October 15, 2001
To all Woodville friends and family,
Not only have we moved St. Frances back home, we are almost through dressing her to make her public debut! The steeple was finally repaired under Bruce Lassiter's able efforts and craned back onto the church in the spring of this year. He has been ably securing and painting it. Next we need to paint the rest of the church's exterior and interior , roof it with cedar shakes, and begin the interior work. Alas, we have not received any money from NC Cultural Arts in four years - no agency has, as all the moneys were, rightfully so, used for the victims of Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
But private donors have given us money to begin our landscaping project. We have planted border trees using Wax Myrtles and Red Cedars and - when we get more money - will plant some more, re-seed and create a brick walkway and parking area to the church.
We have had several buildings donated to us this past year. Burges Griffin donated the Bazemore house, a coastal cottage on the corner of Weeping Mary Road and HWY 11 that was built in 1802, ostensibly the oldest house in Woodville. It has been unoccupied for 20 years, but is in remarkably good shape, and awaits funding for its restoration. Also, Woodville Supply Company gave Historic Woodville their old brick building, built in the early 1900s, with a general store and a market. The original beaded boarding, stairs, rails, and shelving is intact, and the display cases are in remarkably good shape. The roof was leaking terribly, endangering the building's structural integrity, so we immediately put a new roof on last fall. In the future, we will restore this building as an example of a country general store, and will likely house our Woodville History Center/Museum here.
Several Woodville residents' deaths have saddened us over the last few years. With Carol Urquhart's death in July of this year, we lost one of our most ardent cheerleaders - she was a devoted supporter of both Historic Woodville and Historic Hope Foundation and was the organist at Grace Episcopal Church . C.B. Griffin, Jr.'s death in March of 1999 also dealt a blow to our dwindling community a . Charlie was a community and church leader, and never failed to act in Woodville's best interests. Joe Green Whitehead's death in 1998 was particularly sad for those of us who love old cemeteries. He kept the tombstones at Grace Episcopal and St. Frances cleaned and made sure each of those churchyards were immaculate. Kate Urquhart also died in 1999 and, though she never lived here after she left in 1932, she frequently visited, and generously donated to the church, Historic Woodville, and to Historic Hope.
Our genealogy database has grown to 10,000 names with much more data. Please click here, WOODVILLE FAMILIES, to find your ancestors.
Know that your donations of time, money, gifts of items for our museum are very much needed and are tax deductible, as we are a nonprofit agency. Our coffers are empty now, and we appreciate any help that will forward our dreams to 1) soon have a church open for the public 2) restore the Bazemore house and Woodville Supply Company and 3) create a museum of our heritage.
Vicki Paton and Molly Urquhart