Spencer rezones land for Yadkin Historical Museum

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, August 10, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

SPENCER — The Spencer Board of Alderman approved a rezoning request for the future Yadkin Historical Museum.

The board met at 600 S. Salisbury Ave. on Tuesday.

The 2.81- acre property is located at 365 Hunter St. and was previously zoned industrial. The parcel will now be rezoned to highway business.

The applicant in the case is Yadkin Historical Museum Foundation President Gary Hauze. Hauze, a retired pastor, announced plans to create the Yadkin Historical Museum back in 2014.

According to the Yadkin Historical Museum website, the purpose of the museum would be to commemorate the history of the land and people along the Yadkin River.

Some subjects that may be included in the museum include the Spanish exploration of the state by Hernando De Soto in 1539 and Juan Pardo in 1566-1567, the Saponi Native American Indian settlement at the Yadkin, the Trading Path and the Great Wagon Road with an emphasis on the Boones and the Revolutionary War.

During the public hearing, Hauze said many historical events and people have associations with the area.

“There are many, many strands of U.S., North Carolina and area history that have happened right there or up and down the river,” he said.

Hauze passed out historical artifacts for the board to see, including Native American arrowheads, bullets from each side of the Civil War and a pen that was given to workers at the N.C. Finishing Company after World War II. The N.C. Finishing Company closed at the end of September of 2000 and the area has remained vacant ever since.

Hauze said the museum will complement Davidson County’s work with improving the Wil-Cox Bridge and surrounding area.

“I think focusing on history, and also recreation, and working with Davidson County … is the way to make some things happen,” he said. “And it will benefit not only Spencer and Salisbury but I believe all of Rowan County.”

The original plans for the property showed one entrance off Hunter Street, but Hauze has since submitted plans to open another entrance from NC Finishing Lane.

The property is within the town limits and Hauze has not requested public services.

The Spencer Planning Board recommended that the Board of Aldermen approve the request at a meeting on Aug. 1.

Alderman Mike Boone asked if the museum was funded. Hauze said there have been some contributions, including three $10,000 donations, but they wanted to wait until the land was rezoned before any serious fundraising.

Boone also asked if the museum would have free admission. Hauze said admission was not yet determined but he said it would be “minimal at the most.”

Nick Bishop also spoke during the public hearing. He noted the potential to repurpose the land, which may spark more development in the area.

“I think it’s a great opportunity and we should take advantage of it,” he said.

No one spoke in opposition of the rezoning.

Mayor Jim Gobbel said the museum would be an improvement to the currently empty area.

“I look forward to breaking ground down there soon,” he said.

The rezoning request was approved unanimously. Howard White was absent from the meeting.

Hauze said the next step for the museum would be to plan a fundraising campaign.

In other business, the board:

  • Was reminded by Police Chief Michael James that the dog tethering law, which limits the amount of time a dog can be tethered per day to two hours, is in effect.
  • Approved four text amendments and the addition of one amendment for civil citations, increasing the amount of fines.
  • Announced that Spencer received statewide contingency funding in the amount of $390,000 for storm water and street paving improvements to Fourth Street.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.