Sampson Independent

Museum’s WWI exhibit open to public

The Sampson County History Museum is paying homage to veterans and their contributions in World War I.

“A War By Any Other Name: Sampson County and the First World War,” an exhibit featuring artifacts and photographs from World War I.

“There’s an interactive and a three-dimensional component to it,” said Museum Director Chris Woodson while referring to other displays such as model airplanes and other scenes to depict life in the trenches.

It opened in early September and will continue through Friday, Nov. 30. Woodson is looking forward to showing visitors history from the global conflict from July 28, 1914 to Nov. 11, 1918.

“The events that eventually unfolded that led to World War II definitely overshadowed World War I, although a lot of what went on in the first war directly impacted the second war,” Woodson said. “Although World War I was only four years, we were only in it for less than two years. So sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle of U.S. history.”

One feature of the exhibit is Harrells native Belvin Maynard, who served as an aviator in the war. He went on to become a well-know flyer in aviation races. There’s also a helmet that belonged to Victor Small. He later became a well-known doctor in Clinton and his office is now the home for the Sampson Arts Council, Inc.

“We try make it specific to our local community as well as the war in general,” Woodson said. “It’ll be part of the regular museum tours and a bonus to the normal tours that we do. There’s a lot of neat stuff we got out on display for the first time in several years. So we hope people will be able to come by and check it out.”

Items from the exhibit will be moved inside the future military building, next to the main building. After it’s complete the 1,760 square-foot facility will include artifacts from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the U.S. Coast Guard. Another goal is to have interactive stations to enhance the experience for visitors.

Some of the other structures at the Sampson County History Museum includes the Grange Agricultural Museum, Sampson County Law Enforcement Museum, Sports Hall of Fame, Blacksmith shop, and Fire House.

The Sampson County History Museum is located at 313 Lisbon St., Clinton It’s open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more information, contact Woodson at 910-590-0007 or visit

A variety of World War I artifacts are displayed at the Sampson County History Museum. variety of World War I artifacts are displayed at the Sampson County History Museum.
Will extend through November

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.