Raeford-Hoke Museum property features a broad variety of architectural styles and vernacular forms typical of South Central North Carolina railroad towns. This period spans from when Raeford developed as a town center around Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad corridor through to its gradual decline post World War II as both railroad hub and small commercial center.
The McLauchlin-McFadyen House
The McLauchlin-McFadyen House, constructed in 1905, stands as an outstanding example of Neoclassical Revival architecture, typical of many houses built during this era. As part of Raeford-Hoke Museum which opened its doors in 2002, this five acre tract also contains The Parker-Ray House as well as one room schoolhouses, doll buildings and country stores as well as a genealogy room.
Buildings within this district exemplify architectural styles and vernacular forms typical of railroad towns across the South in the 1910s and 1920s, reflecting Raeford’s growth from an isolated railroad stop with flourishing schools (Raeford Institute) to an economically vibrant town founded on agriculture, small-town commerce, and eventually industrialization.
These transformative events occurred during the New South era when optimistic farmers, merchants, and industrialists rallied behind expanding towns, opening schools, and encouraging rail service – seeing industry, education and transportation as vehicles that could liberate the South from its dependence on volatile cash crops and slave labor.
Raeford is an example of railroad towns characterized by optimism and excitement during this era; their architecture mirrors it perfectly. Both commercial and residential buildings here represent nationally popular styles alongside more vernacular forms common to southeastern North Carolina railroad towns like Raeford.
The Parker-Ray House
The Museum strives to preserve history, culture and artifacts as part of their mission of raising public awareness about Hoke County heritage. Families and school groups can visit this beautiful property to learn about local history – its buildings reflect this history!
The Parker-Ray House at Raeford Hoke Museum was originally constructed by Louis and Willa Ray of Cumberland County (which became Hoke County in 1911), who donated it to Raeford Hoke Museum with plans to restore it back to its former splendor. Their descendants donated it back for restoration by Raeford Hoke Museum as part of a gift from them and will work towards this end.
David Parker Ray, better known by his nickname the “Toy Box Killer,” may have used this house during his crime spree during the 1980s and 1990s. By using drugs on his victims, Ray could torture them without their memories recalling anything of what had transpired.
The Museum boasts several historical structures on its property, such as a one-room schoolhouse, smokehouse, country store, barn full of antique dolls and 1921 fire truck with emergency and agricultural equipment, plus an archive containing genealogical records. Open to the public and available for rent – their staff is very pleasant and knowledgeable of Raeford history!
The Store at the museum offers unique gifts and souvenirs. It was originally purchased by Brad Calloway’s grandfather and father in 1973 and then passed down to him; since then it has been expanded three times while maintaining its hometown feel. Furthermore, people of all ages can come visit and learn about its rich history!
Raeford Hoke Museum was created to increase public understanding of Raeford’s rich history and culture, and features two Colonial homes on its grounds – McLauchlin-McFadyen House and Parker Ray House are outstanding examples of Neoclassical revival architecture, while visitors can explore exhibits highlighting historical artifacts and genealogy within.
Raeford offers many attractions that draw visitors from throughout North Carolina, such as its museum and Christmas parade. Rockfish Speedway hosts various races throughout the year as well.
Raeford/Hoke County is an ideal environment to raise a family, with low crime rates and affordable housing options. Residents can take advantage of various recreational activities including golfing, parks and historic sites nearby; also Pinehurst and Southern Pines offer village shops as well as dining and shopping experiences close by; there are multiple universities/colleges in the area as well as professional sports teams available closeby.
The Genealogy Room
Hoke County and its environs were settled primarily by Scottish Presbyterians during the late eighteenth century, who held onto their traditions closely. Later in the nineteenth century however, many residents developed a greater sense of community that led to Raeford being established.
Raeford Historic District houses buildings representing an array of architectural styles and vernacular forms that were common to south-central North Carolina railroad towns during the turn of the 20th century. This transition reflects Raeford Institute’s gradual transformation from an isolated railway stop with flourishing schools (Raeford Institute) into a commercial and residential hub rooted in agriculture, small-town commerce and industrialization.
The McLauchlin-McFadyen House, constructed in neoclassical revival style of design, boasts 6,000 square feet dedicated to history exhibits arranged over five acres. On site are also the Parker-Ray House dollhouse country store and genealogy room – each filled with exhibits.
Raeford offers residents an eclectic mix of locally owned businesses and national retailers, quaint village shops, and eateries offering everything from American fare to classic Southern food. Additionally, parks and golf courses can be found throughout Raeford; its proximity to Fort Bragg allows it to provide residents with small town charm within striking distance of major metropolitan amenities and attractions.