The town of Salemburg held a contract signing ceremony this past Friday morning, confirming their plans to build an addition onto the town hall in order to create a place to display items from Salemburg’s history.
The addition will be named the Salemburg Royal Hall of History, announced mayor Bobby Strickland, as the Royal family of Salemburg is instrumental in making the building and the dream of capturing the town’s history a reality.
With four members of the Royal family, all brothers, in attendance, Strickland began the ceremony with a look back at Salemburg’s past. “Fifty years ago I served as a town comissioner here and we didn’t have a building to meet in at that time,” recalled Strickland, listing off all of the places the town board found to meet which included a the hallway of a local store and a room in the fire department.
“Now, we have this nice place to meet in,” said Strickland, referring to the old Methodist church building that the town bought years ago and turned into the town hall. “We had to crawl before we could walk, and we’ve done a lot of crawling, but I think we’re up to a trot now.”
Strickland then turned his attention to the task at hand, signing the contract first with a special new pen. Contractor J.R. Williams signed second and was followed by Lee Royal who signed as a witness and on behalf of the Royal family.
Once all the signatures were made, Strickland presented Lee Royal with the pen as a gift.
“This is certainly a red letter day for Salemburg,” said Strickland. “It’s been a vision of the Royals to have a place for the town’s history for many years. I regret in a way that it has taken this long, but I think it has all worked out. If we had tried this earlier, we probably wouldn’t have the nice facility we are planning on now. Having this history hall is something I think we can all be proud of.”
Now that the contract has been signed, construction on the $99,500 addition can begin. Williams is set to begin work in two to three weeks and anticipates that the project will be completed within 90 days, weather permitting.
As for covering the cost of the addition, Strickland reported that $10,000 worth of “good” pledges had already been made, adding that once the history hall is up and running, the town will assume its expenses, like paying the light bills.
When completed, the addition will house meaningful memorabilia relating to the town of Salemburg, shared Strickland. “I have the first stoplight that was put in Salemburg. It has just the red and green lights,” Strickland added as he mentioned some of the historical items he personally has that may find their way into the new history hall.
“We do not have a committee set up yet to oversee what is brought into the hall,” noted Strickland. “We don’t want to fill it up with things that have no meaning to the town, so we will choose some people soon to help evaluate the items.”
As the ceremony ended, commissioner Joe Warren expressed his appreciation to the Royal family. “Thank you. This is somethig that will be here forever.”
“We do appreciate the Royal family for making this possible,” added Strickland. “We will be good caretakers of it.”
Lee Royal, who now lives in Greensboro but still thinks of Salemburg as home, expressed his and his families’ thanks to the town in return. “I think Bobby’s done a super job,” said Royal, referring to the six months that Strickland and Williams have spent planning and designing the history hall. “I think it will be a great addition to the town and will benefit all of the people in the town of Salemburg and really in Sampson County too.”
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.