Saturday, February 27, 2010

Exhibit case transformation...

One of the downstairs exhibit cases was recently updated. It now features objects from Clinton A. Cilley, a Union officer during the Civil War who later made his home in Catawba County. Come see!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Murray's Mill in the Movies

While searching the archives recently, I came across an old issue of the Hickory Metro newsletter from 1996. Much to my surprise the front page showed Murray's Mill--but it looked a little bit different...turns out, Murray's Mill was the set of a 1996 NBC movie, The Lottery. It is based on Shirley Jackson's famous short story and the screenplay was written by Anthony Spinner. You can read the story here. The movie starred Keri Russell and Dan Cortese.

Another movie filmed at the Mill was Wildflower in 1991. Also a made-for-tv movie, it was directed by Diane Keaton and featured Beau Bridges and a young Reese Witherspoon.

The Mill reopens for the season March 13th. Come visit--it's famous!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter Wonderland

While most of the snow has melted from the past week, I recently found some beautiful photographs of the Courthouse with several feet of snow. These were taken in the 1940s. They are just lovely! Hope you enjoy them as well. Do you think we'll see more snow this winter?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Preservation workshop coming soon...

After the success of last year, we have decided to hold the Preservation Workshops again. The first workshop will be held on February 27 and will focus on photography. The workshop will explore the history and dating of photographs and how to identify the type of photographic process; methods on how to scan and digitally repair or enhance photographic images, and safe ways to store and display your photographic images.

Workshop participants are invited to bring one personal collection item related to the workshop topic for review by the instructor and will receive handouts and a list of preservation resources.

Pre-registration is required, and the workshops are $15.00 per person, $12.00 for members, and includes a boxed lunch. Please call 828-324-7294 for reservations. Reservation deadline is February 25th.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hyalyn "Meet and Greet"

In preparation of the Catawba County Historical Association’s exhibit on Hyalyn Porcelain, the Hickory History Center is hosting a Hyalyn “Meet and Greet.” Hyalyn employees, interns and individuals interested in Hyalyn, are invited to the event on Saturday, March 6, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Guests are encouraged to bring their own Hyalyn pieces to be identified and photographed for informational use, and past employees and interns are invited to share their memories of this popular company. For more information please contact the Hickory History Center at 828-324-7294.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day during the 1940s

At the Catawba County Museum of History, the archives hold many decades worth of an extensive newspaper collection from the Hickory Daily Record. While recently skimming through some issues from the 1940s, I found a Valentine's Day ad from The Bisanar Company Jewelers in downtown Hickory. It's amazing to think that Bisanar's has been in business in the same building since 1896 in Union Square. 114 years later the company still provides jewelry for your sweetheart, just as it did in this WWII-era advertisement. You could buy an engagement ring for less than $50! Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Smithsonian blogs about Valentine's Day

The National Postal Museum blog, part of the Smithsonian, posted a really intriguing article about Valentine's Day during the Victorian Era. Read more--I bet some of it will really surprise you! "Love and Derision; Or, Valentine’s Day Victorian Style"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy birthday, Mr. Murray!

John Lambert Murray was born on February 10, 1877 to William A. Murray and Harriet R. Murray in the Balls Creek community. William worked at the Wike and McNeil mill and eventually bought Wike's half around 1883, making him the first of three generations of Murrays to run the mill.

Around 1898, John bought the mill from his father and ran the business until it closed in 1967. " We made wheat into flour and corn into meal, and we shipped in a lot of wheat besides what we ground for farmers around here," said John Murray when interviewed for his 100th birthday.

In 1901, John married Minnie Cleola Minges. The couple had ten children: six sons and four daughters. All of the boys worked in the mill at one time or another. One son, Loyd, even took over the business when John semi-retired.

His wife died in early 1967, and John lived by himself in his house above the mill until just after he turned 100, when he went to live at Hickory Heath Care Inc. John was not alone in his picturesque setting - at least four of his children lived around the mill, as well as nieces and nephews.

When he died on January 4 , 1982, John was the oldest resident in Catawba County. One son and two daughters preceded him in death, but his surviving family included two sisters, five sons, two daughters, 20 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowy and Serene

I [Jennifer] drove past Old St. Paul's one morning and saw a beautiful image of the lines of tombstones through the snow. I drive by there almost every day, but seeing it in the snow made me pause for a few moments. Think of how many snows the Old St. Paul's church and cemetery have seen. It was a very peaceful and quiet morning; only two cars drove by in the 20mins I was there.

Monday, February 8, 2010

It's Valentine Week!

The Harper House/Hickory History Center will be hosting a Victorian Valentine party on Sunday, February 14 from 2 until 4 pm. The event is for all ages and will feature light refreshments and the chance to make your very own valentine to take home! Learn about valentine traditions, view the exhibitions in the Lyerly House. The event is free. Tours of the Victorian-style Harper House are available for $5. Hope you see you there!

War stories galore among county vets

War stories galore among county vets

The CCHA is beginning a project interviewing local men and women involved in WWII.

The filmed interviews will become a complementary piece of the county museum's exhibition of "Spirit, Sacrifice, and Commitment: The Catawba Soldier in WWII."

Catawba County veterans from all branches of service may volunteer by calling 828-465-0383.

Know a good nominee? Call the same number, leaving the individual's name and contact phone number. We look forward to preserving and sharing their stories.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

North Carolina Schools May Cut Chunk Out of U.S. History Lessons - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

North Carolina Schools May Cut Chunk Out of U.S. History Lessons - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

Posted using ShareThis

Fox News reported this earlier this week. It does seem a little bit alarmist after reading a follow up from the Raleigh News & Observer, but North Carolinians should be very aware of how state and national history is taught. What do you all think about the potential changes? Comment below!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mill in Magazine

Have you checked out the latest issue of the Conover publication, Sophie Woman's Magazine? A gorgeous photograph of Murray's Mill is in the Shutterbuggerz section, submitted by Terry Berry. Scroll down to Photo #83 to view. You can even vote for your favorite pics in their monthly contest.

The February issue is available now at many stores and restaurants around the area. Great local stories, ads, advice...and it's free!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow Day

The Catawba County Museum of History in the snow that fell this weekend.

We'd like to thank the City of Newton Facebook page for sharing this photo! Stay safe everyone--the Museum will be open again on Wednesday, 2/3, from 9 until 4.