November 8, 2006

Chowan to Unveil Its Newest Recreation Area


By frank roberts


Dedication ceremonies will be held Monday for Chowan County's newest recreation area. It is on Indian Creek at Dillard's Road.

The Brownrigg-Dillard's Mill Pond Public Access Recreation Site will be open to the public as soon as the ribbon is cut at 11 a.m.

The area encompasses the location of the former grist and sawmill houses, which served the northern part of the county.

"The site may now be utilized by fishermen, kayakers, canoeists, birders and outdoor lovers in general," said Robbie Laughton, director of the Edenton-Chowan Recreation Department.

The project is a joint endeavor by Chowan County and the Ryland Ruritan Club, using a $50,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Water Resources.

The county and the club worked together in restoring the dam, adding flood-control devices, plus a fish ladder to allow the migration of fish to the mill pond from Indian Creek to continue.

Adjacent property owners Walter O. Lane and Mr. and Mrs. H.F. Byrum donated easements on either side of the dam to ensure access, said Peter Rascoe, the county attorney, who is serving as special projects officer.

"This project has survived Hurricane Isabel and Hurricane Ernesto," said Doug Hollowell, project coordinator for the Ruritan Club, "but without the generosity of Mr. Lane and Mr. Byrum it would not have been possible.

Those men will continue to operate a diesel-generated mill on the site to grind corn meal on original mill stones.

The recreational site will be operated by the Edenton-Chowan Recreation Department .

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