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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Brandon Baker, age 4, enjoys picnic lunch, August 1999
Brandon Baker, age 4, of the Masonic Home for Children, enjoys the 119th Mocksville Masonic Picnic, August 1999. Photo: Robin Ferguson

Mocksville Masonic Picnics

Held since 1878 as a fund-raiser for the Masonic-sponsored Oxford Orphanage-now the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford--the Davie County Masonic Picnic takes place the second Thursday in August each year. From the first picnic till this day, children from the orphanage have put on a program of music, recitations, and skits at the event. An invited speaker has addressed each gathering since 1879; the list of names includes North Carolina governors, congressmen, judges, ministers, orators, and writers. Band music has enlivened the festivities since the early years. A sumptuous buffet has always been the central feature of the picnic.

Jointly sponsored by the Masonic Order Corinthian Lodge Number 17 and the Davie Education Union, this picnic is held annually on the Saturday after the second Thursday in August. The Davie Education Union began the event in 1894 to raise money for a school for African-American children. A school was built in Mocksville in 1888, and the picnic proceeds continued to support educational scholarships and facilities and, later on, the Oxford Orphanage as well. Like the Masonic Picnic, the Masonic-DEU event brings together friends, family members, former schoolmates, and former county residents in a celebration of their common cultural heritage. The picnics also are a legacy to the generations of children who have benefited from the support for the orphanage, improvements in education, and advanced learning opportunities made available.

Originally submitted by: Richard Burr,Representative (5th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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