Shallow Roots Run Deep in Davie County – Mocksville Historian Sheds Light on the Significance of the Yadkin River’s Shallow Ford and Other Historical Figures


When Marcia Phillips and her husband relocated to Mocksville in 2013 to live on McClamrock family land, little did she know she would become a beloved community member and would help others develop a true sense of home and belonging. The historian, author and preservationist, who grew up on Granville Drive near Washington Park, oversees the Martin-Wall History Room at the Davie County Library. She assists locals, school children and transplants like myself in exploring the deep and rich history of Davie County. Marcia can also be found working at the Wake Forest University Library in Special Collections or serving on boards of The CARes Project or The Historic Nissen House in Lewisville.

As a newcomer to Mocksville, I first met Marcia at a book signing for the release of her book, “Historic Shallow Ford in Yadkin Valley – Crossroads Between East and West.” I had no idea that so close by was such a historically significant river crossing used first to settle the area and then again by revolutionaries and Civil War soldiers. The accounts of General Cornwallis pursuing General Greene right up through the heart of what is now Davie County piqued my interest in the Revolutionary War. I felt compelled to visit the Guilford Courthouse Military Park in Greensboro. There, I learned the significance of the battle that took place, as well as how the soldiers pillaged farms and Old Salem for resources along their march.

After just a few months of living in Mocksville, I had already developed a slight infatuation with learning the history of Davie County. This interest was partly due to my daily driving by the Joppa Cemetery, next door to the Tractor Supply on Yadkin Valley Road, and observing the historical marker indicating the burial site of Squire and Sarah Boone, the parents of Daniel Boone. After meeting Marcia and sampling her persimmon pudding, a traditional local dessert, I was genuinely hooked on local history. I commenced reading the Shallow Ford book and completed it in just a few days, but I wanted to know more.

Marcia’s book, “Davie County Mavericks – Four Men Who Changed History,” further sprouted my interest in exploring our state’s history, Daniel Boone, the early settlers and connections to WWII. It is interesting to note that near my home is a road named Pudding Ridge, supposedly after Cornwallis, who mentioned the consistency of the mud here in Davie. Another road, even closer to my home, is named Ferebee Lane after a local boy, Thomas Ferebee, who grew up to become the bombardier who dropped the atomic bomb, ending WWII. His story is told in “Mavericks,” along with Boone, Peter Stuart Ney and Hinton Helper, the author of “The Impending Crisis,” known for his outspoken anti-slavery beliefs.

After reading Marcia’s books, I dropped by the library for small talk. Marcia entertained my questions and escorted me across the history room to a map. This map, on display in the library, is of the land grants from the 1700s with an overlay of today’s roads and towns. I was amazed and in awe. I could see who owned the land where my home now stands! This map created a deep connection to the past I had not expected to find. I immediately purchased and framed a copy, and the map now hangs in my home. It is quite a conversation piece for guests.

Although I did not find my way to Mocksville by crossing the Shallow Ford like many other settlers to North Carolina (historically speaking, I’m more of a “half-back”) Marcia piqued my interest in learning about my new community and helped me to feel connected. I’ve since branched out to visit Bethabara, Old Salem and Bethania. They say the best teachers are the ones who inspire students and create independent learners. Marcia did just that, and now my shallow roots are growing deep in Davie. 

Marcia’s books are available for purchase on her website –

Additional information:  

Marcia Phillips – website



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