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Lowder’s Ferry – Ford Edison Camping Trip

published – 10-15-09

A story has been passed down in our family. It claims that Henry Ford and Thomas Edison crossed Lowder’s Ferry on their 1918 camping trip.

In an effort to prove this story true, I did some research. It was about 1998 when I surfed the web and sent some email. I was soon in contact with Norman Brauer the author of There to Breathe the Beauty. He was generous with his time and we exchanged a few letters. The news was bad. He concluded there was no evidence Ford and Edison ever passed through Stanly County.

A picture in the January 2nd, 1950 editon of Life Magazine caused much of the confusion. The picture is at the bottom of page 45 of this Google Book version of Life Magazine. Norm Brauer identified this ferry’s location as Virginia. I don’t recall the exact location, my letters from Mr. Brauer were given to Morrow Mountain State Park.

More recently I’ve found this article by Molly Grogan Rawls. She describes the 1918 trip that passed through North Carolina from Asheville to Winston-Salem on August 29, 1918.

I can’t prove the famous campers didn’t sneak into Stanly County. However, if they did travel through Stanly County, it’s hard to believe that Mr. Brauer and others have found no record of that trip.

January-21-2012: I’ve learned that Thomas Edison passed through Mooresville, NC in 1905, stopping at Turner Hardware. Perhaps this trip took him through Stanly County and across Lowder’s Ferry.

October 2013: I've learned that in 1914 a Ford Assembly Plant began in Charlotte. That plant would be one reason Henry Ford may have visited the Charlotte area.

copyright Phil W. Lowder