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Raeford Institute was the cornerstone of Raeford’s development as it served as its focal point, created and run by Dr. and Mrs. A. P. Dickson with assistance from many others who understood its purpose. Prior to its construction there may have been numerous small one-room schools with just one teacher serving the county before the Institute came into being.
The railroad greatly enhanced the town’s development. It provided access to new markets for business. Residents worked tirelessly to attract more industry – they were responsible for bringing American Wringer (later Para Thread), as well as Robbins Mill (which they later sold off to Robbins Mill).
After World War II, America was eager to develop and expand its industrial base. To do this, the government took over large tracts of land across Hoke County – 120,000 acres to be exact – forcing local people out of homes they had spent decades laboring to construct while at the same time appraisers were sent in to value these properties.
Kurt Posey first moved to Raeford from Florida eleven years ago and works downtown at Sun Path Products. Since then he has become actively involved with both Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis, as well as serving on Fall Festival Board.
The vision of the chamber is to foster economic development in the county and create more jobs while improving quality of life for everyone. As a non-profit organization with over 100 members – businesses and individuals alike – membership is free, supported by grants, dues, donations and funds from state and federal governments, grants for business networking events as well as scholarships for students attending local high schools as well as grants for nonprofit organizations in need of support.
The Chamber was established in 1903 and serves as an advocate for small businesses in its membership area, while also promoting tourism and protecting its environment. Additionally, it belongs to both the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and International Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry as well as being one of the founding members of American Chamber of Commerce in India.
The Chamber’s founding members sought to bring new businesses and opportunities to Raeford. Their efforts resulted in the arrival of American Wringer (later Para Thread), Robbins Mill, electric lights being turned on in Raeford for the first time and Raeford Institute operating as a private high school until 1911.
Raeford — Established on May 12, 1903, The Bank of Raeford stands as an institution that symbolizes strength and resourcefulness – both of which reflect the character and energy of this community.
Raeford became home of its inaugural public high school, known as The Institute, following a law passed in 1911 that provided for their establishment. Built along the south side of Rockfish Creek and operating from 1911-1912, The Institute had its grand opening at Raeford in 1911 and operated through 1912.
There is an elegant community park located in the southern section of the city where several picnic pavilions can be found. Furthermore, two ball fields, a band stand, and an auditorium complete this list. Water for this city comes from Rockfish Creek which flows east from Cape Fear River.
At the center of each city is a spacious public square dominated by County Courthouse and buildings housing various offices and departments of county government.
Raeford is an innovative and expanding town. Due to its close proximity to Fort Bragg and Camp Mackall bases, Raeford is an attractive option for army personnel residing nearby to settle. Many houses in Raeford have been purchased by soldiers themselves or their families and reside within its boundaries; all services in Raeford can also be found nearby.
The Chamber of Commerce in Hoke County, NC serves to represent the interests of Hoke County businesses by encouraging economic development and providing leadership in community affairs. Furthermore, the Chamber strives to enhance quality of life in Raeford, NC.
Raeford-Hoke Chamber of Commerce Director Liz McNeill reported nine candidates filed to fill three council seats up for election this year, starting Friday, July 7. Within four days, four candidates – Cathy Brown, Jackie McLean, Ricky Sandy and Shelley Wilburn had already added themselves to the ballot; two more filed on Tuesday; Josh Bain and David Conoly also filed.
McNeill said local job seekers will have an opportunity to connect with local employers at the Chamber’s Expo, an event put off due to pandemic concerns but set to take place Saturday at the county courthouse parking lot in Raeford. Members of the chamber are eligible to set up information booths free-of-charge while nonmembers must pay $25 to have a table at this event.
Brad Calloway has owned Raeford Hardware on Oakwood Ave for 34 years, taking over ownership from his grandfather and father who bought it originally in 1973. Over this period of time, it has grown from its original 2,000 square feet space to now cover over 10,000 square feet while maintaining a hometown feel while expanding and upgrading itself.