County to receive life-size replicas of nation’s founding documents


BAKERSVILLE – The Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution and Bill of Rights are coming to Mitchell County thanks to the efforts of the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners and Bakersville Mayor Charles Vines working with Foundation Forward Inc. These founding documents, known as the Charters of Freedom, will be permanently installed at 26 Crimson Laurel Circle in Bakersville.

The Charters of Freedom setting will be dedicated at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, which is President’s Day. The event will include patriotic music, speakers, presentation of colors and a cannon salute. The public is invited to attend.

Mitchell County will be the 29th Charters of Freedom setting placed permanently in communities across the country by Foundation Forward, a 501 (c)(3) educational foundation created by Vance and Mary Jo Patterson, of Burke County. The inspiration to set up Foundation Forward followed the first visit to the National Archives to see the founding documents.

“Seeing something our founding fathers had penned, I just got goosebumps,” said Vance Patterson, founder of Charters of Freedom. “And, then, when we moved over and saw those first three words of The Constitution, ‘We The People,’ I got a lump in my throat. It was an emotional experience.”  

The Pattersons now work to bring that emotional experience to communities across the country, having completed settings in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, and as far west as Nevada.   

Foundation Forward’s mission is to install Charters of Freedom settings in easily accessible locations so communities can view these founding documents in a proper setting without needing to travel to Washington, D.C. These settings will provide hands-on education in American History and Civics.

Legacy Pavers will be installed around the setting for citizens to honor loved ones, active-duty military or veterans, first responders and family members. Businesses and organizations can also purchase pavers for marketing purposes, or to show support for this patriotic landmark and what it represents. These can be bought from Foundation Forward Inc. for a tax-deductible donation of $100 per paver when you visit Click the “Donate” button and enter Mitchell County when selecting the location of the Legacy Paver from the list.

Foundation Forward Inc. is a 501(c)(3) North Carolina nonprofit that receives no tax dollars or government funding. Visit or call 828-522-1400 for more information.