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tom dooley.jpg Tom Dooley: A Wilkes County Legend
July 1, 2017 8:00 pm - July 30, 2017 10:00 pm (Weekly on Saturday)
Location: Outdoors at Forest Ridge Ampitheater
Time: 8pm nightly

WEEKENDS IN JULY This is the dramatization of the well-known 1868 Wilkes County love triangle that resulted in the murder of Laura Foster and the subsequent hanging of Tom Dula (pronounced Dooley). Folklore and legend feel that he confessed to the murder to protect his true love, Anne Melton. Local musicians will sing and play acoustical instruments and Appalachian square dancing will be featured. Director - Karen Wheeling-Reynolds People nationwide have been fascinated and intrigued with the Tom Dooley story for over a century. The murder of Laura Foster in the Elkville community, now known as Ferguson, in North Carolina was one of the nation�s first highly publicized crimes of passion. Tom (Dula) �Dooley� hanged for the crime but many questions were left unanswered. Over 200 pieces of testimony were recorded in the two years that Tom was on trial. Most of the testimony is conflicting and everyone was convinced that their side of the story was the right one. Governor Zebulon B. Vance came to Wilkes County to defend this Confederate war hero. A reporter from the New York Herald did the rest. His articles gripped the nation and left them wanting more. Governor Vance lost the case and Tom was hanged in Statesville, NC in May of 1868. His last words were �Gentlemen, do you see this hand? I never harmed a hair on Laura Foster�s head�. The Kingston Trio catapulted Tom Dooley to fame again in the 1960�s with the song �Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley�. Visitors still travel from far and wide to visit the graves and tour the countryside where the story took place.