Friday, March 12, 2010

Whitesides Company

Articles about Golden Valley can be found on my area website.
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Whitesides Company
When war broke the colonial peace in 1775 the area we know today as Golden Valley was known as Whitesides Company. This was due to an outstanding local militia captain William Whiteside. "During the Revolution, Whiteside was appointed Captain of a local militia, and the entire area of the upper First Broad River, including considerable territory not presently within the Golden Valley Community, became known as "Whiteside's Company"."
Twenty Years before the California gold rush, the Valley rang with the sounds of hammers, picks and water blasters. This marked the beginning of the first placer mining on US soil. Whitesides, was inundated with prospectors and miners. Gold production was in full swing.
The boom was large enough to support two post offices. The first one, Gamble's Store, operated by Willie Gamble, started out where Good Old Boys is today, but later moved down the road not far from where Milliken currently makes it's home. The second post office claimed a spot on Cane Creek Road.
Since mail to the Cane Creek post office was posted "Golden", area residents received their mail through the Golden office. Reference to the post office over the course of time caused the entire area to be known as Golden. The community ultimately took the name assigned by the US Postal service and added Valley to it. The name Whitesides eventually fell into disuse.
Today, instead of two post offices, Golden Valley has no post office. Mail is posted to Bostic with no mention of Golden Valley at all; we even use the Bostic zip. The addition of professional mail carriers, along with paved roads and vehicles, has changed the complexion of the community in many ways. At the Golden Valley Community Club this story was related concerning mail delivery in the area:
The mail carriers were local men hired by the Postmaster. (The chief job requirement: Must Own Horse). Reportedly, these carriers whiled away many a day hanging around the post office, which was also a store, waiting for the mail to come in. Once it arrived and was sorted, they were sent out on horseback to make their rounds.
Forget the ancient postal oath - - "neither cold, nor rain, nor dark of night, NOTHING will keep this carrier from his appointed rounds..." They didn't even put the mail in the right boxes. Often, they stuffed all the mail in the first three or four boxes they came to, leaving the local school children to complete the deliveries after school.
"Somedays," said one former carrier, "you didn't feel like ridin' all that far."

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