Whipporwill Academy and Village
Whippoorwill Academy is a one room school house built in 1880 by Andy Gould, a well known carpenter and miller.
The small 18' x 24' frame school was located on a wooded hill overlooking the Beaver Creek in western Wilkes
County. It received its name because "it was built so far back in the woods that not even the whippoorwills could
The school was open three months out of the year. Two months were paid for by the county and one was by
subscription which means that the parents paid the teacher's salary that month. Students walked or rode
horseback and carried their lunch in buckets. Water was carried from a nearby spring.
The first teacher was the Rev. George Sherrill, a Confederate veteran from Lenoir, N.C. Other teachers were
Alfred J. Foster, Ben Proffit, Jud Proffit, Gus Cobb and Blanche Ferguson. Students included members of the
Eller, Bishop, McGee, Hendrix, Matherly, German, Jones, Spicer, Triplett, Dula, Walsh, Andrews, Ferguson,
Foster, Pearson, and West families. James Larkin Pearson, Poet Laureate of North Carolina attended school here.
The school was used as the voting house for the Beaver Creek Township until the mid 1960's. The little building
was closed as a school in 1901 when the Beaver Creek Academy was built.
Whippoorwill Academy was located on the Peeler Hayes farm until 1986. It was then dismantled, moved and
reconstructed on the Ferguson-Carter farm less than a mile from its original location by Hill and Edith Ferguson
Carter. The school, reconstructed as it was originally, is being used as a local museum. In the loft, are the
paintings and drawings of "The Legend of Tom Dooley" and Dooley (Dula) memorabilia.
TOM DULA ART MUSEUM
The "Tom Dooley Art Museum" is housed in the loft of the Whipporrwill Academy. The museum has an exhibit
45 paintings and drawings by Edith F. Carter on the life of Tom Dooley (Dula) who was convicted and hanged
for the murder of his girlfriend, Laura Foster.
Included in the little museum are Tom's original tombstone, a large river rock; his war records; door handle to
his home and a lock of Laura Foster's hair.
America's best known legend, made famous by the ballad, "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley," took place
in the Ferguson Community and adjoining Caldwell County in the 1860's.
Tom Dooley's homesite and grave are located a mile from the Whippoorwill Academy on the Tom Dooley Road
and overlooking the Yadkin River. Laura Foster is buried about five mile away in Caldwell County in the Happy
Valley on Highway 268.
This little two room country store was moved from its original location a mile away from the Whippoorwill Academy
and Village in the Ferguson community to join other historical buildings in the village. The first store, built in the
1920's was washed away in the 1940 flood and this building was built with lumber from the flood to replace it. On
display are products of early years. For sale are lovely handmade crafts, books, tapes, jams, jellys, pickles, and
many other items.
DANIEL BOONE REPLICA CABIN
Daniel Boone, his wife and eight children lived in this community in the 1760's. One cabin was on the Beaver Creek and
the other one was located across the Yadkin River. This cabin is built on the description and size of the one on the
Beaver Creek and has the original rocks from his chimney. Boone made his trips into Kentucky from here.
THE SMOKEHOUSE ART GALLERY
This little building has been reconstructed from a log smokehouse built in the late 1700's on the upper end of the Ferguson
farm. It is used as an art gallery and has artists and craftsmen on display each month. Close by is a tiny smokehouse
reconstructed with all original logs of the 18th century.
THE CHAPEL OF PEACE
The Chapel of Peace is currently under construction. The picture was taken at the dedication ceremony. Also under
construction is the Beaver Creek Forge and Weaving Shed. Check back again for updates on the construction.
Whippoorwill Academy and Village is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 3:00pm-5:00pm and during the week by appointment.
Closed January-March except by appointment
Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
Call (336)973-3237 or write:
PO Box 458
11929 Hwy 268 West
Ferguson, NC 28624