People and Places with Pierce: What’s In a Name? – Pink Hill

PINK HILL, N.C. (WNCT) – Pink Hill, North Carolina is one of the countless “blink and you’ll miss it” small towns that dot the landscape across the East. But, what’s with the name and why the color pink?

“The original story that I’ve always heard was that it was just a hill with a bunch of pink flowers on it,” said Alex Stark, who has family that lives in Pink Hill.

Every April, like clockwork, beautiful pink flowers, which are the town’s namesake, come into full bloom on Old Pink Hill. It’s a story that the locals here know all too well.

“They said, ‘Look at all these pretty pink flowers.’ And before you know it, the name kind of stuck,” Stark added.

“Oh, look at those little pretty pink flowers on the hill. And hence, Pink Hill was named,” proclaimed Carol Sykes, mayor of Pink Hill.

The story goes all the way back to the 1800’s.

The original town settler, Anthony Davis, owned a large farm on a hill in southern Lenoir County. Every spring, fields of pink flowers would bloom in the fields as far as the eye could see. Davis would name the community Pink Hill.

Despite a rose festival every May that draws in thousands, the town name doesn’t come from roses.

“The people that live in town that know the story say, ‘No, it’s not the pink roses. It’s the pink phlox that were here years ago,” said Sykes.

Those pink phlox are a little harder to find nowadays.  Much of the area where they once grew wild and free is now farmland. If anyone drives up to the old Davis family home and looks along the sides of the road in the spring, those pink flowers exist.

“I’m gonna make sure I go out on Ash Davis road and see those pink flowers because that’s the only place I know around here that they still grow,” Sykes said.

The pretty pink flowers may not be as plentiful, but in a town of just over 500, the legend of how the town got its name is bound to be passed on.

“It’s just always been the colloquial story that I’ve heard as to why it’s called Pink Hill,” Stark noted.

Maybe, the legend that fields of pretty pink flowers named this small town will live on.

 

We’re always looking for your story ideas for People & Places with Pierce. If you have an interesting person or place you’d like to see featured, email Pierce or send him a message on Facebook or Twitter.

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