They say "once you get that Bynum mud between your toes,
you'll always come back"
And that is exactly what has kept the town going since the 1800's.
Located off of Highway 15-501, Bynum was originally a cotton mill village set along the banks of the Haw River with the first mill built around 1872. As the mill grew, the town grew and became a vibrant community where neighbors knew each other and gathered together to celebrate and commiserate. In 1936, the Bynum General Store opened and was one of five stores in town. There was also a movie theater and a school. The mill closed in the 1970’s and Bynum’s community life started changing. Fast-forward to today, the mill is just a shell but the residents of Bynum are just as vibrant as years past and the longing to keep a community together continues to grow strong.
As we sat and enjoyed the band a man and his little girl came around with a container of raffle tickets. I asked what the prize was and he said one of "Clyde's Critters". My response was "just what is a Clyde Critter?" He seemed stunned that I had not heard of Clyde after all he is an area icon. He said look around and you will see a critter in nearly every yard in Bynum. During intermission Cindy and I decided to walk the streets of Bynum in search of "critters". They were everywhere….
I found an article on Clyde and his critters in the Orange County Register..I will put some of their quotes between the photos...
Wielding a power saw and a paint brush, Jones has become a legendary folk artist, his works on display from the Smithsonian Institution to Africa to China.
Not a one is for sale "You can't buy one, but I like it
when people come up and take a look," Jones says.
Though he isn't going to sell, visitors are welcome to come up to the
Critter Crossing to take a look.
As we wondered the extremely quiet streets of Bynum a man grilling on his deck asked if we had seen Clyde's house. Of course we had not. He pointed us in the right direction and off we went.
I think we found it...
We even met Clyde
Clyde was extremely gracious. He warmly welcomed us and told us to feel free to walk through his yard and take pictures…Which we did..
We had a great time meeting Clyde and his critters…
We bought 3 raffle tickets for the critter below. We decided if we won we would share the critter so our grandchildren could enjoy it. We would be proud to have a Clyde's critter in our yard, much like the folks in Bynum.
Get out and go on an Adventure. If you are ever in Bynum I suggest you attend the Bynum Front Porch Music Series and of course go see Clyde an his critters.
Enjoy Your World!