December 1, 2005
Dear Friends of Historic Woodville,
2005 marked a significant year for us – an end to our 7 year restoration of Saint Frances.
Historic Woodville hosted a joyful dedication/celebration of St. Frances Methodist Church's
completion on January 18, 2005. Your presence in this packed church for this long awaited
occasion was heartwarming. A huge thank you to all who came, especially to those who traveled
many hours to attend: Chuck and Mickey Arrington from Winston Salem, and Pete and Dot
Austin from Matthews, and Beverly and Gene Ayscue from Wilmington - to those who could not
attend, we hope you will visit this beautiful church soon.
No rest for the weary. The very next week, Bruce Lassiter began restoration of the c. 1750-90
Bazemore House, home to Martin, Pugh, Thompson, Smallwood, Watson, and Bazemore
families. Our goal is to use this important coastal style cottage – the oldest home in Woodville -
as a much needed source of continuing income for St. Frances' maintenance and a
future Woodville History Center. Many have expressed awe at its transformation from a nearly
collapsed house to now 'showing a real presence'. We have miles to go, but are amazed at
March brought another accolade for Historic Woodville. Preservation North Carolina's tour of
Bertie County structures brought a full busload of 47 preservationists and history buffs from all
over the state to see - among other Bertie structures, St. Frances and the Lewis Thompson home
place (where we hosted the 'end of tour' reception). Raves abounded.
In September, we held an ‘emergency’ fundraiser from your donated items we auctioned on
Ebay – we thank you for helping us raise enough funds to maintain St. Frances through May ‘06.
Another pleasant surprise was in store for us in November. Preservation North Carolina awarded
one of several prestigious Gertrude S. Carraway Awards of Merit to Historic Woodville for our
efforts in moving/restoring St. Frances. We accepted the award in Gastonia as they presented a
slide show of 'beginning to end' photographs of the church. We are very proud of this recognition.
Historic Woodville is much more than just these two directors' dreams of preserving an important
part of North Carolina’s history - it includes all who live there, who were raised here, all whose
lives have been enriched by its blessings, all who care for its significance and its preservation for
future generations. “It takes a village to raise a child”. We all are the village and Historic
Woodville is the child we hope you will nourish.
Seasons blessings to all,
Vicki and Molly