This Year Marks the 61st Anniversary of the Historical Battle of Hayes Pond
The historical battle of Hayes Pond occurred on January 18, 1958. That Monday night, the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in Maxton, NC. Prior to that night, word got out that the KKK were hosting this rally at Hayes Pond, which is in Maxton. Lumbee members and other community members were outraged by the gossip floating around Robeson County. Community members refused to let this rally be a gateway to host other rallies here in Robeson County. That night as Klansmen joined the Grand Wizard of the KKK, James W. "Catfish" Cole, community members were surrounding Hayes Pond waiting for the perfect moment to intervene. A few moments after the rally began, Lumbee member, Neil Lowry shot out the lone light bulb and the sounds of gunfire filled the air. Klansmen including Catfish Cole, scattered into the pond and open fields to get away. No serious injuries or deaths were reported during this battle.
The Lumbee, and other community members made history that night. That's the night the KKK was routed out of Robeson County. The Lumbee people made national headlines. It was even featured on TIME Magazine. Cole was later convicted for inciting a riot and sentenced to 18-24 months in prison by a Lumbee, Honorable Judge Lacy Maynor.
FEMA inspectors were onsite Friday, January 18 to do visual inspections, and capture detailed project information. Hayes Pond was inspected from both the North and South sides. Tribal officials were able to show the inspectors major damage occurred during Hurricane Florence. FEMA plans to do a follow up inspection of Hayes Pond.