North Carolina Education - Lincoln County

Year County Established

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Lincoln County


Pleasant Retreat Academy was one of three hundred (300) private schools chartered in North Carolina between 1800 and 1860. The male academy, chartered by the General Assembly in 1813 and opened in 1820, operated for nearly a century. Prominent politicians and government officials studied at Pleasant Retreat, including Texas governor James Pickney Henderson, North Carolina governor William A. Graham, and Confederate general Robert F. Hoke.

In 1861, Lincoln County’s first organized Confederate unit, Company K, 1st North Carolina Volunteers, organized on the academy grounds. Nicknamed the Southern Stars, the company included twenty-eight (28) students. Every commissioned officer in the company had been a student at the school.

In 1908, Pleasant Retreat Academy became the first state-sponsored historical renovation project in North Carolina. The following year, the renovated academy building became the Confederate Memorial Hall, later known as the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) Memorial Hall. The institution collected memorabilia from Lincoln County veterans of the American Civil War, and provided a meeting place for Confederate reunions and the United Confederate Veterans. County officials chartered a library inside the building in 1925.

Today the two-story, four-bay building continues in use as a museum and meeting place for the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

The above write-up (with edits) was provided by the North Carolina Highway Marker program. Click Here to read and to view their sources.


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