The Smith family has been in the Dortches community for several generations. Mr. S.B. (Sherwood)
Smith started the grocery store in 1954. It was the beginning of many businesses that would soon
become S.B. Smith and Son. The nearby Ruritan Club of Dortches has also been a focal point in the
area for many who have lived here and where many life events have been celebrated.
When the Ruritan Club was scheduled to be torn down to make room for future expansion in the
community, Bruce Smith was approached about the building. After thoughtful consideration, the
decision was made to move the historic building that had been such an important part of the
Dortches community, to his property behind the Smith`s Red & White grocery store.
The Smith family wanted to recreate the space for the community to enjoy. Restoration of this well-known event venue will enable the community to preserve the past while celebrating the future...still a place to celebrate life’s greatest events.
S.B. (Sherwood) Smith was a Charter member and Treasurer of the Dortches Ruritan Club, chartered June 7, 1952. Originally built for “The Ladies Homemakers Club,” this building later became “The Ruritan Club of Dortches.” Built by the local members with timber from all the surrounding farms, all the wood was milled on site and from trees grown within a one-mile radius from the building. It was a focal point in the community because it provided a gathering or meeting place for more than just the Ruritan Club. It was used by the local Boy Scout troops, Red Oak Fire Department and for community members and for birthdays and family reunions.
A variety of fundraisers were held to support the upkeep of the building and for both clubs. The largest fundraiser was the brunswick stew sale held in the Fall. Each June was the annual fish fry with fish provided by a special fishing trip, just for this purpose. Another fundraiser that is still going on today is the sale of their birthday calendar, which has been sold for the past 67 years, since 1955. Another fundraiser was license plates sales. You may still see people today in the community with these on their vehicles. The Dortches Ruritan Club over the years has sponsored the Boy Scouts of Red Oak, provided medical alert services, and in the last few years sponsored the Foster Care Program of Nash County, providing their mascot “Rudy” bears to children in crisis. We appreciate our history and look forward to the future.