Shepherds Vineyard, Apex, NC

History of SV

Shepherd's Vineyard Once Welcomed A Very Special Bride

Miss Martha Austin was from one of the wealthiest families in Tarboro. Her fiancé, Patrick Dowd, was a minister with a vision. His sights were set on uniting and organizing all the Southern Baptist churches in North Carolina and becoming the first president of the Baptist State Convention.

As he drove his horse and buggy to Miss Austin's home to ask for her hand in marriage, he knew that part of his dream of a good life had already been realized. A few weeks earlier he had discovered and bought a piece of gentle rolling woodland known as Shepherd's Vineyard. Wherever he stood all Patrick could see were lush rolling hills studded with broad, full-grown hardwood trees.

He chose the crest of a high hill for their home, a stately square two-story structure flanked with a tall brick chimney on each end. The front porch, enclosed with delicate lattice work, warmly welcomed everyone.

Throughout the many years the Dowd's lived there, Shepherd's Vineyard was always a home in which they could get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A place of peace and happiness.

But the tranquility was shattered when General Sherman marched through North Carolina in 1865, camping briefly at Shepherd's Vineyard. Sherman's arrival brought with it the terror everyone feared. The Dowd's cattle and horses were stolen. Their barns burned to the ground. One soldier, while searching for silver, set fire to an old featherbed in the attic. A servant, seeing the smoke, rushed in just in time to extinguish the fire and save the homestead.

The Dowd's food supply had been stolen, their barns burned, but the land they loved so much was not harmed. Shepherd's Vineyard stood just as Patrick Dowd first saw it. A land that for generations would be a place for the good life.

Author unknown. Copied from a sales brochure for Shepherd's Vineyard.

Shepherds Vineyard of Apex, NC
Copyright © 2005

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