Sampson County History Museum celebrates 20th anniversary


Museum celebrates 20th anniversary

By Chase Jordan - cjordan@civitasmedia.com



Bettie Williams participates in the 20th anniversary of the Sampson County History Museum.


Bill Kopp, a local native and retired NASA engineer, speaks with visitors during the 20th anniversary of the history museum.


Landon Granau enjoys a pony ride.


During the celebration for the history museum, visitors enjoy looking at vehicles from the Ol’ Lightning Rods club.


Kameron and Bryson observe an 1860 Army model weapon. It was hooked by a fisherman. It was believed to have been in a Sampson County pond since the late 1800s.


Doug Carr looks at exhibits and pictures from the Sampson County Fair of 1936.


Kenneth Smith and Doug Carr look at historic books.


Children enjoy a train ride from Hubb’s Corn Maze.


Anna Peele shows Fisher King historic pictures at the history museum.


Kathy Colwell, views pictures and historic items during a visit for the celebration.


Volunteer show Sandy Meece shows visitors items inside the Wooten Store, which was moved from the town of Timothy.


Members of the Carolina Tradition Bluegrass Band provide entertainment during the celebration.


Chrissy Carr, administrative assistant for the museum, reviews pictures from the photo contest.


Carl Strickland makes hand carved spoons during the 20th anniversary of the Sampson County History Museum celebration on Saturday.


During a visit to the Sampson County History Museum, Fisher King enjoyed looking at a bright red 1941 fire truck up close.

“It was awesome,” the 6-year-old boy said with excitement about the historic vehicle used to put out fires in Roseboro.

Fisher and his mother Della King were some of the visitors who attended the museum’s 20th Anniversary Saturday. During the event, hundreds of guests enjoyed open tours of the facility created in 1997 by the late Henry “Fes” Lee Turlington and David King.

“It seems like it’s only been just a few months,” King said. “Twenty years has gone by so fast and this museum has grown so rapidly.”

After receiving a $50,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, a foundation was formed inside a 1903 two-story house on Lisbon Street in downtown Clinton. Now, thousands of artifacts are housed at the museum and other buildings behind it. Some of them are the Grange Agriculture Museum, The Holmes House, a Law Enforcement Museum and the Sports Hall of Fame.

“All of our buildings here have not cost the city or the county anything,” King said about receiving donations to increase the size of the museum.

The help has gone a long way when it comes to remembering the past.

“We need to preserve all of our history,” King said. “History is just floating away.”

As an example, he mentioned the Waccamaw Coast Line railroad car, recently sold to the Georgia State Railroad Museum in Savannah, Ga.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t preserve or didn’t have the funding to have it right here in Clinton,” King said while speaking about the history. “I don’t think people in the county realize that we lost one of our treasures when that train car left.”

But King stressed that officials are not going to let anything else slip away, with the support of residents.

“Some of these artifacts could have been sold on eBay different places like that,” King said. “Thank goodness people sold them to the museum.”

For the future, the museum would like to build a military museum, if they receive enough money to do so.

“We got so many veterans here in this county and we need a place to preserve their artifacts,” King said.

Inside the main museum, Kathy Colwell, a retired nurse and current teacher gazed at pictures with her husband Jeff Gier. She remembered working with some of the medical professionals on the walls.

“Some of it makes you feel somewhat old,” Colwell said with a chuckle.

She was impressed with the work and improvements of the museum.

“If you don’t know where you been, you don’t know where you’re going,” Colwell said.

Originally from Tennessee, Gier said he’s able to learn a lot about Sampson County and its heritage.

“When you travel around the country you find out that people have a lot more in common than you realize,” Gier said.

Museum Director Chris Woodson was pleased with the turnout throughout the day. He hopes people were exposed to the county’s history, if they haven’t visited before. Kay Raynor, president of the museum’s board, is happy about having two decades of success.

“I’m just excited that we’ve been able to keep the door open for 20 years,” she said. “It’s exciting.”

Chrissy Carr, administrative assistant for the museum, said the location is a hidden gem for the community.

“I don’t think people realize what’s lies just behind that one house,” she said.

