Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is This How You Imagined Shangri-La?

We all know Shangri-La is a fictional place*, yet it brings to mind a blissful, mysterious, locale. One man, however, had a more specific vision of Shangri-La and spent years turning that vision into reality.

The man was Henry L. Warren, a tobacco farmer from Prospect Hill, NC and the result of his vision can be enjoyed by travelers to this day. His Shangri-La was created from local stone and found objects and the 'town' grew to include 27 buildings - each featuring a unique design.

I first saw Shangri-La about twenty years ago and when a recent trip took me past it, I stopped to take photos to share with you. If you're ever traveling between Hillsborough, NC and Danville, VA you can stop and experience it for yourself!

You'll be amazed at Mr. Warren's ingenuity and dedication. He died in the late 1970s and, yet, his work lives on in this magical little town.

If you visit, don't miss the walkways embedded with arrowheads - hundreds of them, in varying patterns.

This quote from Sam Walter Foss' famous poem sums up this little Shangri-La . . . and I'd say Henry Warren embodied it!

*We're not counting Camp David, which was originally named Shangri-La by FDR

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