06/11/04 — Adamsville exhibit shows a slice of early Goldsboro life

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Adamsville exhibit shows a slice of early Goldsboro life

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on June 11, 2004 2:01 PM

A new exhibit at the Wayne County Museum will shake up some memories of the somewhat forgotten Adamsville community.

Jenny Butler Wilder, a member of the B.F. Adams family, has helped coordinate the exhibit, titled "Remembering Adamsville" and has spent months gathering items that are connected with the over 100-year history of the community.

The items include family histories, genealogies, documents, photographs, business letterheads, advertisements, invoices, newspaper articles and church bulletins.

"We want to keep that memory alive," said Ms. Wilder.

There will be a reception for the new exhibit on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum at 116 N. William St. in Goldsboro. The event is free and open to the public and the exhibit will remain until September. It is the first time the museum has had an exhibit on Adamsville. The event will be a time for members of the Adams family and former residents to share their memories.

"We want them to experience this exhibit," she said.

Adamsville's history dates back to 1889 when a man came to Wayne County with his family to begin a new life. Marshall Lee Adams and his wife, Lorraine Godley Adams, came to the county in an ox-driven wagon from Pitt County with their three sons, James Godley, John Richard and Benjamin Franklin.

Other relatives settled down later and Marshall Adams rented 90 acres in 1903 and later bought the land near the crossroads of U.S. 70 and Snow Hill Highway, at what is today the corner of Berkeley Boulevard and Ash Street.

He cleared 40 acres and with his sons began to clear additional land to raise tobacco, cotton and corn.

The Adams home was built on the southwest corner of the crossroads. The first business to be built was a general store and a blacksmith shop, which Marshall opened in 1903. Adams' store was on the southeast corner of the crossroads and the community became known as Adams' Store.

About 10 years later the name was changed to Adams Crossroads and finally renamed Adamsville. In the 1960s, Adamsville was a thriving community of more than 500 families. The disappearance of the community began with its annexation into Goldsboro, which was completed in 1970.

"Although it no longer exists physically, it still exists in the people who lived, worked and worshiped there," added Ms. Wilder.

She said the exhibit will have pictures, maps of the area, school annuals, items from the area's businesses and transcriptions of interviews she conducted with former Adamsville residents.

She hopes that when people see the exhibit, it will help them remember items that they can add throughout the summer to make it even better. They are looking for things like photographs of families that lived in Adamsville and anything to do with the old New Hope High School, where children from Adamsville were bused to school. That school is now Eastern Wayne High School.

They would also like to display items from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, a baseball league, bowling league or any other organization that used to be in Adamsville. Anyone with any of these items should contact Dr. Lee Adams at 735-6874.

Ms. Wilder said that after the exhibit is over, the information and photographs will become a part of the Wayne County Historical Association and the Wayne County Public Library. Charles Ellis, association board member, is helping the Adams family with the exhibit.

She hopes that other Wayne County communities will follow the example and eventually have exhibits like this one.

There will be 2005 calendars featuring some of the Adamsville businesses available for a donation. The museum is handicap accessible and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 734-5023.