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The NC History Center On The Civil War, Emancipation & Reconstruction in Fayetteville is bringing an open house of sorts to two Fayetteville-area churches in October. The Center will have panels that will outline the plans that historians and the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources have made thus far for the Center.

As part of this planning process, the Center is inviting the public to review the panels and give written feedback.

Responses can be anonymous. Public input is considered vital when planning a museum, and this event, similar to a college lecture followed by an open house, is part of the usual planning process.

Please help us get the word out beforehand, and then join us for a presentation at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11, at Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church on Murchison Road, across from Fayetteville State University. Exhibit designers and historians will present and lecture on the plans made thus far.

At other times during that week at Mt. Sinai and the following week, the panels and representatives from the Center will be on hand during the day to gather public input at the fellowship hall at Highland Presbyterian Church on Hay Street.

More details follow below.


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NC History Center On The Civil War, Emancipation & Reconstruction seeks public input
for exhibit content in two locations in Fayetteville over a two-week period in October

FAYETTEVILLE – The NC History Center On The Civil War, Emancipation & Reconstruction Center wants to hear from you.

Everyone is invited to join the Center for two weeks, excluding weekends, from Tuesday, October 11, until Friday, October 21, at two separate locations. The first week, the public is invited to come to the Multi-Purpose Room at Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, 1217 Murchison Road, across from Fayetteville State University. The second week, Monday, October 17, through Friday, October 21, the public is invited to the Fellowship Hall at Highland Presbyterian Church, 111 Highland Avenue.

Public input is being sought on plans for the Center, which will be depicted on panels that will be displayed for those two weeks from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. The exhibits and public input are part of the regularly scheduled design process for the Center. Members of the public are being asked to let their views be known in writing, anonymously if desired, on the Center’s initial plans.

The event will kick off with a presentation at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11, at Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church.

Gerald Eisterhold of Eisterhold Associates, the firm designing the exhibits for the History Center, will lead the Tuesday evening presentation. Members of their staff as well as representatives from the Center’s team of scholars and historians will be on hand.

The idea behind the presentation is that public participation is always a part of the process in exhibit planning. Part of Eisterhold’s work is first to research the exhibits that it will design, which it has done for clients such as The National Civil Rights Museum (Martin Luther King Jr.) in Memphis, the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas (John F. Kennedy), the Rosa Parks Museum and Library,  and national museums for the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army.

For a sample of Eisterhold’s projects, please click this link: https://eisterhold.com/client-list

The historians who are spearheading the content of the Center and who are scheduled to participate, include:

– Dr. Spencer Crew, first African American director at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, former interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and professor at George Mason University.

– Dr. Harry Watson, Atlanta Distinguished Professor of Southern Culture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who is the former director of the UNC Center for the Study of the American South and whose research interests include the antebellum South and the relationship between race and class under slavery.

– Dr. Jeffrey Crow, former director of North Carolina’s Division of Archives and History and former deputy secretary of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. He has written and lectured widely on North Carolina history as it relates to the Civil War and is the author of A History of African Americans In North Carolina.

– Dr. Darin Waters, Deputy Secretary for the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, who oversees the operations of the divisions of State History and Maritime Museums, Archives and Records, historical resources, commissions, and education and outreach. He serves on the African American Heritage Commission and is the secretary of the North Carolina Historical Commission. He was most recently a professor of history at UNC Asheville.

About the North Carolina Civil War, Emancipation & Reconstruction History Center – The Center will replace the existing Museum of the Cape Fear on the grounds of the former United States Arsenal at Fayetteville. It will use that site – destroyed by Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in the closing days of the Civil War – as a jumping-off point to examine the War as it affected all North Carolinians. It will be a  “teaching” museum and not a “collecting” museum. It will use existing scholarship from universities, coupled with first-hand accounts of North Carolina families, to examine for the first time what an entire state faced as the result of the Civil War. It will communicate that knowledge in person and online so that schoolchildren – and all of us – may learn from it. Once the project is completed, it will be owned and operated by the State of North Carolina, within the History Museums Division of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.


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