Speaker 1: What is Silk Hope and how did it get its name?
Speaker 2: I’m sure there’s several different stories. I used to live out in Silk Hope and I was a member of the Ruritan organization and what I was told was that when the Quakers first settled in the Carolinas, we’re talking Colonial times, they had ambitions of actually making silk here. So, China had the monopoly on the silk trade and this area was doing cotton and North Carolina was already becoming a pretty big force in textile, so they wanted to get involved in the silk trade.
And so legend has it that some of the Quakers actually stole silk worms from China, which I guess was punishable by death, if you got caught or whatever. So, China really had a big lockdown on the silk trade or whatever, but they sold the silk worms and they brought them to Silk Hope to see whether or not they could get them going.
And again, I have no idea if this is true, but legend has it that silk worms eat Mulberry and Mulberry leaves. And throughout Silk Hope, there’s a bunch of Mulberry trees that I guess are descendants from those or whatever. But the funny thing is, is that they brought all the silk worms and all the silk worms died. They assumed it was because the North Carolina climate was too harsh, too cold for the silk worms to survive.
But what they later found out was they actually brought the wrong type of Mulberry trees and so they had the wrong type of Mulberry leaves, so actually the silkworms starved death. And so that’s why we don’t have a silk trade in Silk Hope.
But you know, another interesting thing about Silk Hope is, it’s an area, it’s a community, it’s a school district, it’s a fire department. But you know, the vast majority of Silk Hope is actually, Siler City. Siler City zip code and people are always asking, “How come I can’t find Silk Hope?” And everything. So what we say is, we say Silk Hope is basically North of 64, up to the Alamance line and between 87 and 421 and that whole area is the Silk Hope area.