Lisa Barnes is a fifth generation resident of Archer Lodge. Married for 31 years to another life-long resident, Jeff Barnes, she serves as the secretary for the town’s community center on Buffalo Road.
Q: What do enjoy most about living in a small town?
I think of Archer Lodge as the Mayberry of Johnston County. I just like the community feeling that you get here. I’ve never lived anyplace else and don’t plan on it either. Archer Lodge has a community spirit. The people that were born here are dedicated to the town.
Q: How has Archer Lodge changed over the years?
My mother still lives in the home place beside Charles Barnes’ store. That’s where she was born and raised and that’s where I lived. My Dad grew up nearby. We used to know everyone in town but now you don’t. The town has changed; I guess we call that progress. The biggest problem we have now is traffic.
Q: Tell me about how you and Jeff met.
I’ve known him all my life. We grew up less than a mile from each other. Our parents were friends and I used to play with him as a child. I was good friends with his sister and still am today. We started dating in high school. Growing up, I was a tomboy who liked to ride motorcycles and play softball.
We have two boys. Hunter graduated from N.C. State and works for the Fred Smith Company. He’s getting married in May to a local girl. We don’t stray far! They just bought a house in Wilsons Mill. Tucker will graduate N.C. State next year and is studying business.
Q: You’re currently the secretary for the Archer Lodge Community Center. What are some of your responsibilities?
Everything! I’m the one people come to when they have a question. I’ve been the secretary for over 15 years. Once I had my children then I became more heavily involved. Before then, I was just enjoying the community center. Several years ago we started an email distribution list for upcoming community events. That’s how I try to keep the community informed on what’s going on.
This is an all-volunteer run organization. It’s a lot of work but very rewarding. We have so much to offer for children. In most places, the town handles the parks and recreation. Here it’s volunteers.
Q: You and your husband are both very involved in community service. How did that evolve?
It was just how we were raised. Our parents did it before us. We’ve always been involved with the town. Jeff was the fire chief for many years and his Daddy was before that. My mother played the piano and organ at church and my sister took over from her.
Q: What makes Archer Lodge so special?
It’s both the town and community center. I’ve been involved with the center all my life. I grew up playing softball there and climbing on the iconic water tower. It’s where my kids played t-ball. I hope when they have children they stay in the area and bring their kids.
It just amazes me that the generation before mine had the insight to buy the property. There used to be a school there and the community held fundraisers to buy it. Back in 1963, that was a big deal. The center is very important to the town and I don’t know what we would do if we didn’t have it. Every day it is used by families.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
My hobby is gardening and raising flowers. I just like to play in the dirt. Dahlias are my favorite. I also love zinnias because they are so easy to grow. Right now I have a lot of weeds and leaves but in the summer I’m always outside. I also grow basic vegetables like squash, cucumbers and tomatoes.
We have a place in Harkers Island so we spend as much time there as we can. My favorite pastime there is sitting on my swing on the porch and taking a nice nap!
Correspondent Laura Crosio