06/01/05 — Ken Dilda plans for more time on the porch

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Ken Dilda plans for more time on the porch

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 1, 2005 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Ken Dilda has resigned as president of the historical society and plans to spend more time at the museum, where the porch has been named in his honor.

Dilda announced he was resigning the night before the society's annual banquet. Dilda's wife, Carol, said the family donated $5,000 to the museum and chose the porch to bear his name.

Dilda served as president for eight years, since the organization was formed and was instrumental in establishing the museum. Karen Moore will take his place as president of the Mount Olive Area Historical Society.

The society has a 99-year lease and has finished restoring the David John Aaron Historical Museum building on Main Street. The museum is housed in a 3,000-square-foot Queen Anne style building owned by L.A. Long Jr. The building was named after Long's grandfather.

The heating and air conditioning and the security system are installed. Exhibits are coming into the museum.

But there's a lot more work to do, Dilda said.

"We need to frame a lot of old pictures that were given to the museum," he said.

He said getting the museum ready to open, combined with the duties required as president of the Mount Olive Historical Society, became a bit overwhelming. He said he plans to devote more time to the museum now that Mrs. Moore has agreed to take over as president of the historical society.

"I'm taking care of the museum until we find a director," Dilda said. "I'll do that as long as necessary. I would love to have somebody assume administration, and I would continue to be an avid supporter forever. I'm trying to spread the fun. We want more people involved."

Dilda said he knew nothing about the Ken Dilda Porch until his wife made the announcement during the annual banquet Friday night at Southern Belle Restaurant. Carol Dilda said she and their two sons, Mike and Kevin, had decided to make the donation in his honor.

The Mount Olive Rotary Club was the first to earn naming rights at the museum.

The Mount Olive Historical Society also gave a room to the Winn family, which has contributed more than $12,000 to the society over the past several years. The room has been named the Adam Winn Room in memory of the patriarch of the family who lived in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Dilda said he has received several inquiries about naming other rooms or parts of the museum, but there have been no more takers yet.

A major room goes for $10,000. The hallway on the first floor is $10,000, and the hallway on the second floor is $6,000. The museum's two bathrooms will go for $2,500 each.

Donors have up to five years to pay the commitment. A plaque is placed prominently on display in the selected area. If you want to name a room or a hall, call Dilda at 731-2779 or Mount Olive Mayor Ruff Huggins, who is also a member of the historical society, at 658-4298.

"It's a major commitment to make, and this will probably be a slow process," he said. "But the opportunity will be there for those interested."