I’m back yet again with five more reasons why life is good in my hometown of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Some of these I’ve thought of myself, but a couple have been suggested by alert readers who are fellow Rocky Mount residents. Thanks, y’all!
#1. Golf Courses
Our fair city has not one, not two, but three golf courses within the city limits. The oldest is at Benvenue Country Club, founded in 1922. That date means next year is the club’s 100th anniversary. Benvenue features an 18-hole golf course designed by Donald Ross, a famous course architect. The club also has an active tennis program, an awesome swimming pool, and a Tudor-style clubhouse with a well-run restaurant.
My husband enjoys the golf course, I love the pool and the restaurant (especially the wine dinners), and my daughter’s family are fans of the tennis courts and the pool.
I know, I know. Benvenue isn’t free. It’s a country club requiring monthly dues. But, believe me, those dues are a bargain compared to what you’d pay for a similar club in Raleigh or Charlotte.
Northgreen Country Club is another option for golfers in Rocky Mount. My family lived in Northgreen Village, the neighborhood surrounding the golf course, for 16 years. My girls grew up walking to the pool after lunch on summer days, participating in the kids’ golf and tennis programs, and best of all, being on the champion Northgreen swim team. It takes a village to raise a child, and Northgreen Village was mine. Today, the pool and tennis courts are closed, but the golf course is still active.
Another beautiful golf course in Rocky Mount can be found near Wesleyan College at Belmont Lake. I’ve never played my very bad game of golf at the Belmont Lake Golf Club, but I read online that “The golf course has five sets of tees on each hole, playing 7,085 yards from the back tees and 4,900 yards from the front tees.” Using those front tees might be what I need to make a double bogey (a good score for me)!
#2. Pizza Inn
“For pizza out, it’s Pizza Inn.” Okay, now I’ve planted that jingle in your head for the rest of the day. The only way you can get rid of it is to go eat the Pizza Inn buffet. Get it all: the salad, the vegetable soup, the pizza, the pasta, and especially, that chocolate chip dessert pizza.
Rocky Mount’s Pizza Inn is an institution in my book. When my out-of-town daughters come home, that’s where they want to eat lunch. We have so many memories of celebratory post-swim meet dinners, last day of school lunches, and birthday parties held at the Pizza Inn.
Today, by popular request, I take another generation to the PI, our nickname for Rocky Mount’s Pizza Inn.
#3. UNC Nash Hospital
UNC Nash Hospital will always be Nash General to me. Two of my three daughters were born there when the hospital went by that name. The hospital was a lot smaller then, without all the wonderful specialized care centers added in recent years. Rocky Mount is fortunate to have such a fine medical facility. I’m lucky to live less than three miles away.
I hope I never need it, but there’s comfort in knowing Nash General’s emergency room is only minutes from my Rocky Mount home.
#4. Stonewall Manor
Rocky Mount has plenty of old homes; after all, we’re a historic town! One of the finest is no doubt Stonewall Manor. It’s the grand old home that can be seen by folks flying down Highway 64.
Built around 1830 by a wealthy planter, the house was once part of a large plantation. After passing through several families and years of decline, Stonewall was purchased in 1916 by Rocky Mount Mills. In 1975, the Nash County Historical Association became involved and a group called Friends of Stonewall Manor has been responsible for its restoration.
I realize my picture of Stonewall looks a little crooked. There was a no trespassing sign, so I had to lean over a gate to get my photo. Didn’t want to break any rules!
The house is open periodically for tours and can be rented for special events. My oldest daughter’s wedding reception was held there in 2002, and I have a cherished photograph of my extended family taken on the steps of Stonewall Manor.
#5. UEC Theatres
The movies! I haven’t been since COVID, but I hear Rocky Mount’s movie theater is again open. I wonder if that $5.00 all-day Tuesday ticket deal is back. I’ll have to check soon.
I know long-time Rocky Mount folks wax nostalgic about the old downtown theaters that we once had, but just as chain supermarkets have replaced the mom and pop grocery stores, so have the multiplexes taken over the one-screen cinemas.
I’m thankful that we have a theater within our city limits. Not every town does. And I do like that it’s in what used to be the old Lowe’s Home Improvement building. Nice repurposing there.
Time for a drum roll here…. The next installment of My Rocky Mount Life will be the tenth and last in the series. Be sure to check in to see what the final five favorites will be.