Weymouth, the home of James & Katharine Boyd, was the heart of the Southern Literary Renaissance.
The Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities is a non-profit cultural center dedicated to music, literature, and conservation. The Boyd House and remaining acreage is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was awarded a certificate of achievement by the National Wildlife Federation in 2003.
In the early 1900s, while passing through the town, encountering turpentine workers and witnessing the devastation to the forest, Helen Boyd Dull asked her father, Pennsylvanian steel and railroad magnate James Boyd, to save the land. With the purchase of twelve hundred acres, Boyd established an estate which he called Weymouth for its resemblance to Weymouth, England. Rather than maintain it for his own pleasure, Boyd opened the land to townsfolk and tourists to enjoy as a natural park. Designed over a 24-year span by landscape architect Alfred Yeomans, restoration plans included bridle paths and carriage lanes laid out so as not to harm the trees.
The land was passed to his two grandsons, Jackson and James, who, in 1914, founded the Moore County Hounds (MCH). The MCH is still active today on land originally part of the Boyd estate, now conserved for the public as the Walthour-Moss Foundation.
James Boyd was a poet and writer, author of Drums, and after serving in WWI, retreated to Weymouth as a permanent resident to write, ride, and manage the estate with his wife Katharine. Together they entertained guests such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, and Sherwood Anderson as Weymouth became a center of Southern literary culture. Jonathan Daniels insisted that, as a place of hospitality for writers in the 1920s and 1930s, Weymouth helped launch the Southern Literary Renaissance.
After James died in 1944, Katharine oversaw the estate, its preservation, and established what would become the first nature preserve in the North Carolina state park system. Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve was established in 1963 with an original gift from Katharine Boyd of 403 acres after the death of her son Daniel. Her wish was to preserve the woods as they were when her son played in them as a child. An additional 153 acres, the Boyd Round Timber Tract, was purchased after Katharine’s death in 1977. Set in an area more known for horse farms and golf courses, today Weymouth Woods is a 900 acre, limited-use area that portrays the natural features of the Sandhills region. Throughout the woods are remnants of the turpentine industry, pines carved with the V-shaped cuts, and boxed for collecting pine rosin.
The home of James and Katharine Boyd is now the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities, a cultural center dedicated to conserving the remaining 26-acre estate as a natural preserve and park, including the formal gardens designed by Alfred Yeomans, and the longleaf pine forest. The Boyd house, a 9,000 square foot Georgian mansion, still serves as a writers residency, the site of poetry readings, dramatic performances, music concerts, and recitals.
James Boyd’s study is the home of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, established in 1996.
The Weymouth Center is also the gateway to the Boyd Round Timber Tract and its extensive trails which are located just beyond the house and gardens.
Weymouth is open year round to the public.
Across from the Weymouth Center, visitors may enjoy taking in an exhibition at the Moore County Arts Council, located in the former home of Jackson Boyd.
Learn more: Explore the life and works of James Boyd.
The Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities
555 East Connecticut Avenue
PO Box 939
Southern Pines, NC 28388
Phone: (910) 692-6261
Boyd House & N.C. Literary Hall of Fame:
Gardens & Grounds:
Daily (sunup to sunset)
Follow 220 South from Asheboro. Exit on 211 (marked Pinehurst/Candor, Exit 28). Turn left on 211 East. At traffic circle outside Pinehurst, take the third exit off the circle, following the sign to Southern Pines. You will be on Midland Road. After 3-4 miles you will pass under US1. A mile farther the road curves to the right and enters town–-it is now called Broad Street. At the railway station, turn left (heading east) on Connecticut Avenue. Cross the railroad tracks, proceed for 4 blocks. Weymouth is on the left. You will see a white fence and pillars with stone dogs.
From US1 South, take Midland Road exit (Rte. 2 and 22). Turn left on Midland Road, which will curve right as you enter the town, becoming Broad Street. At the railway station, turn left (heading east) on Connecticut Avenue. Cross the railroad tracks, proceed for 4 blocks. Weymouth is on the left. You will see a white fence and two pillars topped with statues of hound dogs.
Take US1 north through Aberdeen. Bear to your right, following signs to Southern Pines. At the traffic light on Morganton Road, go straight over the railroad bridge. Bear left when the road forks. Keep going, and turn right on Connecticut Avenue. Weymouth is a couple of hundred yards up on the left. You will see a white fence and two pillars topped with statues of hound dogs.
Help preserve the Weymouth legacy. Donate now.
A note to photographers-
We love having our gardens, grounds, and the James Boyd House featured in photos. However, due to our busy schedule of events, we do ask that you call in advance and make an appointment. Click here for our PHOTOGRAPHY POLICY
Our gardens and grounds are maintained by a dedicated staff of volunteers. Donations are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
You are welcome to come in and take a SELF-GUIDED TOUR, weekdays between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., provided there are no events or meetings taking place. Self-Guide tour brochures are available in the foyer.
Are you curious about the history of the house, the Boyd Family or how this place came to be? GROUP TOURS are fun and enlightening! A DOCENT tour may be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance by emailing the Weymouth Center office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to be a docent at Weymouth Center? Please let us know, email Marianna at email@example.com.