Friday, December 7, 2012

The History Museum of Burke County

On this, the seventy-first anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, I will be surrounded by history and by history lovers. What better place to be than in a museum, the History Museum of Burke County!
Okay, so the picture is a little out of season, but that is the museum and I'll be there from one until seven this afternoon, along with several other local authors at a signing event. I appreciate the chance to be a part of this yearly event. I'm the newcomer to the crowd, yet they've accepted me with open arms.

Not only open arms, but with open books and open private collections, I might add. The folks at this museum were invaluable during the research phase of catching stories about Pilot Mountain School.

This is me on the ladder in the vault of the museum, downstairs in the dungeon where the precious records are preserved. Behind me are stacks and stacks of bound News Herald newspaper editions dating back to the eighteen hundreds. Although these are all on microfische in the county library's North Carolina room, I needed several original photographs, especially the one of the construction, the oldest picture available of the school. I found it here, in the museum.

In their education room I found a water color drawing of one of the old schools in the community that predated Pilot Mountain School, an 1885 water color drawing to be more precise. Could I use it for this project? I dared to ask. Yes, they graciously answered.

In yet another vault I discovered stacks and stacks of original ink drawings by the Burke County school superintendent from 1925 through 1963, Robert Patton, Jr. Again, permission asked and granted. What a time traveling experience that was, viewing local, state and national politics through the eyes of a very astute artist and his political cartoons. I selected two that fit into the narration of my text, but I could have picked a hundred and two.

Most of all, the docents and other volunteers at this museum helped me with fact checking my manuscript. They read over what I had written and pointed out places that needed rewording or re-researched.

Join me today and see what the museum is all about.

Catch of the day,


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