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Home North Carolina Scotland County City of Wagram Historical Markers Temperance Hall

Temperance Hall

Main Street, Wagram, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 34° 53' 24.252", -79° 21' 50.2848"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Meeting hall of the Richmond Temperance and Literary Society, 1860 to 1890's. Sacked by Sherman's army in 1865. Stands 1 1/2 mi. W."
     The Richmond Temperance and Literary Society was established around 1855 by a group of young men and women concerned about the intemperance (read consumption of alcohol) in the area. In their mission statement the founders, “being convinced of the deadly influence that intemperance is now exerting over the morality of our country and seeing the ravages that it is daily making in our midst,” wrote that the society’s object was “uncompromising hostility to intemperance and untiring zeal for the advancement of literature.” The group’s one-room building, built in 1860 near Wagram and known still as Temperance Hall, is hexagonal with sixteen-foot sides. It is topped with a wooden finial representing an overturned wine glass sitting atop a book. The ceiling inside the building was painted blue with a constellation of red stars, one representing each member of the society. If a member broke his temperance vow, his star was painted black. The star was painted white if the member died.

     The Richmond Temperance and Literary Society met for about forty years in the building. The area around Wagram became a part of the new Scotland County in 1899 and eventually Temperance Hall fell into disrepair. It was restored as a museum in 1959 and in 1967 the birthplace of John Charles McNeill, a poet, was moved to the grounds and restored. The McNeill house serves as a visitor center for Temperance Hall.

Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996)
James E. and Ida C. Huneycutt, A History of Richmond County (1976)
North Carolina ECHO website: http://blue.dcr.state.nc.us/servlet/ascwg/search?ss=no&qry=city&tm1=Wagram
Temperance Hall Historical Marker Location Map, Wagram, North Carolina