FORK FARM & STABLES
1,460± Deeded Acres
The Fork Farm is an exceptional sporting property and working farm located one-hour east of Charlotte, NC. The 1,460± acre farm is a very private landholding that sits at the end of a state-maintained road. It is flanked by the Rocky and Pee Dee Rivers, which join at the southern tip of the property to create the eponymous “Fork”.
A tribute to classic European field sport estates, The Fork’s multiple land uses and best-in-class components overlap effortlessly. No single pursuit defines the farm, although among the standouts are world-class equestrian facilities, highly productive quail and waterfowl programs, and multiple sporting clay and shooting courses. The quality of the operations and flexible land uses are a testament to the management and planning of the current ownership. In addition to its enviable sporting reputation, the farm has been routinely recognized for its outstanding conservation efforts. Extensive improvements are spread throughout the farm, including a main house, guest lodge, farm buildings, and phenomenal stable. The Fork proves the sum is greater than any one of its parts and represents a real estate offering of the highest caliber.
The Fork boasts a rich history. It begins with “The Fork” itself, where the Rocky River joins the Pee Dee River. Strategic positions like these have always been prime real estate, and for thousands of years, this site has attracted people of all cultures, occupations, and walks of life. Evidence of this history reveals itself in sunken carriage roads, Native American fish weirs, and vestiges of the Revolutionary War.
The Cheraw tribe of the Siouan Nation is thought to have been the first human inhabitants of the area around The Fork. Later, during the 15th and 16th centuries, Native Americans from the Pee Dee River valley migrated up the river from South Carolina, settling in the area and replacing the previous Siouan inhabitants and culture.
In the mid-1700s, European settlers began moving to the Southern Piedmont, and records from 1748 recognize the Colson family as the first large scale landowners in the area. In 1771, Anson County (of which Stanly County was then a part of) issued John Colson a permit to operate an “ordinary”, or inn, where food, drink, and lodging were available to travelers. The Ordinary was described as a large, two-storied log structure with a space between two sections of the building wide enough for a carriage to drive between – a large “saddle bag” log cabin. Records show that this “ordinary” was the first licensed tavern in North Carolina and was located along the King’s Highway, most likely on the present-day Fork Farm. Sections of the King’s Highway still exist and farm visitors can walk and ride the sunken roadway much as they would have 250 years ago. Records exist of a Revolutionary War battle, and there is ample evidence to suggest that George Washington may well have been a guest at Colson’s on a tour of The South.
When the Colsons owned The Fork, it’s likely the land was mostly forested with dense hardwoods. However, beginning in the early 19th century, owners and farmers cleared portions of the land to grow crops such as corn, cotton, and soybeans, which aided in shaping the land as it is today. Additionally, those who grew crops logged the hardwoods periodically without any type of systematic program for renewal.
The Fork began its most recent chapter in 1999 when the current owner purchased the property. Today’s version continues to draw on the history and uses that came before it, albeit with significantly different focuses and sustainable land management practices.
In addition to being a best-in-class recreational property The Fork is the most efficient use of sporting and working lands I’ve seen. Not an inch of the property has been overlooked, and the farm is a masterclass in long-term planning and land management.