......................................................................................................................................................................................................................
27344: Chatham County

27344: Chatham County

Driving into Siler City, NC you can immediately see the contrast between the new and the old.  The new section of town right off of the highway is lined with big corporations like Walmart, Tractor Supply, and McDonald’s.  It seems to be about as bustling as any small, middle-of-nowhere NC town would normally be.  However, once you venture down to Main St. and the original parts of town, all is quiet.  It seems to be dying.  The few cars you see are merely passing through.  Just a few years ago, the town was bustling with immigrant workers and farmers associated with the two chicken plants in town. When they left, the main industry in the town left with them.  The result is a shift to the cattle industry, the deterioration of original shops, and the youth nonetheless looking ever-hopeful for the future.

This photo essay focuses on the effects of the changing industry on the old Chatham County way of life.

 Two members of the Chatham County Historical Society joke around after surveying a newly-found cemetery outside of Siler City.

Two members of the Chatham County Historical Society joke around after surveying a newly-found cemetery outside of Siler City.

 Sonya Holmes checks on her empty chicken barns.  She was a chicken farmer for the Townsend Corporation, until they closed down their plant.  The chicken industry was a huge contributor to the Chatham County economy, so when the two plants closed, many people were affected.  Mrs. Holmes is now running for Congress, in an effort to make agricultural issues such as this known.

Sonya Holmes checks on her empty chicken barns.  She was a chicken farmer for the Townsend Corporation, until they closed down their plant.  The chicken industry was a huge contributor to the Chatham County economy, so when the two plants closed, many people were affected.  Mrs. Holmes is now running for Congress, in an effort to make agricultural issues such as this known.

 A cow is slaughtered in Chaudry Halal Meats.  Abdul Chaudry, owner, said, “We have to hire hispanics to do the actual act of slaughtering because we are Hindu.  However, he said that the industry is good since there are lots of cattle in the area.

A cow is slaughtered in Chaudry Halal Meats.  Abdul Chaudry, owner, said, “We have to hire hispanics to do the actual act of slaughtering because we are Hindu.  However, he said that the industry is good since there are lots of cattle in the area.

 Tommy Emerson drives through a pasture to dump the manure in the back.  He said, “Chatham County is a great county. Its a good place to live, good people, we got some economic challenges, but I understand.  We arent the only place thats suffering adversity of this nature.  All over the southeast there are little Siler Cities everywhere where the economy has changed and they are suffering.”

Tommy Emerson drives through a pasture to dump the manure in the back.  He said, “Chatham County is a great county. Its a good place to live, good people, we got some economic challenges, but I understand.  We arent the only place thats suffering adversity of this nature.  All over the southeast there are little Siler Cities everywhere where the economy has changed and they are suffering.”

 Nancy Tysor, manager of Farmer’s Alliance, said, “I am retiring in May because I cannot watch this store suffer financially any longer.  Walmart came and this business began to die.  People come in for our specialty items, but the demand just isn’t there.”  Farmer’s Alliance is the last original Siler City business left in the town.

Nancy Tysor, manager of Farmer’s Alliance, said, “I am retiring in May because I cannot watch this store suffer financially any longer.  Walmart came and this business began to die.  People come in for our specialty items, but the demand just isn’t there.”  Farmer’s Alliance is the last original Siler City business left in the town.

 A patron of Johnson’s Burger waits for his cheeseburger.  Carolyn Routh, the owner’s daughter, called Johnson’s a “Siler City staple”.  They close down when they run out of beef at the end of the day and only accept cash, but they have been in business for over 50 years.  ”We are one of the few old businesses who is still doing okay,” she said.

A patron of Johnson’s Burger waits for his cheeseburger.  Carolyn Routh, the owner’s daughter, called Johnson’s a “Siler City staple”.  They close down when they run out of beef at the end of the day and only accept cash, but they have been in business for over 50 years.  ”We are one of the few old businesses who is still doing okay,” she said.

 Ritchie Teague, a local barber, reads the Chatham News in his shop.  ”I read the paper a lot, because these days work is slow.  Everybody likes the fancy glamour shop down the road,” he said.

Ritchie Teague, a local barber, reads the Chatham News in his shop.  ”I read the paper a lot, because these days work is slow.  Everybody likes the fancy glamour shop down the road,” he said.

 Noemi Francisco Lopez, left, gets tickled by Deborah Francisco Lopez, right, in the EDTNS Ministries building in Siler City.  Their mother, Pastor Sharon Zagada, said that they hold service three days a week in spanish for “the large population of hispanic workers who moved to Siler City to work in the chicken industry, but now that that is gone, they are out of work and beginning to leave the area.”  For more Chatham County stories, please see  Maintaining Emerson Hill  and  Grassroots .

Noemi Francisco Lopez, left, gets tickled by Deborah Francisco Lopez, right, in the EDTNS Ministries building in Siler City.  Their mother, Pastor Sharon Zagada, said that they hold service three days a week in spanish for “the large population of hispanic workers who moved to Siler City to work in the chicken industry, but now that that is gone, they are out of work and beginning to leave the area.”

For more Chatham County stories, please see Maintaining Emerson Hill and Grassroots.

