Country superstar Mark Chestnutt is performing at the Jones County Civic Center in Trenton, NC on Saturday, September 17 along with newcomer and local favorite, Bryan Mayer. This performance is a benefit concert with proceeds going towards the restoration of historic Brock's Mill Pond and preserve it's natural beauty and heritage. The idea is to create a tourist destination that includes fishing, nature trails, a Visitor's center, park access, movies by the pond, musical entertainment, a working mill and more while preserving the integrity and beauty of this natural area for everyone to enjoy. With the help of the NC State Extension service, people like Mark Chesnutt and you, this can become a reality.
A little background on the importance and relevance of Brock's Mill Pond, which is located on Highway 58 South in Trenton, NC. There was a Revolutionary War deed to a pond in this particular area dated around 1738 or 1739. Records show that in 1779, Richard Sharp and Elizabeth Reynolds of Craven County sold the land to Lewis Bryan, who in turn, sold the property to Anthony Hatch in 1796 and was known as Hatch’s Mill. There were several sales of the property in the following years until 1899 when J.P. Brogden sold it to W.H. Hammond and Furnifold Brock. A year later, Mr. Brock bought out his partner’s share and had the deed signed over to his wife, Myrtle Foscue Brock. This sale included the on site gristmill. Goods produced at the mill included corn meal, grits and cracked corn for livestock or chicken feed. The sawmill operated on the site until the early 1940’s. In 1917, Mr. Brock installed a turbine generator to provide electricity for the town of Trenton. Late in the afternoon, the turbine was turned on creating power for Trenton’s residents. At 10 pm the lights blinked twice signifying that the power would be cut off in fifteen minutes. This service continued until Tidewater Power Company purchased the franchise. The pond itself is fed by underground springs as well as Crooked Run Creek. Only a small portion of the 133 acres can be seen from Highway 58. The total area of the pond is 122 acres of water and 11 acres of land including small islands. The outlet for the pond drains the water into the Trent River southeast of the town of Trenton.
Photo credit: Jennifer Smith / Lovin Lyrics Music Promotions
From what we understand, there are no events currently being held at the pond which is why private funds are being raised to restore the pond, building and surrounding area for community use. There will be no tax supported dollars to make this happen, it is solely based on community efforts in fundraising.
Mark Chesnutt joins the fundraising efforts and there will more headliners throughout the coming years to help assist with this project and raise the funds that will go toward the maintenance and the possible formation of a foundation to run the facility. If that comes to fruition, then there could potentially be a longstanding series of events and activities to continue to bring people to the area.
Earlier in the day we will also be having the Jones County Heritage Festival on the same site. Jones County’s Heritage Festival is a celebration of rural agricultural life in southeastern North Carolina. The day begins with a parade down Jones Street. The festival features hands-on heritage skills and activities including looping tobacco, basket making, taxidermy, hand shelling corn, making butter, milking a cow, spinning yarn, quilting, farm animal petting zoo, trapping, and grinding corn. Local talent acts will be featured on the “big stage” so you can sit a spell and enjoy some good food and the show! The day is filled with wholesome family activities, locally prepared foods and fun. The Brock Mill which was originally built in the mid 1700’s is open for tours as well as the mill pond is open for canoeing and kayaking. A vintage car show will feature early models of cars, trucks and tractors and the “Little Miss Heritage Festival Pageant” will feature girls 5 to 14 years of age.
So come on out, support a great cause, meet some of your Trenton neighbors and enjoy a night of great music by one of country's most loved artists. Click HERE for tickets.
The layout is standing room only, with a few (100 or less) chairs along the side for handicapped and elderly, or those that just need a break. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. There will be beer sales and concessions. So come thirsty and hungry. There will be an ATM on site. All proceeds will go to benefit the Brock's Mill Pond.