Robbins Marks New Day to Celebrate Town's Heritage
The Robbins Board of Commissioners is going back into the town's rich history to mark a new day for celebration.
Starting April 11 and on subsequent second Thursdays in April, the town will mark Mechanics Hill/Kennedy Rifle Day in Robbins.
Town commissioners proclaimed that day as a yearly event to honor the gunsmith Alexander Kennedy and his famed Kennedy rifle, the long gun commonly called a "Kentucky rifle" but made by hand in Robbins and other places in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Kennedy and his family left Philadelphia and settled along Bear Creek in the 1700s. There, he set up a factory that produced long rifles for American soldiers, hunters and early explorers.
By 1799, more than 100 gunsmiths were at work at the Kennedy works above that creek, and the place came to be known as Mechanics Hill, one of the earliest names of the town now called Robbins.
Mayor Lonnie English and the board officially adopted and signed the proclamation earlier this month.
"Whereas his gun factory was the largest and most important industry in this part of the South from the time of the Revolutionary War until the mid-1800s, and whereas the Kennedy rifle works continued in operation until 1838 and the place became known as Mechanics Hill," the proclamation says, "now, therefore, because of the great heritage of Robbins, the mayor and the board of commissioners of the town of Robbins do hereby proclaim that every second Thursday in the month of April be known as Mechanics Hill/ Kennedy Rifle Day in Robbins, North Carolina."
Commissioners also passed a resolution in support of part of the U.S. and N.C. constitutions. The resolution expresses "the right to keep and bear arms as set forth in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 30 of the North Carolina State Constitution."
Robbins' resolution, citing texts in both documents, notes that each of the town commissioners had "sworn by solemn oath" to uphold both the state and federal constitutions.
Both measures were adopted without discussion or dissent.
Contact John Chappell at (910) 783-5841 or jfchappell@ gmail.com.
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