History of the Land at Living Well Community and the Extended Franklinville Community
The land at Living Well Community has a deep and significant history. People have been interacting with this land for at least 10,000 years as evidenced by the ancient fish weir in the river, abundant rock flakes from tool making, pottery shards from cookware of earlier inhabitants, and other evidence of interactions by people with this land over thousands of years.
The first textile mill in Franklinville was started by a former Quaker, Elisha Coffin, who was an abolitionist. He started the mill in part to provide an economic alternative in the south to dependence on slave labor. Along with other members of the Coffin family, including his cousin Levi Coffin, he was involved in the Underground Railroad. His story is included in Levi Coffin’s book about the early history of the Underground.
Additionally, as local historian and Franklinville resident, Mac Whatley writes, the mill owners “named the new mill village ‘Franklinsville’ to honor Jesse Franklin, a former NC Governor and Revolutionary War hero. Franklin, while a new member of the US House of Representatives, cast the deciding vote to keep slavery out of the Northwest Territories (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois).”
Living Well Community is a 120+ acre property at the confluence of the Deep River and Sandy Creek. With nearly a mile of frontage on both the Deep River and Sandy Creek and being also home to the smaller Listening Creek, water is a primary and important feature to this property.
The name “Living Well” references this connection to water from a well. Water is a basic building block of life. We all have a natural affinity to be near water, to hear the healing sounds of water, to see water, and to be in an environment blessed with abundant water.
The river supported the abundance of food that attracted ancient peoples to this site. It later powered the mills in Franklinville, providing sustenance and livelihood to more recent residents. Energy continues as an important element even today on this land. Many people who visit Living Well Community find the land itself to be nourishing, welcoming and health promoting.
For some it is the energy from the meta-volcanic rocks that remind us of the formative activity here millions of years ago. For others it is the residual effects of being on land that many have traversed and found comfort on for thousands of years. And for some it is other energies, that while subtle, remind us that we are blessed to connect with and be part of a specific place at a specific point in time.