10/29/07 — Museum collects artifacts from local plantations

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Museum collects artifacts from local plantations

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 29, 2007 1:45 PM

Plantations will be the focus of a new exhibit opening at the Wayne County Museum Thursday.

Museum volunteer Chris Lawson is gathering artifacts for the display, which museum officials say might grow to a point where it requires space upstairs and down.

Dr. Doug Rader, a scientist whose hobby is finding pieces of items like pottery, buttons, coins and pipe stems and taking photographs of what they originally looked like, is also assisting with the search.

Lawson said the emphasis of the exhibit is on Wayne County's plantations, most of which no longer exist.

One of the artifacts, he said, is the 1700s-era bed of Dr. Andrew Bass, who owned a lot of land in Wayne County. Some of the other artifacts are a biscuit table made out of a stump, a spinning wheel and letters dating from 1834 through the Civil War.

Zena Brinson of Wayne Community College has loaned the museum an antebellum doll house called "Oak Alley" from Louisiana. And there will be a cotton gin from the Whitfield Plantation that once stood near Whitehall, which is today Seven Springs.

The exhibit will remain on display through Dec. 31, and a presentation will be held on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. called "An Evening at the Plantation." One of the speakers will be Fred Parker of Raleigh. His family owned the Bellvedere Plantation at Pikeville.

Local historian Charles Ellis also will speak, with Goldsboro Mayor Al King will talk about his family of sharecroppers and share his memories of working with a mule and plow when he was a child

Dr. Loren Schweninger of Greensboro will discuss a book he co-authored -- "In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South."

The event, sponsored by the Wayne County Historical Association, is free to the public. Refreshments will be served after the presentations. For information visit the museum at 116 N. William St., Goldsboro, or call 734-5023 after noon Tuesday through Friday.