Monthly Archives: December 2014

Happy Holidays from Currituck to Cashiers (C2C)


Thanks to members of our cultural heritage community across the state for sharing these holiday photos. Our C2C team wishes you wonderful holidays and all the best in 2015!

CurrituckKeepersHouseFt.Fisher-MurrayvilleMiddleA glimmering moon rises to brighten the dark solstice season sky behind the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. The Keeper’s House in the foreground is decked out in Christmas finery. The Murrayville Middle School Jazz Band provided holiday musical favorites at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site’s Holiday Open House.

SampsonCountyHistoryMuseumWinborne country store-MurfreesboroRowanMuseum2Santa rides a tractor at the Sampson County History Museum in Clinton. Meanwhile, the Winborne Country Store in Murfreesboro showcases seasonal greenery and treats. A gingerbread house-making event delights visitors of all ages at the Rowan Museum in Salisbury.

Transylvania Heritage MuseumThe Transylvania Heritage Museum hosted a traveling exhibit of mid-20th-century aluminum Christmas trees, coordinated by The Aluminum Tree and Ornament Museum (ATOM). Visitors enjoyed the display from Saturday, November 29th until December 20th, when the museum closed for the season.

???????????????????????????????LowerCapeFearHistSocBeautiful decorations grace the dining table of the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society‘s Latimer House. Not to be outdone in the realm of fancy adornment, Tryon Palace focuses its annual decorating efforts on a specific theme. This year the peacock (right) was the inspriration.

spinning at John Wheeler HouseZeiglerHouseParlorSimpler ornaments predominate at humbler sites. For example, candlelight illuminates a spinning demonstration at the Joel Lane Museum House in Raleigh. Stockings hang from the parlor mantle at Historic Edenton’s Zeigler House.






A parade of Santa Clause figurines ushers in the season at the Caldwell Heritage Museum in Lenoir. A tall Christmas tree brightens the stairwell at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh.

GraveyardOfAtlanticFestive decorations surround the Fresnel lens at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras.

CashiersHistoricalSocietyA crowd gathered around the pavilion on December 1st to sing carols at the Cashiers Historical Society‘s Lighting of the Town Tree in the Village Green. May your holidays be similarly filled with light, music, and many warm gatherings of friends and family.


Don’t Let Winter Weather Throw You for a Loop!

BurstPipe2With more winter weather on its way, we want to remind readers of localized disasters last winter that involved CREST’s collections recovery efforts. The Yancey County Public Library had a burst pipe (left) during early January’s polar vortex and the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum experienced a roof leak during March’s ice storm. Please review for advice and be prepared!

Thanks to Laura J. Leonard, Community Outreach Coordinator for the N.C. Department of Emergency Management for this guest post.

North Carolina encounters unpredictable weather during the winter months. In early 2014 there were four winter storms within weeks of each other that dumped inches of snow, sleet, freezing rain or ice, causing an unprecedented number of accidents and school cancellations. Single digit temperatures were also reported in many areas of the state.

North Carolina can experience a variety of winter weather patterns that provide a mixed bag of precipitation because of its proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf Stream and Gulf of Mexico.

“Winter storms are known as deceptive killers because they cause power outages, downed trees, traffic jams and accidents that leave lasting impacts on the state,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “Most deaths are not directly related to the storm, but result from traffic accidents on icy roads or hypothermia from lengthy exposure to cold. Three easy steps will help anyone get ready for an emergency: create a plan, make a kit and stay informed. Following these simple actions will help you be ready before an emergency occurs and help keep you safe.”

3 Simple Steps

  1. Write a plan, which should be a thought-out list of whom to call, where to meet and any special considerations that may need to be addressed.
  2. Build an emergency supplies kit. Besides artifact recovery materials and important institutional records – you should also include rock salt, sand, snow shovels for winter-weather-related disasters. Ensure a flash light, battery operated radio, extra batteries, and a first-aid kit are on hand.
  3. Pay attention to the weather forecast and stay informed about potential storms. The free ReadyNC mobile app also provides real-time information about opened shelters and riverine flood levels. A list of phone numbers for North Carolina power companies provides a quick reference so you can report outages. The app also provides basic instructions on how to develop an emergency preparedness plan. It is available for both iPhone and Droid devices.

During the cold winter months, be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning that can occur from improper heating. The colorless, odorless carbon monoxide gas can be deadly and is produced from fuel-burning appliances, generators and heaters. Without proper ventilation, carbon monoxide fumes can accumulate causing headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness.

To prepare your building for winter weather, add insulation to walls and attics. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows and insulate water pipes to keep them from freezing. Remember to keep generators away from the building and have a trained professional ensure proper wiring. Never run a generator in an enclosed area.

