberry made famous by the popular Andy Griffith TV program. While no one, including Mr. Griffith, can remember how the name was chosen for the imaginary city of TV fame, we have always heard locally that it came from Mayberry, Virginia.
Mayberry is located approximately the same distance from Mount Airy (Mr. Griffith's home town) as Pilot Mountain (known as Mount Pilot in the TV show) and it is said that his grandfather used to trade at the Mayberry Store (now Mayberry Trading Post). We hold fast to the belief that the Mayberry of TV fame was based, however loosely, on Mount Airy and names were borrowed from surrounding communities such as Pilot Mountain, North Carolina and Mayberry, Virginia.
With this in mind, we asked Miss Addie Wood, the 84 year old proprietor of Mayberry Trading Post and lifelong resident of Mayberry to tell us and our readers about the real Mayberry.
While the City of Mount Airy has grown into a good size city, the community of Mayberry is as rural and easy going as ever. We hope you enjoy Miss Addie's memories of the real Mayberry...
Mayberry Creek Post Office was established on the head waters of Mayberry Creek, near where the Hurricane Hill Dairy is now, on October 4, 1872. Jehu Barnard was the first post master, with the post office being in his home.
On September 5, 1895, the name was changed from Mayberry Creek to Mayberry. When rural free delivery (RFD) carriers began carrying mail in cars, they moved some small post offices to the larger ones and in 1922, Mayberry was moved to Meadows of Dan, a distance of 6 miles. Our carrier went to Meadows of Dan to pick up his mail. The following is a list of Mayberry Post Office's postmasters:
Jehu Barnard, 1872-1880
Charles Barnard, 1880-1883
Simon P. Scott, 1883-1895
Samuel C. Scott, 1895-1910
Charlie W. Harrell, 1910-1914
William L. Boyd, 1914-1919
Samuel C. Scott, 1919-1922
Mayberry is an old settled place. There were mills on the creek as far back as 1800. Heffingers was the first miller I can recall hearing the old settlers talk of. Some of the oldest families were: Spangler, Scott, Shelor, Reynolds, Boswell, Barnard, Ingram, Yeatts, Cockram, Hopkins, Moore, Harrell, Bowers, Light, Hulls, Stanley, Rose, Childress, Gray and Mayberry.
Green Hulls had a government distillery and tavern about two miles from here. Green Terry had a store near here. Bowers had a store on Mayberry Creek. Simon P. Scott married Bower's daughter and became postmaster and ran the store with his father-in-law. Later, his brother, S.C. Scott, bought Bowers out and it became Scott Brothers Store (now Mayberry Trading Post).
Later Simon Scott became a shoe cobbler for the community and left the store to put up a tannery just across from the store. He had a brick yard and built a two story house for his tan yard.
Simon Scott made the bricks used in the house for the tannery and the bricks that are still in the flue in the store here at Mayberry Trading Post when it was built in 1892.
He ran water several hundred yards above, the tannery by hulling a trench in the center of wood poles. In this way, he supplied water for his tannery.
When the Blue Ridge Parkway came through here for the right of way for that road, they split the community of Mayberry. The Scott house where Simon and Samuel were born and raised was between the Parkway and the Store [Mayberry Trading Post]. It was still standing, still being lived in, but it was torn down by the National Park Service. The field beside it was a community baseball field and play ground, but is now owned by the National Park Service and public use is now prohibited.
There are more old homes here in Mayberry within a mile's distance that are being kept up and lived in than any place along the Parkway between Highway 8 and Highway 52. The Yeatts house is on easement of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Simon P. Scott house, on the left of the Parkway adjoins it. The Store is seen from the Parkway and the S.C. Scott house, just above on road 602 is now owned by Dr. Spangler and used as a tourist stop. Another house still in use in sight of the Parkway is known as the Judge Shelor [Tobax] place. All were built back in the 1800's.
There was a two room school house near where the Mayberry Presbyterian Church now stands. It is the beautiful rock church one-fourth mile from the Store. It was built in 1926.
Ed Mabry, the miller (Mabry Mill) was born and grew up on Mayberry Creek.
At one time the post office at Mayberry served more than 200 patrons. If you would like to visit Mayberry and learn more about it, old time making of molasses, apple butter, and other crafts can still be seen here on weekends through September and October and you can get a copy of John H. Yeatts book, "Remembering Old Mayberry" at the store. [Mayberry Trading Post.] If you want to see how Mayberry looked, we have maps drawn by Larry Spangler showing where every family lived [plus mills, stores, etc.] around 1915.