Pinehurst Gazette – The Next Forty

Well over 40 years ago a hometown paper began in Pinehurst, NC. Under the leadership of Reid and Mary Ann Page, the Pinehurst Gazette, Inc became established in 1973. In seeking to preserve the history of Moore County, to cover local stories, and to feature maps of the area, the Pages invested their time and effort in creating a local icon that has stood the test of time. With a name such as Reid A. Page, becoming a writer was a destiny that prolifically produced Gazettes not only in Pinehurst, but also in Bald Head Island, the Blue Ridge Parkway and all over North Carolina. Over 40 years later, the Pinehurst Gazette remains and continues to enrich our hometown. We hear it time and time again as locals and guests alike share the same story, “The Pinehurst Gazette welcomed me to the area, and my first memories always include the Gazette – it was so unique, informative, entertaining, and those maps helped me find my way around town.”

Over the years, Reid and Mary Ann worked from their home office and even from a RV while producing the Gazettes. From their home in Pinehurst, they covered Moore County procuring advertisements, telling stories, and making their mark on our community. There aren’t many locals who don’t know Mr. Page as once you were privileged with a handshake, he’s a character you won’t soon forget. As time marched on through the stories, time brought along the Page’s retirement. With noble desires of a provider, Reid realized the importance of getting Mary Ann settled and re-united with her family in Winter Park, Florida, and thus a move relocated their belongings. Although a change of address was claimed, home will forever be the Sandhills for Reid as the Page family settled here generations ago as their names on prominent buildings and road signs permanently testify of their heritage.

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Leaving home was hard enough for the Pages, but to leave their beloved life’s work behind was almost too much to bear. Too much a local landmark to neglect the rest of the story, the Pages were determined to find the Gazette’s new owners who needed to call Moore home, be invested in family, and love this land just as much as they did. The next chapter for the Gazette became the perfect match for the Sykes family.

In January 2012, the purchase was official as the Gazette found new owners in the hearts and home of Brian and Rebekah Sykes. Already invested as local business owners, settled in raising our family here, and totally invested, the Sykes are proud to call Moore County home.

The transition of ownership was a smooth one as the community whole-heartedly welcomed the fresh face of the Gazette, businesses remained faithful with their advertising, and locals responded with eager anticipation of the next issue. As we immersed ourselves into the newspaper business, we got to know our community better by meeting the business owners, interviewing the neighbors, and visiting all of the neighborhoods. Sharing the love of our community made our “job” fascinating as we couldn’t learn enough; we figure maybe we’ll have another 40 years to cover Moore.

Centered around the family, each family member participates in several ways as the responsibilities are delegated. Brian and I handle the ad sales, interviews, and layout as our children orchestrate the Community Kids pages and support the business meetings with their presence and Gazette deliveries with their outstretched arms. During our discussions over dinner and walks around town, we brainstorm; our family is totally immersed together in the Gazette on a daily basis.

Although the Gazette is family-owned and operated, our community shares the page as well. The Gazette involves the entire spectrum of our community through the businesses who advertise with us. Our advertisers cover the southern end of the county from Pinebluff through Aberdeen, Pinehurst, and Southern Pines, all the way through Carthage to the northern tip ending in Robbins. From Seven Lakes to Cameron and every town in between, we have the county covered. With Gazette deliveries made at each advertising business, including the local post offices, libraries, and village halls, there are many opportunities to find the newest issue. Gazettes are available free of charge as the advertisers make this possible through their ad support. We are very thankful for our advertisers who make it all happen, and in each issue, we introduce a local business owner. In telling their stories, we encourage local networking as readers gain new friendships and learn new places to shop.

We also cover the county through our contributors who are uniquely connected here with their families, friends, and careers. Their columns provide timely, useful advice, and you can keep up with your favorite contributor in each Gazette. No matter your interest, we feature topics from golf, to gardening, to home, and everything in between. Working in tandem with our contributors, we are a team! Our regular contributors include:

  • George Nick Hunt, native of Moore, Veteran, Retired from Hughes Aircraft Co, – Tales of Moore.
  • Eric Alpenfels, Director of Golf Instruction/Golf Academy at the Pinehurst Resort – Tee Time.
  • Mary Beth Voelker, writer, mother, cook, gardener, crafter transplant to Moore – Home Sweet Southern Home.
  • Wesley May, Retired Navy Pilot, Commanding Naval Officer stationed in Iceland and Guam, actively pursuing his bucket list while fellowshipping at Trinity Christian Fellowship and involved in Moore TEA Citizens – Let Freedom Ring.
  • Joshua Peede, SCC Landscape Gardening Graduate and present Crew Manager and Design Specialist – Home Grown.
  • Shannon Carey, Wake Forest Graduate and resident of Pinehurst – The Open Book.
  • Katherine Smith, a native and student at Appalachian, writer and contributor to several publications – Through the Muscadine.
  • And last but certainly not least, our most prolific contributor Mr. Larry Steven Crain. Retired from a career as a carpet industry designer and colorist for over 38 years, Southern Pines resident Crain is a freelance writer, artist, illustrator. You can find his writings and illustrations sprinkled throughout.

Other features not mentioned above include Neighborhood Watch that highlights locals out and about, Family Fun which presents pertinent, usually entertaining stories of family life, Health and Fitness covering all things health, the Puzzled? page custom-created by Brian, and Giving Back. The Giving Back feature is the heart of the paper for sure as we highlight a local organization who is helping the locals. As we tell their story, we also give back financially as our way of saying, “Thanks!” Neighbors helping neighbors is what it’s all about!

Just as varied as our contributors, each issue presents a unique variety of topics for our readers’ enjoyment. A local Gazette fan recently told us, “My favorite aspect of the Gazette is that you never know what you will find inside each new issue. The surprise is delightful!” There’s no doubt about it, you just never know what to expect, and that’s what has kept our readers coming back for decades.

The future of the Gazette shines more brilliantly than ever before as we honor our heritage, preserve local history, and engage our future as we endear the children through the Community Kids feature. As Rudyard Kipling so eloquently said, ““If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” As we concur, we continue to tell the incredible stories of our amazing locals who make Moore County the best place to live! We are family. We are local. We are preserving our hometown one story at a time with the Pinehurst Gazette, Inc.

Thanks for being part of our story.
From our home to yours,
The Sykes family
Owners of the Pinehurst Gazette, Inc

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Posted in All Things Moore County, Our Blog.