“This year was an exciting year for us,” said Dr. John Stevenson, president of the Historical Society. “It’s amazing how many books we put together. I am pleased to have served as your president.”
“Mixed Blessings” was published in 2010 after it was started in 1998 by John Hutchinson. His family and business began to grow, so he was unable to finish it. Glenn and Robbyn Sumpter took on the task of completing the book. The authors have admitted that the book is not a complete history, and that subjects are missing due to legal consideration, judgment calls and oversight. The book is for sale on Amazon.com.
Neal Cadieu gave members in attendance an update of the Leak-Wall House, located at 405 E. Washington St., Rockingham.
“Fortunately, there is nothing unusual to report on the Leak-Wall House,” said Cadieu. “Some roof leaks that dated back to long before we bought the house were finally found and corrected. Also, increased use of the second floor brought about some electrical wiring issues which were easily corrected. During the process several mummified squirrels were discovered. They had apparently developed a taste for the insulation or some old wiring and took one bite too many.”
The house needs to be painted, according to Cadieu, and he hopes the house can get a fresh coat come spring. The house receives monthly interior cleanings to reduce mold and mildew, with success.
The Leak-Wall house serves as the headquarters of the Historical Society, and as an example of historic preservation. People who drive by or visit the Leak-Wall house can catch a glimpse into the past of Richmond County.
“One of the more important uses of the house came this past spring when officials of Discovery Place were guests of Rockingham for lunch,” explained Cadieu. “The officials were still in the process of deciding on a location for a new Discovery Place KIDS. They were much impressed with the beauty and uniqueness of our facility.”
The house’s garden has been an ongoing project. Ceramic tiles on the floor of the garden platform needed to be replaced, and the project was completed last winter.
“It was a major job,” Cadieu said. “The original 1918 tiles had developed cracks which allowed water to get underneath.”
Walter Reid and his wife are the sponsors of the Leak-Wall house garden, but the garden did not meet their satisfaction due to improper pruning, fertilization and insect and disease control. An intensive two year restoration of the project has begun under the watch of architect Demarus Johnson, who drew the plans for the restoration.
The irrigation system was found to be in need of extensive repairs, and was fixed immediately. Sections of the garden’s fence were found to be severely rotted despite having been replaced five years ago. Cadieu said the Reids decided to replace the entire fence using vinyl instead of wood.
In other news:
n The Bostic School House still welcomes new and old visitors. Built in the 1880s, the school still stands today to educate young and old. Field trips and letters from all over pour in.
n The genealogy committee has completed 44 family histories, purchased books and received donations in the form of a computer system complete with CDs of cemetery records, a book on Richmond County families, and money.
n Officials were re-elected. No new nominations were made, and all the same officials took positions, apart from Treasurer, where Vickie Cox ended her term and Carolyn Ford took over. Cox and Larry Mercer received plaques from Historical Society’s President Dr. John Stevenson for outstanding achievement.
-The historic fire truck featured in the Ellerbe Farmers Parade, Ellerbe’s Old Fashioned Christmas, the Hamlet Christmas Parade, ThunderFest and Christmas on the Square has been given a new home in a bay at Cordova Rescue. The truck is still in good condition.
Staff Writer Dawn Kurry can be reached at (910)997-3111 ext. 15, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.