Hometown history highlighted in S’burg’s Royal Hall
by Emily M. Hobbs Staff Writer
SALEMBURG — What started with a conversation with town mayor Bobby Strickland has ended up the realization of a dream for those most closely connected to the Royal family and the Salemburg community. This coming Sunday, Oct. 27, the town celebrate that dream with a ribbon cutting for the Royal Hall of History room at the Salemburg Municipal Building.
“Charles Royal, the nephew of Ammie Lee Royal, wanted to talk to me,” recalled Strickland of how the idea of the Royal Hall was birthed. “Charles said that Uncle Lee felt the need for a museum or history room in Salemburg and that he might would help pay for it.”
Thus the seed was planted. The dream of having a history room in Salemburg was put into motion. The project, which has been ongoing now for a few years, will be something that the people of Salemburg will be proud of, Strickland stressed.
“This project has finally come to fruition with the help of the Royal family,” the mayor said.
The Salemburg Royal Hall of History, as it is officially called, is attached to the municipal building, and has separate restrooms, a water fountains and storage. The room is brightly lit and is a beautiful addition to the building offering something the town will be able to continually fill throughout the years, ensuring the preservation of the community’s history for generations to come. The municipal building, which was originally a Methodist church, has changed even further from its original beginning, and is now housing many antiques, portraits, historical documents, and old fashioned items of another era.
Some items on display are a cross cut saw, a butter mold, and the first stoplight in Salemburg. Also for viewing are various doctor’s supplies that were used by the town physician, Dr. Donnie M. Royal. Royal had a penchant for checkers, and even delivered babies in town, and for 60 years was the town’s primary physician. His utensil cabinet, along with his office scales, are on display for the public to view. Other items, such as ledgers from local businesses like the C.S. Royal General Merchandise Store, are also in the room.
These items have been prepared in this room by Pauline Strickland, they mayor’s wife. She has been instrumental, all say, in working on this project and has also served in other capacities such as in the Beautification Committee and the 242 Scenic Byway Committee’s chairwoman. Mrs. Strickland has put lots of hours of work into this project and she said that she has received much enjoyment from doing so.
“We have always wanted Salemburg to be the best that it can be,” Mrs. Strickland attested. “This project has been a total surprise to me, and I have learned from it. It took more time than I anticipated but it was well worth it.”
Pauline and Bobby Strickland have worked on this project together and have also donated many items to the collection. Labels accompany items explaining their significance, as well as explaining where the items originated from and who donated them.
“This is going to be an asset to the community,” said Mrs. Strickland. “We are appreciative to the Royal family for leaving such a great legacy in their hometown that will be enjoyed both now and later by generations to come.” Some of the items, she said, are likely things younger generations may not have ever seen, including an antique peanut parcher and display that has been proudly restored.
Mrs. Strickland also showed the other photo albums that have been collected in the museum from donations from attendees of the N.C. Justice Academy as well as the the Stricklands themselves. Two large scrapbooks host a variety of items from the years that Bobby Strickland has been in office and there are hopes of creating another album to continue on the tradition. Pictures of most of the former mayors are on display as well. The hall of history also has other items about the old Salemburg schools, Edwards Military Institute, and the Pineland School for Girls.
The collection development policy for the Salemburg Royal Hall of History states that this will “collect and display artifacts pertaining to Salemburg’s history, including, but not limited to businesses, homes, schools, churches, individuals and families.” If you are interested in making a donation to the local history collection please contact the town of Salemburg.
The Salemburg Royal Hall of History is named in memory of Mayor Ranby and Carrie T. Royal and also Dr. Donnie M. and Dorothy T. Royal by Ammie Lee Royal and Gertrude P. Royal, C. Kenneth and Mary Love Royal, and the Donnie M. Royal Foundation.
The dedication and ribbon cutting will take place on Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. at the Salemburg Municipal Building, 100 Methodist Drive. The town of Salemburg can be reached by calling 910-525-5650.
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