Preserving more than bricks and mortar

Published 6:31 pm Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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To the Editor:

The American historian Gordon Wright once said, “The past is never completely lost, however extensive the devastation. Your sorrows are the bricks and mortar of a magnificent temple. What you are today and what you will be tomorrow are because of what you have been.” This is certainly true of both individuals and nations. It is also true of cities, towns, and states.

This is a topic that I have given considerable thought over the past several years. Ten years ago my husband Doug and I bought a historic home in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Both of us had a deep appreciation for history and had wanted to own an old house for a very long time. We began our search in Virginia—we lived in Hampton Roads Virginia at the time—steadily expanding our search area until we were looking in North Carolina as well.

We looked for eight years. Finally, our search brought us to Murfreesboro. We were amazed at the wealth of early historic homes, and at last our search was over. We found a wonderful house. However, as I like to tell people, it may have been a beautiful house that brought us to Murfreesboro, but it was the warm, friendly people we found here that made it home.

We joined the Murfreesboro Historical Association and met a group of dedicated people who loved history and understood its importance to the future. As Gordon Wright understood, history is an intricate tapestry of both joy and sorrow, of things done well and those we regret. But all of these things are “the bricks and mortar” of what we have become as a people and as a country.

MHA’s mission is both preservation and education. As the readers of this newspaper know, tours are offered every year to children from schools in our county and from neighboring counties. During the annual Candlelight Christmas Tour all of the museums—there are 12—are open to visitors from all over North Carolina and Virginia as well. This is not just Murfreesboro’s history, in a very real sense, it is the history of this wonderful region of North Carolina.

We are looking for people who would like to be a part of this important mission, preserving our history as we look to the future. We need individuals who would enjoy volunteering either behind the scenes or as tour guides.

If interested, please call (252) 398-5922 or stop by the Roberts-Vaughan House on 116 E. Main Street. We would love to meet you.

Suzanne Rice Deets