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Moonshine

Did you know that the term “moonshine” is said to have originated in our state, and the production of illegal whiskey has been a part of Eastern NC history for centuries? Do you have any Moonshine, Bootlegger, or Prohibition-related items or paraphernalia in your own collection? Do you have a good story or information about prohibition, moonshiners, bootleggers, local speakeasies, or liquor houses in this or the surrounding eastern NC counties? We would love to talk to you about them for our upcoming Summer exhibit, “Moonshine, Bootleggers, Temperance, and Prohibition” that will be opening on June 1st. Contact us as we’d love to hear from you!

Spring / Summer 2024 Exhibit

Our Spring/Summer show will be “Moonshine, Temperance, and Bootlegging.” It will explore the history and traditions of Eastern NC moonshiners and Bootleggers and the Temperance Movement that brought about prohibition. The Eighteenth Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919, and forbade the making of, sale, or transportation of alcohol, but it failed to keep any of those things from happening. The exhibit will open on Saturday, June 1st.

WWI Plaque Donated

This worn World War I metal plaque was recently donated to the museum by the Benton family of Wayne County. The plaque measures 7.5 X 9.5 inches and is dated 1918. It was discovered in an open field on the Benton family farm in northern Wayne County. A mystery, the Benton family does not know how it ended up on their farm or to what soldier it belonged. The 106 year-old plaque is in amazingly good condition. Apparently these plaques were awarded to American soldiers who served in Europe during World War I.

The plaque reads: “LIBERTY’S ETERNAL TRIUMPH!

A TRIBUTE TO ONE WHO SERVED 1917-1918 MARSHAL FOCH’S VICTORY MESSAGE TO ALLIED SOLDIERS” the text goes on to say: ” Officers, noncommissioned officers, and soldiers of the allied armies: After having resolutely stopped the enemy you have for months fought him with faith and indefatigable energy, without respite. You have won the greatest war in history and saved the most sacred cause – the liberty of the world. Be proud. You have adorned your flags with immortal glory. Posterity preserves for you its recognition.”

There is a space at the bottom of the plaque where the soldier’s name would have been engraved. Sadly, this soldier’s identity remains a mystery.

Black Panther Viewing

Director Jennifer Kuykendall and Assistant Director Jeff Westbrook with “Black Panther”

Thanks to everyone that came out to watch the iconic film Black Panther at the Museum this afternoon. We had a very special superhero guest drop by for photo ops and a meet and greet with kids. Thank you Black Panther!

We also want to thank all of our generous film and ticket sponsors : Dillard/Goldsboro Alumni & Friends, Inc. (OFFICIAL), BPOE #139 Goldsboro Elks Lodge, and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices McMillen & Associates Realty that made the event and free tickets possible.

Thanks to NC Party Pals for providing our Black Panther character.

Parking Lot Improvements

Did you see the backhoe and all of the trucks and equipment in the empty lot behind the museum this morning? Were you wondering what the heck was going on back there? We have exciting news! We received a grant from the state to pay for a new and much larger parking lot, and the work began today. As the number of the museum’s programs, events, and visitors increase every year, we have outgrown our original, small parking lot. This new spacious lot will provide ample space for parking and will include a planned green space with picnic tables for school groups and families. We are thrilled to be able to accommodate our many guests and to better serve the public.

Ghost of Christmas Past 2023 Review

If you took part in our Ghosts of Christmas Past Willow Dale Cemetery Walk Fundraiser on Saturday night, not only did you enjoy an evening stroll through the candlelit cemetery, you also met and learned the stories of this years cast of notable Willow Dale “residents”. Our 2023 group included Annie Dove Denmark, Kenneth C Royall, Charles Norwood, T.A. Loving, Anne Land O’Berry, Gurney Pope Hood, Civil War Mayor Privett, and “Speed” Riggs. Each had a fascinating life story to share. Join us next year to see who the featured 2024 walk individuals will be!

Museum Improvements

You may have noticed that the museum has been evolving and changing in lots of new and exciting ways in the last 5 years. This year has been especially exciting in terms of new museum programming, new events, and new community outreach.. Those positive changes are continuing this year and we are currently undergoing a project to improve our visitor experience and appearance. The old and very worn tile flooring in our back gallery and restrooms is being replaced this week with new wood-tone vinyl flooring. The space looks so much bigger now, and the new floor will provide a more level and durable surface. We have limited access to our back gallery this week, but it will all be worth it when this project is completed!

First Gulf War Exhibit

This exhibit remembers the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991 when the United States led the most diverse coalition of nations in recent history in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Shield to oust Iraqi forces that had invaded the Middle East nation of Kuwait. The government of the State of Kuwait funded this exhibit to honor the 75,000 men and women, and their units stationed in North Carolina, who served and sacrificed to liberate Kuwait. Those soldiers honored include the bases of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, U.S. Army Fort Liberty (Bragg), and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.