RiverPark at Cooleemee Falls

South Yadkin River
645 Erwin Temple Church Road
Woodleaf, North Carolina (Rowan County 27054
GPS Coordinates: 35.806823,-80.563319
Web sitewww.Bullhome.com

80 acre nature park on the banks of the South Yadkin River straddling Davie and Rowan Counties. No admission charge. Opens at 8 am and closes at official sundown. The Rowan side is 1 mile south of Cooleemee, NC and features a large picnic shelter, scattered picnic tables and benches, a sandy natural beach area, a natural waterslide, good fishing, a canoe portage around the old stone dam which was built as part of the cotton mill around 1900.

BEWARE. This is a river with slippery rocks. Wear foot protection. NO Lifeguard on duty.  The park is part of an ambitious preservation program powered by this historically-conscious former mill town. Trails have been created on the Cooleemee side (Davie County) but it remains to be enhanced with amenities. To reserve the picnic shelter for a family reunion or church outting call
(3360 284-2325.

Site History:
Known locally as “The Bullhole”, RiverPark was opened in 2003 after the community raised $1.1 million to purchase 80 acres on both sides of the South Yadkin River. This has been a gathering spot, fishing and swimming hole and a water-power site for manufacturing back to the 1790s. It was once owned by Richmond Pearson, who was captain of the Revolutionary War patriot militia in old Rowan County when this was known as “The Forks of the Yadkin.” Purchased by manufacturing advocate Charles Fischer of Salisbury, “Pearson Falls” became known for its several story grist mill, saw mill, textile factory and iron foundry. When the Peter Hairston family purchase the property, it rebuilt the wood dam and operated it as “The Shoals” farm after the Civil War. Front men for the Duke family (American Tobacco Trust in
Durham) were sent in to purchase the Shoals & Falls and in 1898 began building a cotton mill here. It became Erwin Mills #3 and over 360 mill houses were built to house mill people.

National Register of Historic Places Data:
Is part of the Cooleemee Cotton Mill & Village Historic District.

Contact: Lynn Rumley
Phone: (336) 284-6040
Other Contacts:
Mike Garner, Mocksville-Davie Parks & Rec, (336) 751-2325 Carolyn McManamy, Davie Chamber of Commerce, (336) 751-3304

Near Cooleemee NC. Cross river bridge to Rowan County. Take NC Hwy 801 to Needmore Road, turn right immediately onto Erwin Temple Church Road. This dead-ends into the park.

Related textile heritage collections:
Textile Heritage Center Archives

Related textile heritage institutions:
RiverPark at Cooleemee Falls, Inc.
Town of Cooleemee
Textile Heritage Center

Textile heritage individuals related to this site:
Richmond Pearson
Charles Fischer
Fanny Hairston
T.V. Terrell

Textile heritage books related to your site:
Cooleemee: The Life & Times of a Mil Town