Sometime around 1740, Richard and Elizabeth Whitaker decided to settle down on the banks of North Carolina’s Fishing Creek.

One hundred years later, the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad (later the Seaboard Coastline Railroad) came through the small village with one of Richard’s descendents even helping to build a siding off the railroad that would provide the trains with wood and water. The railroad called it “Whitaker’s Turnout” and the village started growing bigger and bigger along both sides the railroad tracks. By the turn of the century the village that was now simply called Whitakers (sans apostrophe) had grown to include three churches, two cotton gins, two saw mills and a casket company.

Today, along with that same railroad that’s now owned by CSX Transportation, U.S. Route 301 also bisects the small town of around 800 people.

Stuckey’s of Whitakers, however, actually sits along the southern route of I-95 about ten miles west of the center of the town itself. It is an original mid-century modern, sloped-roofed Stuckey’s building that now houses not only a Stuckey’s, but also a Dairy Queen and a Subway. So, the next time you’ve relaxed, refreshed, and refueled, grilled and chilled, and eaten fresh at Stuckey’s of Whitakers, why not take some time to check out some pretty cool things to see and do nearby? Here are just a few:

Paul stands tall over I-95 near Rocky Mount, NC. Image:Leonard J. DeFrancisci, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tall Paul…

We’ve talked about Muffler Men before, but we never pass up the opportunity to see one up close and personal in the wild. Did you know, however, that before they held mufflers, they wielded axes? That’s because the first Muffler Man ever built by International Fiberglass was actually a Paul Bunyan statue that looked much like this one that stands tall above I-95’s exit 145 near Rocky Mount, North Carolina. And though that first one was built in 1962 for the Paul Bunyan Café in Flagstaff, Arizona, appropriately enough, this one’s been standing out in front of Log Cabin Homes near Rocky Mount, North Carolina, since 2007. Before that he was known as “Stan the Tire Man” in Salem, Illinois.  What’s more, these days this tall Paul is joined by his faithful companion, the just-as-big Babe the Blue Ox.

The Uniroyal Gal standing outside of a motel before she got her makeover, became a blonde, traded her bikini bottoms for a pair of Daisy Dukes and moved to nearby Men’s Nite Out. Image courtesy of “Did You See That?” via Facebook.

… And His Girlfriend?

About 11 miles southeast of Paul Bunyan is the Uniroyal Gal – another roadside giant made by International Fiberglass. The Uniroyal Gal is a 17½-foot tall fiberglass statue of a woman that promoted Uniroyal Tires. Sporting a Jackie Kennedy ‘do, Uniroyal Gals were often clad in bikinis while others can be seen wearing a more modest skirt. However, the Uniroyal Gal that now stands in front of a gentlemen’s club Men’s Night Out on MNO Lane just off of Highway 97 wears a bikini top and a pair of “Daisy Dukes”.  Holding a beach ball aloft in her left hand, you’ll also notice she’s now a blonde, though she originally started out as a brunette who stood in front of the now defunct Mosley’s Shady Lake Motel in Rocky Mount. It’s important to note that there are mixed reports as to whether or not Men’s Night Out is still open. However, many road warriors and Muffler Men maniacs have reported that the gates to property were open allowing them to get some photos and selfies with the giant blonde.  If you go, please let us know your experience.

And Not a Pic-A-Nic Basket in Sight 

About a 20 minute drive away from the Uniroyal Gal you’ll find America’s favorite ursine cartoon character, Yogi Bear, along with his pals Boo Boo and Ranger Smith. The statues are leftovers from the Yogi Bear’s Honey Fried Chicken franchise. (Most likely these belonged to the one located in nearby Rocky Mount). Though dozens of the restaurants once graced roadside America, today only one restaurant in Hartsville, South Carolina remains in business. So what happened to all of those statues of Yogi, Boo Boo, Cindy Bear and Ranger Smith that used to grace every Yogi Bear’s Honey Fried Chicken franchise? Well, most were taken to the “Yogi Bear Graveyard” that used to be located outside of nearby Halifax. It seems in recent years, however, the fiberglass bodies of bears and park rangers named Smith have disappeared altogether. As a result, these may very well be the last of them. The good news is that these statues of Yogi, Boo Boo and Ranger Smith (sorry Cindy Bear lovers) have recently been repainted and relocated to Leon Parker Signs and Graphics in Nashville, North Carolina and are waiting for you to take your next  selfie with them.

If you plan on visiting this tiny church to have your sins forgiven, seems you’re a little late. Image courtesy of Jenna’s Old Homes of NC via Facebook.

Apparently Heaven CAN’T Wait

If you finally decided to wait until this Sunday to get right with your Lord – sorry sinner! According to this little church that’s located in a cotton field on Highway 903 between Palmyra and Hamilton, North Carolina, you’re a little late. What it actually says is “CHURCH DOOR CLOSE DUE TO RAPTURE. SINNER YOURE TOO LATE.” In the words of Maxwell Smart: “I missed it by that much.” Still, why not gather all your heathen friends and family together and take a road trip this weekend for a great Facebook cover picture?

Ghostbusting in Littleton

“When there’s something strange…in your neighborhood… Who ya gonna call?” Well, the people living in the neighborhood of Littleton, North Carolina, are probably going to call the folks over at Haunted Littleton. This part Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum, part ghost tour and paranormal investigation center gives you the chance to go on a one- to two-hour ghost tour and hunt ghosts using the latest K-II paranormal activity detector meter. Or if you’re not into specters, you can search for Sasquatch at nearby Medoc Mountain State Park. In the meantime, the fraidy cats can stay at the museum and explore a Bigfoot cast, haunted dolls and more in broad daylight everyday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

So there you go – a handful of things to see and do near the Stuckey’s in Whitakers, North Carolina. However, there’s plenty more to see and do in this part of the Tarheel State. What are some of your favorite things to see and do while you’re driving up and down North Cackalackey’s I-95? Let us know in the comments.

With five locations throughout North Carolina, don’t forget to make a Stuckey’s stop part of your road trip itinerary the next time you’re traveling through the Tarheel State.

No Stuckey’s locations on your way? Then stock up before you go and have plenty of Stuckey’s on hand before you even leave your driveway. We’re talking all of the road trip snacks you remember like Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls, Pecan Pralines and other pecan treats.

Like your munchies crunchy? Then check out our wide selection of flavored popcorn including the legendary Hunkey Dorey. Can’t make up your mind which flavor to get? Then try all five flavors with our Popcorn Sampler and decide which flavor is your favorite.

And don’t forget that Stuckey’s also carries all of your favorite road trip apparel like our popular “Eat Here and Get Gas” t-shirt, Stuckey’s Beer trucker caps or, with autumn fast approaching, be ready with any of our branded hoodies.

For all these and more, check out www.stuckeys.com and order your Stuckey’s favorites today!

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again