Friendliest town in the south?

Published 12:36 pm Monday, March 28, 2022

Saturday’s TDB column concerning the Cotton Patch was, in our opinion, out of line and unkind. 

For the “Friendliest Town in the South” to treat a new neighbor in this way is disappointing.

For our part, we’re sorry that our friends and neighbors seem to have, for a moment, forgotten their manners, and got on some high horse, even before walking a few steps in the newcomer’s shoes.

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We too have thoughts, as civic-minded preservationists living in the area. 

The historical nature of the Cotton Patch is related to the land — not the structures. The property had a Conservation Easement placed on the land by a former owner to protect it in perpetuity. The land is what is historical, not the buildings on it! 

The new owner was drawn to the land and the setting, and she took great pains to try and modify the house to what she wanted to live in. 

It was impossible. 

The house had been renovated numerous times as owners tried to make a difficult floor plan work. Thus, the new owner made the difficult decision to take the historic land and build a new home that would do justice to the magnificent setting and be a comfortable home for her. She is taking pains to save as much of the original house’s interior paneling and various other elements and plans to re-purpose them in the new house. 

Before we treat anyone unkind, let’s all just remember that there have been many changes locally and there will be many more. For many of us, these changes are painful for one reason or the other — removing the Hedge Ring at Harmon Field, moving the Block House Steeplechase from the Block House to FENCE, then moving it from FENCE to Green Creek. 

The sellers of the Cotton Patch, longtime residents of the community who moved just down the street, tore down a house there that some thought had historical value. That was their right. 

The replacement of the Cotton Patch house was the current owner’s right and — come right down to it – legally or morally — none of our business.

This apparent print and social media attack on a new arrival to our community is uncalled for and out of character for the “Friendliest Town in the South”. It deserves a public apology and Delia should receive the warm welcome to the area which many of us recall receiving when we first arrived. 

We are lucky to have a person like Delia, whom we have met and liked very much. She values and appreciates Conservation as much as she does moving to our area. 

Let’s welcome Delia to our community. Let’s act like the community we profess to be, imperfect, all trying our best and loving one another through it all. 

 

Madelon Wallace, Jeff Byrd, Boo Bouchard

Tryon, NC