Pinehurst History and Area Information

Scottish immigrants began farming the area now known as Southern Pines, Pinehurst and Aberdeen in the early 1800’s. As a result of the abundant pine forests, the area flourished as a resource for the tar, turpentine and timber industries much needed by the rapidly developing Northern cities. As the timber-related businesses flourished, a lucrative railroad station was developed in Aberdeen in the 1850’s.

In 1885 James Walker Tufts, a wealthy Boston philanthropist, came to the Sandhills area to develop a resort that would be ideal for his ailing health. Shortly after arriving in Southern Pines, Tufts purchased a 5,800 acres tract of land that today encompasses much of the area currently known as Pinehurst. Tuft planned to develop the area as a year round retreat for North Easterners to relax and get away from the hurried atmosphere and cold climate found in the northern cities. Although first named Tuftstown, the town was later changed to Pinehurst, a name submitted for a contest to name a real estate development in Tuft’s summer retreat on Martha’s Vineyard.

Tufts hired Frederick Olmstead, architect of New York City’s Central Park and the grounds for the U.S. Capitol Building, to design a New England type atmosphere in the Village of Pinehurst. The village, which today still has many of the original homes, was designed with curving streets shaded by thousands of imported semi-tropical trees. Although tennis, croquet and archery were the original Pinehurst sports of choice, the temperate climate and sandy soil quickly made it a getaway as golf resort.

To assist in developing Pinehurst as golf retret, Tufts hired Donald Ross, a Scottish golf course architect, to design golf courses and run the golf operations. Ross designed several local courses in the Pinehurst area including the world ranked Pinehurst #2 course, host of the 1999 and 2005 US Opens and Pine Needles, host of several past ladies US Opens. In addition to designing Pinehurst 1-5, Ross designed over 400 golf courses worldwide. The Ross home, located off the 3rd hole of Pinehurst #2, and the Pinecrest Inn that was owned and operated by Donald Ross, are both Pinehurst landmarks. Today Pinehurst is nationally rated as a premier golf resort offering public access to several of the top rated courses in the Carolinas.

In addition to Pinehurst #1-8 resort courses, the area boasts over 50 additional golf courses, making it one of the highest-density golf areas in the world. Pinehurst is often referred to as the “Golf Capital of the World” and is listed in golf magazines as the best golf related area to live or visit in the U.S. In 1996 the Village of Pinehurst was designated National Landmark status for its historical significance in U.S. golf history. This is the only golf-related designation of its kind in the United States.

The year-round mild climate also opens the door to many other activities including equestrian events (the Pinehurst area is the home of five past Olympic equestrian champions), tennis (several amateur tennis tournaments are held on the Pinehurst courts), croquet and lawn bowling (several national champions are members of the Pinehurst clubs), biking (the Aberdeen Area is used to train and qualify Olympic bicycle teams), water sports, fishing, hiking and much more. The wide variety of area shops, restaurants and ideal meeting facilities all create the perfect setting for business or pleasure.

Area Weather

The area’s climate, which is milder and drier year-round than the surrounding areas, is a result of its unique combination of sandy soil, its elevation (600 feet above sea level at some points) and its protection by the Appalachian Mountains. Although Pinehurst offers a four-season climate, the mild winters generally allow for relaxing rounds of golf throughout most of the winter season. The annual snowfall averages about 4 inches per year and the snow usually lasts less than two to three days.

Horse Country

Since the early 1900’s, horse farming has been an active lifestyle throughout Moore County. The mild climate, since there are very few days when the ground is frozen, and a plentiful supply of great horse land have been the biggest factors that attract horse enthusiasts from all over the U.S.

While the area adjoining the 4500 acre Walthour-Moss Foundation, extending along Youngs Road, is the traditional Sandhills Horse Country, the horse community has expanded to other areas including Carthage, Cameron, Pinehurst, Vass and West End. Although the Southern Pines area is rich in million dollar plus estate farms, there is plenty of room for the moderate horse enthusiast. Several horse farms offer boarding, breeding and training facilities. The area is steeped in tradition with several past Olympic Champions, Pan Am medallists, respected judges, and trainers located throughout the horse farm community. There are horse-related shows and exhibitions almost every week in the year. Dates for horse-related activities can be obtained by contacting the local Chamber of Commerce.

Source by Dale Heck

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