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— People & Places —

The annual meeting of the Rowan Museum was held Nov. 21 in the Messinger Room to celebrate 60 years of programming and service to the community.
Guests enjoyed the exhibits and tours of the Museum before going to the Messinger Room to have a dinner of chicken and dumplings and all the trimmings prepared by local caterer Debbie Suggs.
Margaret Basinger, president of the Museum’s board of trustees welcomed guests and presided over the business meeting.
Basinger shared that the community should be so thankful for the vision of Alice Cannon Slater Guille, who was instrumental in establishing the Museum and served as its first president, and also as the director of the museum.
Ernest Hardin, who led the Museum for many years, spoke after Basinger. During his tenure, the Museum acquired the 1766 Old Stone House.
His daughter, Elizabeth “Lib” Hardin Taylor, spoke next. She chairs the Museum’s annual antiques show.
Taylor is credited with the Museum attaining the 1854 courthouse for its use.
Edward P. Norvell oversaw the transformation of the courthouse into the Museum, and raised money, raised money and raised money.
Paul Brown’s business acumen and Dick Huffman’s legal expertise led the Museum into its present stage of respect as one of the finest Museums of its size in the southeast.
Basinger, elected to the Presidency of the Museum in late 2012, noted that Rowan Museum is still a private, non-profit facility.
Terry Holt, on behalf of the board development committee, presented the following for the Class of 2016 for the Board of Trustees: Margaret Basinger, Rockwell; Jessica Goodman, Salisbury; Grady Hall, Salisbury; John Holshouser, Salisbury; Terry Holt, Salisbury; Elliott Mathis, Salisbury; Sandra Roakes, Salisbury.
The nominees were accepted by the membership unanimously.
Holt also noted the resignation of Ann Kennerly Fryar of China Grove and thanked her for her service to the Museum.
Reports were given on the 60th annual Antiques Show, which was a huge success. Kudos were given to Lib Taylor, chair, and Virginia Robertson, Missie Alcorn and Trudy Thompson for securing the dealers.
Kaye Brown Hirst, executive director, gave her annual report on the programs and services of the Museum, and recognized staff members and volunteers, noting that Uta Braun had retired after almost 15 years of service.
She noted that the Museum was recently given Mrs. Guille’s personal scrapbook, a treasure trove of wonderful articles and such about the early years of the Museum.
The scrapbook was a gift from Ester Bruce Lusk, granddaughter of Mrs. Guille. Lusk, a resident of Lake Lure, was in town recently to attend the Museum’s 60th anniversary gala.
Tricia Denton Creel, education coordinator reported on educational programming, specifically noting school tours and summer history camps. Her daughter Shaylee, 10, told the group how great her camp experiences had been.
Hirst shared that Simon Connolly, senior at North Rowan High School and a candidate for Eagle Scout could not attend. His project was building a stone walk at the end of the kitchen at the Old Stone House going down to the trail. It will keep dirt from washing away.
Basinger recognized Virginia Robertson and her gala committee for all their work with the 60th Anniversary.
Special guests were Mary Henderson Messinger and her sons, Dyke and Tim. The Messinger Family was honored with gifts of the Museum’s Salisbury Visuals Book for their gift for the renovation of the Messinger Room in summer of 2013. The Room is named after Mary’s husband, the late Richard “Dick” Messinger.
Basinger shared the recent acceptance by the Board of the offer from the Brown-Fisher Family Association to build a much-needed parking lot on the Old Stone House property.
Basinger reminded the guests of the upcoming special events including the Gingerbread House workshop, and Old Christmas at the Old Stone House.
Guests were given a collage print of the community as they left.

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