Walthour Moss Foundation
Walthour Moss Foundation was established by Virginia Walthour Moss and
William O. "Pappy" Moss, and because of restrictions and special provisions,
it should continue to grow forever. The Foundation is located in the Sandhills of North
Carolina, one mile from the town of Southern Pines and occupies over 4000
acres, virtually unspoiled by progress and development.
The Foundation was originally known for its equestrian use, which continues
to attract world-class riders and drivers to its sandy lanes and trails.
However, the implementation of proper silva culture and ecological practices
have made the Walthour Moss Foundation a true environmental preserve. The
almost extinct red-cockaded woodpecker is making a strong comeback on these
protected lands. Their habitats are tagged for study and monitoring by
naturalists. The land is also home to many other varieties of birds, deer,
raccoons, opossums, red and grey foxes, and rare fox squirrels.
The importance of the Walthour Moss Foundation cannot be overstated and
every year its existence becomes more critical. As acre after acre of
unspoiled land becomes covered with homes, shopping centers, factories, and
roads, there is less and less land which is so desperately needed for
Ginnie and Pappy Moss' vision of a special place in the Sandhills took shape in
1974 when the Walthour Moss Foundation was formed as charitable trust. At a
time in life when many people would have been thinking of retirement, Ginnie
and Pappy created the foundation into which they and the community would place
over 4000 acres in the next 30 years. Pappy Moss died in 1976. Sadly, he did
not live to see his dream of the "Foundation" become a physical reality. But
his legacy lived on.
In 1978, with a bequest from Pappy's estate of 1739 acres, the Foundation which
we know today truly began. This was the first of many gifts from the Mosses.
In 1979 Mrs. Moss gave 15 acres. In 1980 she gave 30 acres and in 1983 she
gave an additional 39 acres. In 1985 Mrs. Moss gave 67 more acres. These
remarkable gifts of land brought the Foundation to 1890 acres. In 1987 Mrs.
Moss gave an additional 566 acres to the Foundation.
In 2003 - nearly 30 years after her first gift - Mrs. Moss continued her
ongoing philanthropy to the Foundation, giving an additional 51 acres behind
Mile-Away Farm. Today the Main Foundation stands at over 2500 acres -
created entirely by gifts of land from Ginnie and Pappy Moss.
Main Foundation -- 2507 Acres
1978 Original gift - 1739 acres from the estate of W.O 'Pappy'
1979 Gift from Virginia Walthour Moss - 15 acres
1980 Gift from Virginia Walthour Moss - 30 acres
1983 Gift from Virginia Walthour Moss - 39 acres
1985 Gift from Virginia Walthour Moss - 67 acres
1987 Gift from Virginia Walthour Moss - 566 acres
2003 Gift from Virginia Walthour Moss - 51 acres
In 1985 the Foundation - with substantial support from the community -
purchased 315 acres from Maxwell Forest north of Furr Road. This was the
first acquisition of land outside the main Foundation and the first
acquisition which was not a gift from the Mosses. This purchase was also the
beginning of what has become known as the Foundation North Country.
In 1993 the Foundation undertook a campaign to raise approximately $550,000
for the purchase of 209 acres north of Young's Road from Eldridge Johnson.
Mr. Johnson generously offered the land (which was in two parcels) to the
Foundation through a gift/sale arrangement at the very reasonable cost of
$2600 per acre. The campaign was successful and the Johnson land was
acquired, bringing the number of North Country acres to 524 and the total
number of acres of The Walthour-Moss Foundation to 2980.
In 1999, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Webb made a generous donation of 50 acres
adjacent to the Johnson tracts. In 2000, the
Moss Foundation Board took the bold step of purchasing 417 acres in the North Country from the
estate of Raymond Firestone for $3,110,000. The land, which was in two large
parcels, was purchased at an average cost of $7500 per acre.
Foundation North Country -- 1000 Acres
Maxwell Forest - 315 acres
1993 Johnson - 209 acres
1999 Gift from Mr. & Mrs. Richard Webb - 50 acres
2000 Firestone Estate - 417 acres
2004 Burns/Gregson - 250 acres
2005 NCDOT - 180 acres
2006 Gift from Virginia Walthour Moss - 114 acres
The Land Preservation Campaign Phase I was undertaken and the community
responded with extraordinary generosity. The debt was retired a year ahead
of schedule and an effort began to replenish the "Land Fund" for future
acquisitions. By the year 2000, the gift by the Webbs and the acquisition of
the Firestone tracts brought the total North Country acreage to 991 and the
total Foundation to 3447 acres.
In 2004, the Walthour Moss Foundation was fortunate to be able to acquire
216 acres of wonderful land in the North Country from the Paul Burns family
and an additional 34 acres adjacent to the Burns tract from the Gregson/Johnson families. The total commitment for these two purchases is
$3,130,000. The Land Preservation Campaign Phase II
is currently underway to complete this purchase - with $1.5 million
remaining to be raised.
In the spring of 2005, the North Carolina Department of Transportation
transferred 180 acres of environmentally-sensitive land north of Aiken Road
to the care of The Walthour Moss Foundation. In transferring this land to
the Foundation's care, the NC DOT found the Foundation to be "good stewards
of the environment and the appropriate entity to care for this special piece
In January 2006 Virginia Walthour-Moss passed away peacefully at home on
her beloved Mile Away Farm - so named by Pappy and Ginnie when they moved there
in 1937 because "it was a mile away from the train station in Southern
Pines." She was 96. As the community came together to celebrate her remarkable life, the true
dimensions of Mrs. Moss's vision and her belief in the future were revealed
In January of this same year, The Walthour Moss Foundation
was advised that Mrs. Moss had bequeathed 114 acres of additional land in
the heart of the North Country to the Foundation. This magnificent tract
included Sweetheart Lake and joined together three North Country parcels
purchased between 1993 and 2000. Her wonderful gift effectively completes
the "North Country circle" and brings the total gifts of land by Ginnie and
Pappy Moss to over 2500 acres and the Foundation acreage to over 4000 total acres.
With restrictions and
protections in place to preserve this property and an increasing show of
public support from the community, this incredible gift will continue to
grow and enrich so many lives within the community. Just as Ginny and Pappy
envisioned it some 35 years ago. For more on the Walthour-Moss Foundation or
to make a donation and help preserve our wildlife please visit
to Southern Pines Community
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