27344: Chatham County

Driving into Siler City, NC you can immediately see the contrast between the new and the old.  The new section of town right off of the highway is lined with big corporations like Walmart, Tractor Supply, and McDonald’s.  It seems to be about as bustling as any small, middle-of-nowhere NC town would normally be.  However, once you venture down to Main St. and the original parts of town, all is quiet.  It seems to be dying.  The few cars you see are merely passing through.  Just a few years ago, the town was bustling with immigrant workers and farmers associated with the two chicken plants in town. When they left, the main industry in the town left with them.  The result is a shift to the cattle industry, the deterioration of original shops, and the youth nonetheless looking ever-hopeful for the future.

This photo essay focuses on the effects of the changing industry on the old Chatham County way of life.

Two members of the Chatham County Historical Society joke around after surveying a newly-found cemetery outside of Siler City.

Sonya Holmes checks on her empty chicken barns.  She was a chicken farmer for the Townsend Corporation, until they closed down their plant.  The chicken industry was a huge contributor to the Chatham County economy, so when the two plants closed, many people were affected.  Mrs. Holmes is now running for Congress, in an effort to make agricultural issues such as this known.

A cow is slaughtered in Chaudry Halal Meats.  Abdul Chaudry, owner, said, “We have to hire hispanics to do the actual act of slaughtering because we are Hindu.  However, he said that the industry is good since there are lots of cattle in the area.

Tommy Emerson drives through a pasture to dump the manure in the back.  He said, “Chatham County is a great county. Its a good place to live, good people, we got some economic challenges, but I understand.  We arent the only place thats suffering adversity of this nature.  All over the southeast there are little Siler Cities everywhere where the economy has changed and they are suffering.”

Nancy Tysor, manager of Farmer’s Alliance, said, “I am retiring in May because I cannot watch this store suffer financially any longer.  Walmart came and this business began to die.  People come in for our specialty items, but the demand just isn’t there.”  Farmer’s Alliance is the last original Siler City business left in the town.

A patron of Johnson’s Burger waits for his cheeseburger.  Carolyn Routh, the owner’s daughter, called Johnson’s a “Siler City staple”.  They close down when they run out of beef at the end of the day and only accept cash, but they have been in business for over 50 years.  ”We are one of the few old businesses who is still doing okay,” she said.

Ritchie Teague, a local barber, reads the Chatham News in his shop.  ”I read the paper a lot, because these days work is slow.  Everybody likes the fancy glamour shop down the road,” he said.

Noemi Francisco Lopez, left, gets tickled by Deborah Francisco Lopez, right, in the EDTNS Ministries building in Siler City.  Their mother, Pastor Sharon Zagada, said that they hold service three days a week in spanish for “the large population of hispanic workers who moved to Siler City to work in the chicken industry, but now that that is gone, they are out of work and beginning to leave the area.”

For more Chatham County stories, please see Maintaining Emerson Hill and Grassroots.

27344: Chatham County
 Two members of the Chatham County Historical Society joke around after surveying a newly-found cemetery outside of Siler City.
 Sonya Holmes checks on her empty chicken barns.  She was a chicken farmer for the Townsend Corporation, until they closed down their plant.  The chicken industry was a huge contributor to the Chatham County economy, so when the two plants closed, many people were affected.  Mrs. Holmes is now running for Congress, in an effort to make agricultural issues such as this known.
 A cow is slaughtered in Chaudry Halal Meats.  Abdul Chaudry, owner, said, “We have to hire hispanics to do the actual act of slaughtering because we are Hindu.  However, he said that the industry is good since there are lots of cattle in the area.
 Tommy Emerson drives through a pasture to dump the manure in the back.  He said, “Chatham County is a great county. Its a good place to live, good people, we got some economic challenges, but I understand.  We arent the only place thats suffering adversity of this nature.  All over the southeast there are little Siler Cities everywhere where the economy has changed and they are suffering.”
 Nancy Tysor, manager of Farmer’s Alliance, said, “I am retiring in May because I cannot watch this store suffer financially any longer.  Walmart came and this business began to die.  People come in for our specialty items, but the demand just isn’t there.”  Farmer’s Alliance is the last original Siler City business left in the town.
 A patron of Johnson’s Burger waits for his cheeseburger.  Carolyn Routh, the owner’s daughter, called Johnson’s a “Siler City staple”.  They close down when they run out of beef at the end of the day and only accept cash, but they have been in business for over 50 years.  ”We are one of the few old businesses who is still doing okay,” she said.
 Ritchie Teague, a local barber, reads the Chatham News in his shop.  ”I read the paper a lot, because these days work is slow.  Everybody likes the fancy glamour shop down the road,” he said.
 Noemi Francisco Lopez, left, gets tickled by Deborah Francisco Lopez, right, in the EDTNS Ministries building in Siler City.  Their mother, Pastor Sharon Zagada, said that they hold service three days a week in spanish for “the large population of hispanic workers who moved to Siler City to work in the chicken industry, but now that that is gone, they are out of work and beginning to leave the area.”  For more Chatham County stories, please see  Maintaining Emerson Hill  and  Grassroots .