It was rumored as far back as 6 weeks ago that a major 'brouhaha' had been brewing between the movers and shakers that like to think they control most of the major happenings on Coker Creek Mountain.
The Gold Fest's founders (Frank Murphy and Sanford Grey) have passed on (R.I.P.).
You may hear more than one version as to why the event relocated: the most likely scenario is that the present owners of Coker Creek Village did not wish to continue to have the event take place on their property.
Another version claims the reason for moving the event to the Coker Creek Elementary School was a "mutual decision."... However, an insider who did not wish to be identified provided the following details:
- The Ruritan president was given the option of having the event at the usual Coker Creek Village location this year, but he was advised it would be the last time--they would have to find another location.
- Negotiations broke down and the Ruritaners decided to move the event this year--without having long range plans--it appears it was a case of 'if they dont' want us, we'll move now.' " No way to appease Mr. Pease..."
- The Ruritaners contend that a document signed by Sanford Grey bequeathed the use of the Coker Creek Village property in perpetuity for the yearly 2 day Goldfest event, but they did not wish to pursue the matter in court. It is unclear even if such a document exists, how enforceable it would be in a legal stand-off.
Murder victim and Coker Creek resident Franny Graham was a regular at the Ruritan Club gatherings. Some Ruritan members are also linked to the Coker Creek Welcome Center.
Had the Ruritaners accepted the offer to hold the event at the usual Coker Creek Village location this year, it would have given them ample time to come up with more than just one option for long term planning and future use.
The 94 plus acres that makes up the main property of Coker Creek Village is likely the most valuable parcel of land in Coker Creek. (Location, location, location.)
The Murphy Clan (who at one time owned the Coker Creek Village property) has nothing that compares...even with the thousands of acres they still own in Coker Creek.
The End of an Era in the Goldfest location is a significant event...it means that the Murphy Clan and their 'hangers on' were not the arbiters of a major decision.