Want to ask a question? Click here

What is the strange place on Stone Chimney Road going toward Holden Beach?

Andrew Dunn
StarNews
Dale Varnam

Dale Varnam, owner of Fort Apache on Stone Chimney Road in Brunswick County. (StarNews photo by Andrew Dunn)

Dummies sit in police cars. A few cowboy-like figures hang from nooses. A set of toilets rests in the grass, a pair of legs coming out of one of its bowls.

It’s known as Fort Apache, and it has drawn stares from people driving down Stone Chimney Road through Brunswick County for years.

“I guess I’d just call it art,” said the owner, 59-year-old Dale Varnam.

The odd assortment is a draw to Varnam’s scrap yard business, which sits behind the fort’s walls.

He says he collects the props from movie and theatrical sets, and puts them out for people to look at.

A few pieces have drawn a little controversy from neighbors. The Confederate flag, for one.

“When you do things like that, you have a lot to deal with,” he said, also saying he means no ill-will to anyone.

But Varnam said he also wants to make people think.

“Sometimes,” he said, “it’s hard to tell the dummies from the real people.”

Varnam is also well-known in the area for his participation in a drug raid that made headlines.

In 1988, Varnam avoided prison time on three dozen cocaine trafficking charges after helping investigators indict 70 others in a wide-reaching sting, according to StarNews archived articles.

Four years later, though, he was sentenced to 35 years after pleading guilty to several breaking and entering charges.

He was released from prison in 2004, state records show.

User-contributed question by:
Maude Brown

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!


Bookmark and Share

X
Ask a question
X

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.





Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Yes
Your question:

Post a comment
X

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.





Your comment: