SANFORD — “We will surrender, Sir, on condition that no one shall be injured; otherwise we will make the best defense we can…,” Temperance Alston’s words to David Fanning ended the fight between opposing militia forces.
She bravely stepped onto the porch of her home, amid a hail of bullets, carrying a flag of truce, the scars of this personal and complicated war can still be seen on the Alston House. This year, the battle will be remembered through a digital event that will be hosted on the site’s social media pages.
Visitors who usually travel to the Deep River home are invited to view the event on Aug. 1 through digital media. Videos highlighting the 1781 skirmish and life in 18th Century North Carolina will be featured throughout the day via Facebook.
There will be no demonstrations or activities at the historic site on Aug. 1-2 this year. However, plans are being made for a 240th commemoration in 2021. Keep in mind that plans may change as the situation continues to develop.
Located at 288 Alston House Road, Sanford, House in the Horseshoe is 16 miles west of Sanford off North Carolina Highway 42 and 10 miles north of Carthage on the Carbonton-Carthage Road.
The house was built in 1772 by Philp Alston. During the American Revolution Alston proved a fiery leader for the Whig cause. In 1781 the Alston house was the site of militia skirmish between the owner, Whig Col. Philip Alston, and Loyalist Col. David Fanning. The house still bears some the scars from this engagement.
From 1798 to 1814 the House in the Horseshoe, under the name Retreat, was home to another Patriot leader and four-time North Carolina governor, Benjamin Williams.
House in the Horseshoe is part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.