JONESVILLE — A district youth service team of around 50 youth, ages 14 to 18, from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will work to clear trails in Jonesville’s Mineral Springs Park on Thursday.
They will arrive with counselors from Winston-Salem Stake where they are attending a three-day Youth Conference with their theme as “Service.” They are participating for the second year in a service project for the town of Jonesville. There are teams that will be participating in assigned projects in Winston-Salem, Mount. Airy, Statesville and Dobson.
Historical Chair Judy Wolfe said, “They are doing something that we would never get done if we had to employ people to clear the trail.”
Wolfe said there are a lot of thickets to be dealt with — especially on one trail that was an original road bed. She said another trail that runs up the creek branch is also a thicket full of undergrowth that has grown into and over the trails.
At this year’s Jonesville site, the two sections to be cleared are two historic trails that were followed by early colonists who came into the Yadkin Valley and established an early settlement called Allen’s, later renamed Jonesville.
Wolfe said about 300 years ago, the trails intersected at the Yadkin River crossing called Mineral Springs Shallows. Later nomadic tribes and early settlers shared the early wilderness trails, and centuries later became U.S. 21 (the North-South Indian Trail) and N.C. 67 (the Oconnee Trail).
Wolfe said additional byways through Mineral Springs Park followed wildlife paths from the south and east, north- and westward into the mountain wilderness.
Jonesville Historical Society member Charles Mathis, along with brother John Wesley Mathis, donated the park land to the historical society.
Charles Mathis expressed the Jonesville Historical Society’s appreciation for being selected once again as a service site.
“Teaching youth the value of service to others is a value that will last a life-time,” said Mathis.
In addition to the park service project, the youth will attend gospel-based workshops and fellowship activities, which will include a whitewater rafting trip.
Wolfe said also area youth and adult volunteers are invited to come to the park and work with the service team on the trail clearing project.
She said there will always be a need for service projects of this nature and that they are appreciative of any who may want to volunteer. The Jonesville Historical Society may be contacted at 835-0077 for any information relating to volunteering with park projects.
“We are simply opening up original trails and parks which the early settlers walked and followed when they came into the Yadkin Valley,” said Wolfe.
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.