Southern Rail

Block Number: 146


A large group of staff and hospital leadership were present Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at the Old Fort Primary Care and Family Practice building to admire the display of the newly installed quilt block. Drs. Lindsay Herbert and Rachel Elizabeth Click accepted the McDowell Quilt Block Trail Certificate of Authenticity.

The office, which is remembered as once having housed Norton Furniture Company years ago, is unique in that the restoration effort was to preserve the local community history with a new and different look, while updating the building to the highest standards for the clinic. The site was remodeled to utilize and display the original brick walls, decorative tin ceiling and preserve the authentic wooden floors. The overhead dropdown lighting employed the use of the old ventilating and wiring system patterns to retain an industrial look and maintain the simple integrity of style. Framed black and white photographs line the walls and hallways and a sliding doorway of original old barn wood separates a community room from the waiting area for privacy, adding to the relic atmosphere of bygone days. With prior reservation the meeting facility room is available to the public for community group gatherings during office hours.

Mission Community Medicine of Old Fort practice was officially established in January 2013 offering accessible primary care coverage to the rural western areas of McDowell County. It services 45+ patients a day, accepts both Medicare and Medicaid and provides a full laboratory. The Clinic is currently accepting new patients by Dr. Lindsay Herbert, DO and Dr. Rachel Elizabeth Click, DO, assisted by Brian Hanley, PA.

Both Doctors received their medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Suwanee, Georgia. During their Residency at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta they became friends and when positions became available in Old Fort they decided to take the opportunity to practice in McDowell County together. The doctors focus on osteopathic manipulation of bones and muscles and educational preventative methods for patients to maintain their health. The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) is the only other legal and professional equivalent to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) in the United States and Canada.

“Southern Rails”, Block #146 on the McDowell Quilt Trail, is 3 X 3 foot set on the square and the pattern was chosen to pay tribute to the railroad that played an important part in the history of Old Fort, one of the oldest towns in our region. The railroad reached Old Fort in 1873 where work on it stopped for some years until the line was completed to Asheville in 1880. In 1896 Southern Railway took over the operation and the railroad still impacts the community today. Although no longer a passenger station the Old Fort Depot serves as a visitor center and railroad museum and one can count on occasionally getting stuck at the crossing in the middle of town waiting for a train to pass by!

The design of “Southern Rails” is one of a number of different and interesting quilt patterns with the railroad cross symbol. The background of white and blue add to the dimension of the red crossing sign centered in the block, each of the corners accented in yellow. This block serves as yet another colorful country accent memorializing a part of McDowell County history.

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