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Mountain Gateway Museum

address  24 Water St.
 Old Fort, NC  28762
phone (828) 668-9259

Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives

Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives

A map used as evidence in the famous 1867 murder trial of Tom Dula, the earliest will known to exist in North Carolina, and audio recordings of World War I soldiers’ oral histories are some of the highlights to be found in Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives, a traveling exhibition set to open Saturday, Sept. 1st, at the Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center in Old Fort. Featuring a total of 26 rare documents, photographs, and other media from the State Archives’ collection in Raleigh, this free exhibit offers personal, sometimes poignant, insights into some of the people and events significant to North Carolina’s history. The exhibit will run through Friday, Dec. 21. “Museum visitors will see materials that chronicle the development of North Carolina and tell some of its stories,” said Sarah Koonts, State Archivist and Director of the Division of Archives and Records, who will be the special guest at an exhibit preview and reception for Friends of the Mountain Gateway Museum (FOTMGM) members at 6 p.m. Friday, August 31, at the museum. “The State Archives preserves many well-known documents, but the stories, personalities, and struggles of individuals, families, and groups are often revealed in everyday items such as letters, photographs, and government documents and registries,” Koonts said. For example, one of the gems to be found in Treasures of Carolina is a heart-rending letter written by Martha Henley Poteet of McDowell County to her husband and Civil War soldier, Francis, who was away at war. In the letter, Martha asked for her husband’s help in naming their four-week-old daughter. Inside the letter Martha enclosed a cut-out tracing of her baby’s hand. Another treasure in the exhibit is a hand-drawn map used as evidence at Tom Dula’s 1867 trial for murdering Laura Foster in Wilkes County. A jury convicted Dula of the crime, and he later was hanged. His fate later was told in the popular ballad “Tom Dooley."
history museum exhibits;state archives
Event Info: (828) 668-9259
Price: Free
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