PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Goober peas. You might not have ever heard of them, but chances are you’ve eaten lots of them.
200 years ago, on what is now known as Poplar Grove, sat one of the largest goober pea plantations in North Carolina.
The Foy family bought the property in 1795 and built a house near the water.
In 1849 it was destroyed in a fire.
“They rebuilt here to have easy access to the road, which is why we sit next to Highway 17 today,” said Felicia Greene, Poplar Grove’s director of tourism. “I do believe if they knew what was going to happen to that road, they would’ve sat us much further back, but in 1849 there was a little wooden plank road that ran in front of this home. It gave them easy access to the big city of Wilmington and that’s where they went to sell their produce.”
Still standing, that home is now open for daily tours.
“Your tour guide meets you and takes you through the home, but we are fortunate the Foy family is full of pack rats. So, we literally have recipes, documents, letters that fill cabinets. It is easy to interpret their history and that’s the bulk of what we share with our guests,” said Greene.
You’ll hear the stories of James Foy, Jr. and his wife Henriette while tracing their footsteps.
While there, you’ll also learn about the slaves who not only built the home, but taught the Foy’s about goober peas.
On the property you’ll also find farm animals, basket weavers, blacksmiths, a picnic area and a place for kids to play.
Even if you’ve explored the old plantation, there is always more to see.
Throughout the year Poplar Grove hosts several events, like ghost tours, farmers’ markets and a Christmas festival.