Along with history, some of the other attractions included pony rides,courtesy of farmer Phil Hudson; Hubb’s Corn Maze kiddie train; antique cars from the Ol’ Lightning Rods; music from the Viewmasters gospel quartet; bluegrass songs from members of the Carolina Tradition Bluegrass Band.

The event also featured a photography contest, “Roots of Sampson County,” an exhibit with black and white photographs representing the heritage of Sampson County. It was organized by Vickie Crane, museum board member. Teresa Young won the People’s Choice award for her photography piece titled “Billy Goats Barn.” Kimberly Cannady’s picture “Fire truck in retirement” was selected as Best in Exhibit.

“I was very happy with the photos that were submitted,” she said. “Everyone seems to enjoy looking at them and voting for their favorite when they came in.”

Like other volunteers and supporters, she believes it’s important to remember the heritage of Sampson County. Crane believes the photography exhibit contest was a good way to do that. It will be available through the month of August.

“It’s fun to share through photography,” Crane said.

Bill Kopp, a local native and retired NASA engineer who worked with the Project Mercury and Project Gemini space programs, spoke about his work with visitors. The projects were the beginning human space lift programs of the the United States. In the near future, he plans to make contributions to the museum through artifacts.

For Volunteer Don Meece, father of Carr, walking thought the museum for the first time, he reminisced.

“I was really impressed with the stuff they had,” he said. “All you see is the building out front, but when you take a tour and go through all of the buildings, it brings back memories for me.”

Bettie Williams participates in the 20th anniversary of the Sampson County History Museum.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_1.jpgBettie Williams participates in the 20th anniversary of the Sampson County History Museum.

Bill Kopp, a local native and retired NASA engineer, speaks with visitors during the 20th anniversary of the history museum.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_2.jpgBill Kopp, a local native and retired NASA engineer, speaks with visitors during the 20th anniversary of the history museum.

Landon Granau enjoys a pony ride.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_4.jpgLandon Granau enjoys a pony ride.

During the celebration for the history museum, visitors enjoy looking at vehicles from the Ol’ Lightning Rods club.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_5.jpgDuring the celebration for the history museum, visitors enjoy looking at vehicles from the Ol’ Lightning Rods club.

Kameron and Bryson observe an 1860 Army model weapon. It was hooked by a fisherman. It was believed to have been in a Sampson County pond since the late 1800s.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_6.jpgKameron and Bryson observe an 1860 Army model weapon. It was hooked by a fisherman. It was believed to have been in a Sampson County pond since the late 1800s.

Doug Carr looks at exhibits and pictures from the Sampson County Fair of 1936.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_7.jpgDoug Carr looks at exhibits and pictures from the Sampson County Fair of 1936.

Kenneth Smith and Doug Carr look at historic books.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_8.jpgKenneth Smith and Doug Carr look at historic books.

Children enjoy a train ride from Hubb’s Corn Maze.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_9.jpgChildren enjoy a train ride from Hubb’s Corn Maze.

Anna Peele shows Fisher King historic pictures at the history museum.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_10.jpgAnna Peele shows Fisher King historic pictures at the history museum.

Kathy Colwell, views pictures and historic items during a visit for the celebration.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_11.jpgKathy Colwell, views pictures and historic items during a visit for the celebration.

Volunteer show Sandy Meece shows visitors items inside the Wooten Store, which was moved from the town of Timothy.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_12.jpgVolunteer show Sandy Meece shows visitors items inside the Wooten Store, which was moved from the town of Timothy.

Members of the Carolina Tradition Bluegrass Band provide entertainment during the celebration.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_14.jpgMembers of the Carolina Tradition Bluegrass Band provide entertainment during the celebration.

Chrissy Carr, administrative assistant for the museum, reviews pictures from the photo contest.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_3.jpgChrissy Carr, administrative assistant for the museum, reviews pictures from the photo contest.

Carl Strickland makes hand carved spoons during the 20th anniversary of the Sampson County History Museum celebration on Saturday.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/web1_History_13.jpgCarl Strickland makes hand carved spoons during the 20th anniversary of the Sampson County History Museum celebration on Saturday.
Museum celebrates 20th anniversary

By Chase Jordan

cjordan@civitasmedia.com

comments powered by Disqus