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The cannons boomed. Blacksmith Lennie Moore pounded steel. Dublin Scout Troop 622 sold plates of barbecue and chicken. The Scott Free Band of Lumberton played. And folks stepped back in time Saturday at Harmony Hall Plantation Village during the 225th anniversary reunion.[slideshow_deploy id=’11615′]

Although rain may have cut down on attendance, it didn’t keep those on hand from enjoying the day at the historic Bladen County site founded in the 1760s by Col. James Richardson and where British Lord General Cornwallis is said to have commandeered during the Revolutionary War.

“Every time I’ve come here, it’s been overcast, and it gives it sort of a mystique,” said 37-year-old Daniel Pates of Fayetteville. He first visited Harmony Hall a few weeks ago and now is volunteering to help maintain the site.

“I always knew this was here,” Pates said. “I just decided to come down. I had a day off from work and didn’t want to sit around the house. I immediately fell in love with the place. I felt right at home.”

Pates has helped clear the one-mile path from the main house to the Cape Fear River so visitors can walk to the water much like people did in the 18th century.

“I think there’s a lot of history here,” Pates said. “I’ve always been a big history buff. I’m really into plantations and to gather as much knowledge as I can about what happened at that time. The more I come out here, the more I learn. I think people can really learn from this place.

“I live in the middle of Fayetteville now, so coming out here is like a bit of serenity,” he said.

The plantation is open Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for self guided tours through the village, hiking to the Cape Fear River, and a number of artisans plying their trades. There is no charge for admission, but donations are welcome. The chapel is available for weddings for donations. There’s also a general store on site.

For information, call Bobby Lewis at (910) 874-4011 or Seth Lewis at (910) 770-3132.  The address is 203 River Road, White Oak.

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