Enjoy the festivities of the winter season along with the peace of mind that your institution is prepared!



3D Printing NC Artifacts

Thanks to Professor Susanna Lee and her graduate students for the following guest post! Be sure to click on each artifact link to read and/ or listen to students’ interpretive discussions and ideas on how a 3D print could be useful for museum educational programs.

NCMOH Collections Division Chief, John Campbell, looks on as NCSU history graduate students prepare a butter mold for 3D scanning.

NCMOH Collections Division Chief, John Campbell, looks on as NCSU history graduate students prepare a butter mold for 3D scanning.

On October 7, 2014, students in Professor Susanna Lee’s Theory and Practice of Digital History class (HI 534) in the History Department at North Carolina State University went to the North Carolina Museum of History to participate in a 3D-scanning project. The project was an exploration into the cost effectiveness of 3D technology for museums and the methodological problems and challenges with using 3D technology to present historical artifacts. Students first used 123D Catch, MakerBot Digitizer, and other programs to capture 3D scans of four museum artifacts dating to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Students then posted 3D models of the artifacts to Thingiverse, an online space for sharing 3D printable objects. For each 3D model, students also provided an interpretation of its historical significance as well as an explanation of the scanning process. We welcome you to explore the 3D models that students created and interpreted.

  • Butter Mold: This butter print was made in the late 18th century, and the hand-carved design appears to be a tobacco plant. The exact origins and uses of this butter print are unknown, but the artifact represents the importance of butter-making on rural farms in early America. Furthermore, the butter print emphasizes the role of women in farm production and income.
  • Hog Scraper: This well-crafted hog scraper was likely made in the nineteenth century and used on a North Carolina plantation or farm. Little is known about the origins of the hog scraper, but this durable artifact is a great historical teaching tool for children and adults alike.
  • Tea Caddy: According to the museum’s records, this tea caddy was used at the Edenton Tea Party in Edenton, NC in 1774. The Edenton Tea Party is widely recognized as one of the first acts of political protest associated with the American Revolution.
  • Child’s Shoe: This leather children’s shoe was likely made by an enslaved craftsman named “Old Jack” in 1862 for the Nolan family of Cleveland County, North Carolina. Although little is known about “Old Jack” specifically, students used the shoe and associated records as a window into the lives of black and white Southerners on the eve of the Civil War.

Despite the high cost of 3D scanners (starting around $800), this exciting new technology may be possible for your institution to try, by partnering with area universities or other organizations. What artifacts from your collection would make the best candidates to reproduce this way?

Controlled Burn Surprises

garment storage pre-burn showing various covering materials

G'boroBurnBldgLast week C2C held our 5th Fire Recovery Workshop. We’ve coordinated these across the state—2 on the coast, one in the mountains, one in the Triangle, and this recent one in Greensboro. Past participants and long-time followers of this blog will recall that within days before these workshops our C2C team works with firefighters to conduct a controlled burn. Our staff brings shelves and a variety of objects, including metals, ceramics, wood, books, textiles, papers, and photographs. We stage some in containers and others loose on shelves or in an “exhibit” area so that participants can gauge the effectiveness of various storage materials.

Firefighters burn the mock “museum” in a fire training facility. Most of these are masonry structures with special tiles designed to absorb the heat of the fire. Consequently, after our first 3 controlled burns we were somewhat disappointed that many of the objects survived un-charred with a film of soot and a smoke odor. (We had hoped for a better range of damage for the recovery learning opportunity.) Our 4th training center was different. It was a large corrugated iron building and the objects experienced a range of damage, with those on top shelves faring much worse than those stored at lower levels.

garment storage post-burn

garment storage post-burn

taggingWorking with a masonry building once again in Greensboro, we stressed to the firefighters that we wanted objects damaged…and they delivered. They selected the basement level of their training facility for the most intense fire. Indeed, lower ceilings kept the fire near the objects’ levels. When we first entered the burn building it looked as if there would be little for our participants to recover at all. However, some containers, though destroyed, protected enough of the objects that our participants could still practice triage and treatment techniques.

Surprises and lessons from our 5th controlled burn:

  • Exhibit2Postburn
    Acrylic hoods can melt, though the artifacts inside may be okay.
  • Fire moves up, but it also moves toward any vent; consequently our table setting was not charred.
  • Even in the most destructive fires, metals and ceramics are likely to retain their forms and may be worth conserving.

If you’ve missed the last 5 of these unique workshops and want to join in the fun, our next (and probably last) fire recovery workshop will be in Fayetteville, April 13, 2015. You can register by following this link.