In Sway Guides

Moore County is full of history in its many towns, but chances are you don’t know much about all of them. The Sway’s City Guides gives you the perfect exploration plan to find Moore County’s hidden treasures in Carthage. This time, ‘S’ marks the spot.

Buggy Town’s Origin Story

Chances are, you’ve made a visit to Buggy Town Coffee. And, chances are, you’ve wondered “What the hell’s up with these buggies?”

Carthage gets the name Buggy Town because it was home to the Tyson & Jones Buggy Company in the late 1800s, one of the premier cart-and-buggy makers before motors were a thing.

Local legend is that Henry Ford once tried to buy out the closed plant from the owners to make it into an assembly line for his Model-T’s, but the owners refused. The story follows that Ford then moved to Detroit, making it the capital of auto-manufacturing. Like most local legends, that story isn’t ironclad.

Today, Carthage celebrates the impact of Tyson & Jones Buggy Company with “The Buggy Festival” every spring around the Old Court House. You can see old buggies from Tyson & Jones on display, as well as old tractors and crafts from local artisans.

Odell Hussey (sitting) says hello to a friend. His son Robert Hussey is in back. Carthage Buggy Fest Saturday May 12, 2018. Ted Fitzgerald/The Pilot


Modern Carthage is also home to many murals. The most recent came as a part of the “Carthage Mural Project” which consisted of three new murals based on the history of Carthage: The Tyson Buggy Company, James Rogers McConnell who flew for France in the Lafayette Escadrille during World War I, before the United States joined the war, and tobacco farms.

Bryant House and McLendon Cabin

In addition to several historic homes, Carthage is also home to the Bryant House and the McLendon Cabin.

James Bryant was given the land of the McLendon place, already home to the cabin, by his father in the early 19th century. He built the nearby manor house in about 1820. Flossie Bryant Davis, the great-granddaughter of James Bryant, gave the house and 3.4 acres of land to the Moore County Historical Association in 1969.

There are events at the property a few times a year. Follow the Facebook page for updates.

Where to Eat

If you’re a fan of soul food or Carolina style BBQ, you and Carthage need to be friends.

  • Pik n Pig is one of the most famed BBQ places in Moore County, known for its location next to an airfield and mother-daughter operating duo. Pop in for lunch or watch your diet fly out the window.
    • Location: 194 Gilliam McConnell Road, Carthage, NC 28327
    • Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

  • Pete’s Restaurant is one of those places with a homey feel that will remind you of the diner you went to as a kid. The food will keep you coming back.
    • Location:  4088 US Hwy 15 501 Carthage, North Carolina 28327
    • Hours:  Monday – Sunday: 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Aroma Bakery & Cafe is a great spot for baked goods and a heart-warming success story, courtesy of owner Kim Freigo. If you find yourself at the Moore County Courthouse, comfort yourself with an Aroma Cinnamon Roll.  
    • Location: 105 Monroe St, Carthage, NC 28327
    • Hours: Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Buggy Town Coffee is the perfect lunch spot, with delicious sandwiches and great coffee. If you need a midday pick me up, a splash of iced coffee and a sandwich from Buggy Town is the answer to your work week woes.
    • Location: 201 S. McNeill St., Carthage, NC 28327  
    • Hours: Monday – Friday: 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.;  Saturday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Ronnie’s Chuckwagon is a Carthage staple with down home, quick, American food, but it’s not really in a wagon. The Chuckwagon is best known for its burgers, and rib-eye sandwiches. If you’ve saved room for dessert, try the sweet potato fried pie — your tastebuds will thank us.

Where to Shop

  • Olde Carthage Farm is the only USDA-certified organic farm in the area. Pick up some fresh and organic strawberries to enjoy on a summer picnic or with your morning coffee.
    • Location: 2270 US-15, Carthage, NC 28327
    • Hours: Vary, see website
  • Down to Earth Pottery is one of the many great pottery spots in northern Moore County. Down to Earth is family operated in Carthage since 1991 by Jim and Mary Havner along with their children, Nick and Jaime Havner, and grandchildren, Christopher and Gitana Havner.
    • Location: 11792 NC 24/27 HWY, Carthage, NC 28327
    • Hours: Monday, Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Midway Trading Co. is your go-to spot for vintage finds in Carthage. The self-proclaimed “lover’s of junk and keeper’s of history” opened officially in 2017, and has since become a shopping staple of the area.
    • Location: 10600 NC HWY 24/27, Carthage, North Carolina 28327
    • Hours: Wednesday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • See also, events at Midway featured here.
  • Lisa’s Boutique is the perfect stop in Carthage for a fresh, new look. Lisa has worked in fashion for over 25 years, so she’s the perfect shopping resource when you feel like you’ve worn the same shirt for 5 months.
    • Location: 111 McReynolds St, Carthage, North Carolina
    • Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
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