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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : community : history September 27, 2022

7/8/2022 4:22:00 PM
Pirate Week

Wayne Howard

Saturday (July 9th) kicks off what is being called 'Pirate Week' in Lincolnton.  The event was organized by authors Ashley Oliphant and her artist mother Beth Yarborough, who together created the book Jean Laffite Revealed, which details the privateer’s mysterious life and his possible connections with Lincolnton. 

The pirate Lafitte vanished around 1823, and there have long been rumors that  Lorenzo Ferrer. Buried in the historic cemetery of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in downtown Lincolnton, was actually Laffite.  

Pirate Week will actually run nine days, through next weekend.  It begins Saturday when Rick Ramseur 
leads a Magical Pirate Mystery Tour at Woodside just west of Lincolnton off highway 182. A downtown Lincolnton treasure hunt for kids is also planned for all day Saturday. At 6 PM, Oliphant and Yarborought will lead a walking tour at Pleasant Retreat Academy, site of the 1850's Masonic Lodge that Laffite helped organize.  After visiting several locations, it will also end there.  If you already have plans for Saturday evening, they'll repeat the walking tour Sunday evening at 6 (in both cases, weather permitting).

On Tuesday (July 12th) the full day at the Shanklin Library in East Lincoln will be devoted to pirate activities for kids. The Jonas Library in Lincolnton will have similar 'pirate day' on Thursday (July 14th) and the West Lincoln Branch will have one on Friday (July 15th).

Another treasure hunt for kids will be held downtown next Saturday (July 16th) From 1 - 5 PM that day, there will be a Laffite presentation and book signing at Pleasant Retreat Academy.

Sunday (July 17th) the walking tour will be repeated a second time beginning at 7 PM.

Will this become an annual event?

Tampa, Florida has a festival every January known as the Gasparilla Pirate Festival that includes  a large parade and other events that has been held every year but one since 1904. Because of the pandemic, it was canceled in 2021, but it returned this year.  The theme of the festivities is a friendly invasion by the mythical  pirate José Gaspar (also known as Gasparilla), who is a popular figure in Florida folklore even though there is no evidence that he actually existed. Laffite did exist--and may have been buried right here in Lincolnton.  

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