I am a transplanted "Tar heel". I have never forgotten my Western North Carolina roots, and although I have lived in California for a good portion of my life, I still consider Western North Carolina as "home."
In August of 1981, after my Dad's memorial service, a group of family members went out to eat at a family style restaurant in Sylva. At that point, one or another of my family members mentioned about Sedro Woolley, and said that the settlers there had retained their Mountain Crafts and arts. I have had it on my mind ever since. Every time I had conversation with someone from Washington State, I would ask them if they knew about the North Carolina lumbermen who settled in Sedro Woolley, but no one seemed to be informed about them.
I was very excited to hear that Washington State has a large population of "Tar heel" Descendants, since I have lived in Northern California for some time, and Washington State is fairly close. I have since acquired family members from the Pacific Northwest, but they did not know very much about Sedro Woolley . Below is a photo of downtown Sedro Woolley, Washington.
These "Tar heels" moved to Sedro Woolley in the early 1900's and became a permanent part of that community. They kept their Mountain Crafts and arts and they have a festival now and then to celebrate. There are approximately 17,000 descendants of these "Tar heels" living in Washington State in and around Sedro Woolley.
Found somewhere or other on the Web; "Tar Heel Project History Panels Coming Home
Nearly 6 million people reside in Washington State. Who are we and where did we come from? How did we come to be
In 2006 Humanities Washington, in partnership with the Ethnic Heritage Council and the Museum of History and In-
dustry (MOHAI), launched Washington Stories to answer these questions. A special exhibit project funded through a
National Endowment for the Humanities' We the People grant, Washington Stories told stories of selected ethnic and
tribal groups in a traveling exhibit, and connected these small grassroots organizations with resources and technical
Each of the groups worked with MOHAI and Humanities Washington staff over the summer of 2006 to research and
designed two exhibit panels each. The complete group of panels toured throughout the state of Washington.
A wave of immigrants from North Carolina, known as "Tar Heels", arrived in Skagit County in the early 1900s to work in
coal, logging and, later, agricultural fields. The "Tar Heels Roots project" is an impressive documentation of the history and culture of these migrants to Washington State. Today over 17,000 descendents of this internal migration live in the valley.
Now the project is coming home. The Lincoln Theatre Foundation is proud to offer the Tar Heel Roots Panels for their first viewing in Skagit County at the November 7, 2008, meeting of the Sedro-Woolley Chamber of Commerce. Later
the panels will be displayed at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, and ultimately they will have a permanent home at the Sedro-Woolley Museum.
Kathy Reim, Lincoln Board member and co-facilitator with Vicky Young of the research, will share information about
the project and the hopes of making a bi-annual Tar Heel Festival and Reunion a part of our community planning for
2008. As she explains," This is a rich part of our history in Skagit County, and I believe we learn to respect others when we respect our own roots. It is great to find the places where history and hearts can connect."
Lynn Hotaling, who writes a column for the Sylva Herald wrote about this celebration..in her Sept 7, 2006 Ruralite Cafe.