Many Thanks to the Barber Holmes Families
"When the Holmes family was negotiating with East West Partners about turning their property into a mixed-use development, their first thought could have been, 'well, how much profit can we make from this transaction?' but that was not their first thought. Their first thought was, 'how can we find some way to give back to the community?' The result was that the family insisted that a portion of the land be donated to a public purpose."
These are the elegant words of Bill Terry, Pittsboro's Town Manager, at the opening ceremony of the Mary Hayes Barber Holmes Park. He continued, "The park's namesake, Mary Holmes, who died two years ago, was someone who loved the out of doors. So while she's no longer with us, I think the end result would have been very pleasing to her - so we owe a great debt of gratitude to her and the entire extended Barber Holmes family for their forethought in making sure that Pittsboro ended up with this beautiful park facility."
I ran into one of the prime organizers with the Friends of the Library recently, and he mentioned how glad he was that we named the park after Mary Holmes. He said that without her influence and excitement about that cause, he never would have gotten involved. Mind you this is a real mover and shaker, someone who's largely responsible for the great work that the Friends of the Library continues to do. What a loss to our community if he had not have gotten involved. While I never had the pleasure of making her acquaintance, after hearing so many community members share equally inspiring stories about Mary Holmes, I'm really pleased that the park bears her name.
Extended Barber Holmes Family in attendance at the park opening. Photo courtesy of Bill Wilcox of the Chatham Record. (Thank you Bill, this is a great photo) Ed Holmes, Mary's husband, on the far left, Wade Barber, her brother, to Ed's right.