M’boro group praised for promoting heritage tourism

Published 6:21 pm Saturday, May 16, 2009

MURFREESBORO – “Heritage tourism” is a key element in the economic success of Northeast North Carolina, Vann Rogerson, executive director of North Carolina’s Northeast Commission, told the annual meeting of the Murfreesboro Historical Association Thursday, and Murfreesboro sets the standard for taking advantage of that asset.

“You guys really have it going already,” Rogerson said. “You have done a tremendous job of selling yourselves…”

Rogerson was the keynote speaker at the luncheon meeting at John’s Seafood & Steaks.

In a special presentation at the close of the meeting, Association member Carole Farnham, on behalf of former Murfreesboro resident Bob Carr, unveiled a print engraved by William Ward and published by J.R. Smith on Dec. 28, 1789.

The presentation was in memory of Carr’s wife, Mary Lou. The Carr’s lived in the Morgan-Myrick House in Murfreesboro near the Hertford Academy for about 10 years. The print, titled “A Visit To The Boarding School,” Carr said, probably was a scene repeated many times at the Hertford Academy where he hoped it would hang.

Farnham made the presentation because Carr was unable to travel to the meeting and because she chaired the Association’s Acquisitions Committee while arrangements for the presentation of the print were under way.

The meeting also saw the election of the Association’s officers and board of directors for the coming year.

John Woodard will again serve as the organization’s president. Brenda Watson was named its vice president, and Treasurer John Sullin and Secretary SuEllen Askew were returned to their posts.

Board members whose terms will expire in 2010 are: Brenda Davis, Carole Farnham, Carol Lassiter, Dale Neighbors and Arthur Warren.

Board members whose terms will expire in 2011 are: Susan Alston, Danny Blowe, Lynnette Bunch, Sarah Wallace and Shirley Brown. Brown was elected to fill the unexpired term of Watson, who was elected vice president.

Board members whose terms will expire in 2012 are: Tim Barnes, Phyllis Bryant, Linda Hasse, Ed Rainey and Linda Warren.

Two of the organization’s members – John Sullin and Bob Hill – were recognized for extraordinary service during the past year. Each was presented a gift certificate to The Commons.

In his annual report to the association, Woodard noted that the Roberts Vaughan House, which is home to both the Historical Association and the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce, is now being scraped and soon will be painted.

He said a PowerPoint presentation promoting Murfreesboro has been developed and presented at three different meetings. The presentation was developed, he said, by Kay Mitchell-Thomas, tourism development officer of the N.C. Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development, as well as a member of the Association, by Brenda Watson, and by himself.

He said the Planning and Development Committee is working to enhance the association’s mission statement and is assessing its educational materials to determine if changes are needed or new materials should be developed.

Concluding his report, Woodard told the group of about 50, “I want to thank you all for all you do and all you have done.”