03/14/05 — Historical Association members hope to resurrect Web site

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Historical Association members hope to resurrect Web site

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on March 14, 2005 1:50 PM

The Wayne County Historical Association is hoping to resurrect its website, a tool the county manager says will not only help the organization but aid in economic development as well.

At a historical association meeting last week, County Manager Lee Smith told members that their organization is important in boosting tourism in Wayne. Having a website is a key ingredient in letting people outside the county know about the association, the museum it maintains and the more than two centuries of Wayne history.

If you don't have a website, you're missing a great segment of the people you need to be marketing," Smith said.

Smith offered to make the county's website creators available to the association to build its website. The association had a website but it "fell by the wayside," members said.

Smith told association members that they need to develop a strategic plan to help guide them in their efforts. The county's strategic plan is vital to county commissioners in preparing for the future, Smith said, and a similar plan for the historical association can help it remain viable in the years to come, he said.

He said Wayne's history is important to its future. In practical terms, Smith said, the county's history can help boost tourism. But he added that the county's history also is important because it reminds Wayne residents today of how the county has developed. That is important when thinking about the county's future, Smith said.

"If you don't know where you came from, where are you going to go?" he asked.

Smith said he believes the county government can help the historical association maintain its financial stability despite a limited budget. Smith has requested a line-item budget from every department and agency the county helps support financially. He told historical association members that the county can help them by possibly providing maintenance and other work that would cut costs.

"I think there are a lot of ways we can help you," he said. "Get me a line-item budget and we might be able to save you some money."

The association had to close the museum earlier this month while repairs are being made to its roof and electrical system.

Association members said Wayne Electric has begun work on the wiring system, which is decades old. In the wake of fires that destroyed nearby landmark buildings in the past few months, members said the county and City of Goldsboro cannot afford to lose the museum, which was built in the 1920s as the home of the Goldsboro Women's Club and was used as a USO club during World War II. The exhibits it contains are irreplaceable, they noted. Renovation plans include hooking the building's fire alarm directly to the Goldsboro Fire Department so that no time would be lost should a fire break out.

Charles Ellis said Pate has agreed to work on the wiring in phases, to accommodate the association's budget. An old fuse box, believed to the be original one in the building, has been removed and will be added to the museum's collection of artifacts, Ellis said.

Roof work, to repair some leaks, is expected to begin within a few weeks.