When Frances Bavier retired, she picked a small town in North Carolina to spend the rest of her days.
Siler City is just a day drive from Mount Airy, the city that Mayberry is patterned after, with about as many folks who reside there as you can imagine made their lives in Mayberry.
The similarities are there. And apparently, she so cared for the police in that small town, that in her will, she reportedly specified that $100,000 go to the Siler City police.
But the actress who played Aunt Bee was more sensible and considerate than to make this just a one-time gift. She directed the money be used to set up a trust fund.
The interest from the trust fund is dispersed to the 20 officers who make up Siler City's small police force each year on December 15, making sure every cop always gets a Christmas bonus.
It's a sweet story that has us thinking of sweet Aunt Bee, who The Andy Griffith Show fans know, raised one of the finest officers North Carolina ever knew in Andy Taylor. Now we know Frances Bavier really was just as careful a caretaker in real life.
For more about this story go to WXII's website
The largest town in the county owes its site and name to Samuel Siler, who in 1884 donated the land for a rail depot on the newly built Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley RAilway connecting Sanford and Greensboro.
During the late 1800's and early 1900's Siler City was the largest shipping point for the indigenous cottontail rabbit as a food item.
The Hadley Hotel opened in 1908 at 130 N. Chatham Ave. It had what was termed Water Works, piped water for the basin in the rooms, water closets and bath tubs. This was the first installation of this convenience in the town. The Hotel Structure still stands today.
Siler City is also the last residence and burial site of Francis Bavier known as "Aunt Bee" of the Andy Griffith Show.
For over 120 years the Farmer's Alliance Store in Siler City has invested itself in the families who invest in it. It gives you an excuse to slow down and "remember when".
The North Carolina Arts Incubator is located in downtown Siler City. Here you will find a dozen or so working artists with adjoining studios. You are invited to learn about their craft.
The many charming retail shops feature jewelry, pottery, fiber arts and much more. Come have lunch, coffee or delectables with us. Experience our musical events. Don't miss our monthly 3rd Friday ArtWalks and our annual Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Hoopla Festival and Veterans Parade
From Highway 64 take East Raleigh Street to North Chatham Avenue. Take a right and you are there!
157 North Chatham Avenue, Siler City, North Carolina 27344, United States
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Site Master-Charles Hadley