Upper Saura Town Plantation
Information from “The Cooleemee Plantation and Its People” by Peter W. Hairston
With notes by Nelson Hairston, Jr.
Peter Hairston bought “Upper” Saura Town (name on early maps) and an iron forge from his father-in-law Peter Perkins (father of Alcey Perkins) and moved there with Alcey and their daughter, Ruth Stovall Hairston, on 11 April, 1786. The Cooleemee book quotes a letter from Peter Perkins (Alcey’s father) in which he offers to sell Peter some furniture in order to pay his (Perkins’) debts. Among the items listed are a clock “as good as any now in the country and so strong it will last for ages,” and “a pair of looking glasses of the best kind upward of 3 feet high…” I have inherited the clock and mirrors from my father and they are as advertised.
Here is how I understand how Saura Town came to be owned by my father. My grandfather, Peter W. Hairston’s, sister Ruth Hairston inherited it from their father and when she died (unmarried), she willed it to her nephews, Peter W. Hairston and Nelson G. Hairston. They co-owned Saura Town until their mother, Margaret Elmer George Hairston, died. At that time, Peter and Nelson agreed that Peter would be sole owner of Cooleemee and Nelson would be sole owner of Saura Town. My Father owned Saura Town for many years, but late in his life he sold nearly all of the land to Pine Hall Brick (they had been leasing a portion of the land for a brick factory). He also sold a small portion to the man who had been a loyal caretaker. The final few acres that holds the Hairston cemetery plot he gave to the Hairston Clan. The proceeds from the sale were invested and the name Saura Town Plantation Inc. persisted in the form of investments until my father and mother died, at which point my surviving sister, Margaret Hairston Searcy, and I distributed the funds in the investment account to the heirs and closed the corporation. Sadly, Saura Town is no more, even in name.