Search billions of records on

Historic Woodville

Preserving Woodville's Heritage

Letter to Friends of Historic Woodville

November, 2007

Another holiday season! We’ve had many blessings, and we send our
gratitude for your past support of our ambitious goals to preserve
our architecture and history. Sadly this year, we lost cherished
friends - Mary Lee Griffin, Thora Whitehead, and Jamie Whitehead,
all integral parts of our lives.

We sold the old Woodville Supply Company building in February to Mike
Scalpi, and he has almost completed his outstanding country store museum.
Mike has put his life's collection of artifacts into the store and welcomes
everyone to see his masterpiece unfold. Among his treasures: a working 1940
rockola jukebox; 1940s post office, with a mannequin clerk behind it;
re-created bar; 1900 canoe; stained glass windows; 1940s shuffleboard game;
barber poles; and kitchen/tableware, old store fixtures, signs, farm tools –
thousands of splendid pieces of Americana fill all both floors in all three
sections. The store will be open for tours during the year, and by appointment.
HGTV will film this store soon for their "Restore America" series. Meanwhile,
visit anytime and prepare to be amazed.

Bruce has worked hard to prepare the Bazemore house to put on the market.
Once sold, these funds will help us begin our final project, the creation
of a history center.

We’ve added a history of the old Bertie (Woodville) Academy to our website,
with links to two amusing news clippings of 1889 and 1913 dances at the
Academy, where you will find many of your ancestors named. The history also
includes Charles Smallwood's and W.H. Rhodes’ recollections of their lives
as students there in the 1800s.

In September, Greg Tyler led a small expedition on the river to determine
that an early 1900s long abandoned schoolhouse built for blacks was indeed
a Rosenwald School. There’s been a recent collaboration between Lowes Home
Builders and the National Trust to restore Rosenwald schools, so we are
now exploring moving it and restoring it soon (perhaps as our history center?).

We wrote two grants in 06 and were appreciative that one, Dominion Power,
awarded us $2000 to maintain Saint Frances churchyard in 07. This covered
half of this year’s SF maintenance expenses. While the average annual cost
of $1500/season for lawn care is very difficult for us, perhaps volunteered
time to mow/trim for 6 months won’t be a hardship for someone living there.
We'd be so pleased if someone could commit to this for the spring-fall of 2008.

It's been 7 years since St. Frances was painted and it is now badly peeling
and exposing the sills/boards. Also, some of you have noticed the dozen or
so woodpecker holes in the steeple. These holes allow water into the steeple
that can damage the church's interior. We need funds to repair this, and to
deter further holes with a taste/odor deterrent. We also need to remove 3
dead trees that are precariously near the church.

If you are able, we are always so appreciative of any monetary or time
donation you can provide to keep Woodville’s extraordinary character
from fading into oblivion. NC’s own nationally revered Robert Stipe died
in September; he’d voiced all of our strong feelings about saving Woodville:

"All old places... give meaning to our daily lives in ways we rarely
consider until they are gone - It is the shock of experiencing the voids
they leave behind that raises their disappearance to a conscious level...
We seek to preserve our past because we believe in the right of our cities and
the countryside to be beautiful. Here, regretfully, we must recognize the essential
tawdriness of much contemporary design and construction. Much of it is junk.
It assaults our senses. Thus, we seek to preserve the past, not only because it
is unique, exceptional, architecturally significant or historically important,
but also because in many cases what replaces it is inhumane and grotesque.”

Please send us your comments and questions.

Return to the Historic Woodville Main Page