Looking ahead to preserve the past

Our history is important, and preserving it is vital, not just so we can enjoy it today but so generations to come might have the opportunity to wander through it, learn from it and appreciate the historical roots from which we came.

Much of Sampson’s rich history can be found within the confines of the Sampson County History Museum, a virtual buffet of our past housed in multiple buildings on the grounds. But even the eight buildings that house thousands of unique artifacts, space is limited and many golden treasures remain hidden from view.

That is especially true of Sampson’s military history. The museum possesses over two centuries of military artifacts as part of its collection. Sadly many of those pieces are currently in storage because there is not enough room in which to display them properly.

It’s not something the museum’s board of directors want, it’s something they simply cannot do anything about until more room is found.

Attempts are under way now to add another building to the museum’s grounds, a facility that would be designated to house the significant catalogue of military history. But constructing such a facility costs money, funds which the directors and museum supporters must seek from private sources.

And those private sources include our readers, many who have taken tours of the museum and shared with us their love of the rich history found around the grounds and within the walls of all its existing buildings.

According to museum director Chris Woodson, the museum’s mission is to honor the heritage of Sampson County’s contributions to the United States Armed Forces and preserve this rich history for future generations.

We are behind them 100 percent in that endeavor, and we hope others across our great county and beyond are, too.

As a not-for-profit educational organization whose function is to preserve and interpret the material history of the county, the History Museum is reliant upon community partnerships and the generosity of residents here and beyond. That will be particularly true as they continue to mount this campaign to build a facility for house the military artifacts that represent Sampson’s part in the Armed Services through the years. Artifacts such as Lt. Geddie Herring’s Medal of Honor award, and Dr. Victor Small’s helmet and a gun used during the Civil War. That, of course, only scratches the surface, but what an important surface it really is.

Fundraising is ongoing as museum directors work to raise upwards of $220,000 for the construction of the facility.

Because of the endeavor, Woodson and directors have established different levels of giving. They are: Major General – $25,000; Rear Admiral, $10,000; Master Sergeant, $5,000; Brigadier General, $2,500; Patriot, $1,000; Battalion, $500; Company, $100.

There is a level for nearly everyone who can afford to give something.

And that’s what we hope people will do – give something. We believe the facility is much needed in the continual process to preserve our rich history for generations to come.

For those interested in giving, call the museum at 590-0007, or send an email to schm@intrstar.net.

With this endeavor and so many more, the History Museum truly is “Looking ahead to preserve the past.”

Giving to History Museum’s building fund will make a difference