Searching for Serendipity in Beautiful North Carolina
Sunset on Cape Fear River
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Historic Edenton Archaeological Investigation Searching for First Courthouse Starts July 28
EDENTON, N.C. -- Even in a town's earliest days, there is a need for rules and justice. An archaeological investigation at the 1767 Chowan Courthouse Green July 28 to 31 will search for the town's first courthouse, built in 1718.
"We know there was a courthouse," says Assistant State Archaeologist John Mintz. "We will try to determine the exact location."
Mintz will work with Shawn Patch from New South and Associates, to investigate the site. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) will be used to determine the best place to undertake the archaeological excavation and how deep to explore. The GPR readings will determine where the work is done. After completing the excavation the Courthouse Green will be carefully restored to its original beauty. A generous donation from Piedmont Natural Gas to Chowan County makes this investigation possible.
"Documents tell us that the 1718 courthouse was a wooden frame building, roofed with shingles and plastered inside, built at a cost of £287," Site Manager Karen Ipock explains. She says there is a description of the building from visiting Virginia aristocrat William Byrd. "After a visit to Edenton in 1728, Byrd observed, 'Justice herself is but indifferently Lodged, the courthouse having much the air of a Common Tobacco-House.'"
Work was done on the original courthouse into the 1750s, so it probably stood until the new courthouse was constructed and opened in 1767. Additional information will benefit the site, the Town of Edenton and Chowan County.
"It would be nice to know more about how the original building functioned, the exact site and size, and about the foundation," Ipock continues. "We know the Courthouse Green has always been a center of activity where the militia drilled, markets were set up on court days, and town gatherings were held, so we hope for evidence of these activities as well."
For more information, please contact Site Manager Karen Ipock at (252) 482-2637. Historic Edenton is within the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.
NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state's creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.
Photo courtesy of NC Department of Cultural Resources
Source: NC Department of Cultural Resources
Keep Your BFF Safe This Summer
Click on the image above for Summer Safety Tips from the American Kennel Club.
"This Day in NC History"
Want to know what happened in NC on this date in history? Click on the image above to visit the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources blog that's loaded with tidbits of historical facts.
World War I and North Carolinians
RALEIGH, N.C. -- On July 28, 1914, World War I began with the declaration of war by Austria-Hungary on Serbia, following the murder of the Austrian archduke and his wife. Regional alliances led to a global conflict that provided catalysts that forever changed our world. Ultimately more than 16 million people died, including 833 North Carolinians from battle action and 1,542 from disease.
The United States initially declared itself neutral, but after two and a half years was drawn into the war by German atrocities and its attacks on U.S. vessels. President Woodrow Wilson declared war in April 1917, saying that the U.S must enter, "to make the world safe for democracy."
Like most Americans, North Carolinians were reluctant to take up the fight, seeing with horror the two and a half million casualties to European armies in 1916 alone. With the declaration of war by President Wilson, however, North Carolinians rallied to the cause. Women joined the American Red Cross, YWCA, and Salvation Army to serve as nurses in military hospitals at home and in France. Farmers grew victory acres and children grew thrift gardens to earn money to buy war bonds. Individuals and industry united to support the war effort.
The state's greatest sacrifice came through the young men sent into military service. Stirred by patriotism, many North Carolinians volunteered, but even more troops were needed. President Wilson called for registration of men aged 21 to 35 for the draft in June 1917, and in 1918 for registration of men up aged 18 to 45. North Carolina registered 480,491 men, of which 65 percent were fit for military service. Altogether 60,822 North Carolinians, 40,740 white and 20,082 black, were drafted.
At the outbreak of the war agriculture was the linchpin of North Carolina's economy, and more than 80 percent of the population was rural. Farmers fed their fellow citizens and provided crops for the voracious textile mills and tobacco factories. For the servicemen, volunteers and draftees, and the 200 servicewomen who left home for training and combat, life would never be the same. African-American and women particularly saw the war as a chance to prove that they deserved greater opportunities.
North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. They fought in the battles of 2nd Marne, St. Mihiel, and in the Meuse-Argonne, the last major campaign of the war. As part of the British army, Tar Heels in the 30th Division fought in Belgium and France in intense combat. In only five months of action in 1918, the United States suffered more than 275,000 casualties with more than 50,000 deaths.
Meritorious service earned special recognition for some North Carolinians. Robert Blackwell of Person County served in the 30th Division and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously. Samuel Parker received the Medal of Honor in 1937 for his actions at the Battle of Soissons in 1918. Another 200 North Carolinians received the Distinguished Service Cross and 12 were awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. North Carolina also sought to provide a service medal to her veterans.
France, Canada and Britain were among countries North Carolinians served with before America entered the war. Recognitions such as the French Croix de Guerre for bravery, sacrifice and heroism were awarded to some of them. Red Cross nurse Madelon "Glory" Battle Hancock of Asheville served in the British Army and was the most decorated woman of the war, in part because of her bravery in driving ambulances onto battlefields under fire to retrieve the wounded.
North Carolina will begin its four year-long observance of World War I with a wreath-laying ceremony Aug. 2 at the State Capitol. Gov. Pat McCrory will recognize surviving World War I veterans. A procession of World War I re-enactors and others will march from the legislative Building to the State Capitol at 9:30 a.m. The wreath-laying ceremony, led by Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz, will begin at 10:30 a.m.
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources through the Office of Archives and History will have other World War I programs. A special World War I exhibit at the State Fair will showcase some of the conditions and actions of North Carolina's World War I soldiers.
For additional information, please call (919) 807-7289.
Photo courtesy of N.C. Dept. of Cultural Services
Source: N.C. Department of Cultural Services