Two farms, two families, and a year on the land.
Young readers can get a taste of farm life in the North Carolina Piedmont through “Bountiful Red Acres,” a new book from the state Office of Archives and History and the N.C. African American Heritage Commission, both part of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
The story chronicles a year in the lives of two neighboring families—one Black and one white—moving from season to season through the year 1900. Despite the racial inequalities built into American life by both law and custom, the Sawyers and Hauser families share an abiding friendship as they rear children, tend crops, and build community.
Author Eileen Heyes and artist Dare Coulter bring these real Surry County families to life for readers, offering a vibrant look at neighbors caring for each other as they force a living out of the red clay soil that is known today as Horne Creek Farm State Historic Site.
The book is available for purchase from the Horne Creek Farm Visitors Center at 308 Horne Creek Rd, Pinnacle, N.C., or from UNC Press at https://uncpress.org/book/9780865265028/bountiful-red-acres/.
About the author and illustrator
Eileen Heyes is a retired newspaper journalist. Her previous books for young readers have been honored by the New York Public Library, Society of School Librarians International, Child Study Council, and Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Raleigh. www.eileenheyes.com.
Dare Coulter, the illustrator, is an award-winning artist. She specializes in public art, specifically monumental sculptures and large murals. She has also illustrated the children’s books “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” “You are My Sunshine,” “My N.C. from A to Z,” and “An American Story” that align with her mission of positive imagery of people of color. See more of Coulter’s work at www.darecoulter.com.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, three science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 41 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the N.C. Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, and the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please visit www.ncdcr.gov.