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A visit to Vade Mecum

Robin and Owen. Click here for high-resolution version.

I had a personal tour of Vade Mecum this morning with Robin, superintendent of Hanging Rock State Park. With Robin in the photo is Owen, who is campaign manager for a candidate for the North Carolina Senate for this district. The campaign is interested in having a campaign event at the park to which the governor would be invited.

Four years ago, I posted this about Vade Mecum, with lots of photos.

Vade Mecum, which is near Danbury (Stokes County’s county seat), was built in 1902 as a mountain springs resort. After a long and complicated history, it is now owned by the state of North Carolina and is a part of Hanging Rock State Park. The plan for its renovation and how the lodge and its 700 acres will be adapted for public access is still in the works. I’m dreaming of a restaurant and hotel similar to the Wowona Hotel at Yosemite National Park. There is a huge gym at Vade Mecum suitable for large indoor events, though I think of it more as an open-floor auditorium, with a stage, an enormous fireplace, and a big portico.

If a restaurant ever opens at Vade Mecum, it will be impossible to keep me (and many others) away. If the state of North Carolina is willing to invest the money, Vade Mecum could be in the same league as the Wowona, where I had a very memorable lunch some years ago. Not many old resorts of this type have survived. They were very susceptible to fire. Vade Mecum already had a sprinkler system, and new fire-detection equipment was recently installed at state expense.

Vade Mecum is one of the few lucky old resorts not only still standing, but in a decent state of repair. It’s a huge asset not only to the county, but to the state. Lots of local people moved heaven and earth to get Vade Mecum into the hands of the state of North Carolina as part of a state park.

“Vade Mecum” means “go with me” in Latin.

The Wowona Hotel at Yosemite National Park


  1. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    Well, I nominate you to Chair the project of bringing Vade Mecum alive in the next 3-5 years. If the state gets into the Cannabis business, it could happen overnight!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink
  2. daltoni wrote:

    Hi Henry … Tobacco was the cash crop here for a very long time. Now it’s of minor importance, though it’s still grown here. Cannabis would revive the local economy like nothing else!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

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