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Past Projects

A list of past projects totaling over $37,000 invested in the community.


60th Anniversary Project: Adopt-a-Window Program for St. Paul AME Church and Preservation NC

WCHS donated $4,000 to adopt a window for restoration at St. Paul AME Church in downtown Raleigh and led a campaign to help the church raise additional funds to restore more of the 72 windows. Karl Larson and his committee did a superb job of publicizing an Open House held in February at the church to highlight the adopt-a-window campaign. The result was two extensive articles in the News and Observer, one on the front page. You may view the articles by clicking here and here. A story broadcast over WVTD can be viewed here. Over $41,000 was raised.

The window WCHS adopted is the right panel in the photo.

The Society also gave $300 to Preservation NC for an advertisement is in its annual meeting program.


Oakwood Cemetery

Donated $500 to Oakwood Cemetery to help repair damage caused by vandalism.


Oak View County Park and Preservation NC

Gave $250 to Preservation NC to help sponsor Ruth Little’s book on Cameron Park and $500 towards restoration of the Tenant House at Historic Oak View County Park.

Tenant House to the right.


Historic Oak View County Park

Gave $500 to help with the move of the Tenant House to Historic Oak View County Park.

Right: Tenant House undergoing restoration.


Yates Mill and Oakwood Cemetery

Gave $250 to Yates Mill.

Paid $450 for the restoration of the photo on Rachel Blythe Bauer’s tombstone at Oakwood Cemetery.

Right: Rachel Blythe Bauer tombstone.


B. W. Wells Association and City Cemetery

Gave $2,500 to the B.W. Wells Foundation in Wake Forest to help pay for wiring in the circa 1895 main building of Rock Cliff Farm.

Joined the Vanguard Class from First Presbyterian Church and Dean Ruedrich to restore the Devereux Plot in City Cemetery. Each entity gave $2,500 each.

Right: Devereux plot at City Cemetery.


City Cemetery and Wake Forest Historic Preservation Commission

Gave $1,000 to help stabilize the Ailey-Young House in Wake Forest, a circa 1875, Reconstruction-era home of freed slaves.

Paid $2,400 to restore the box tombstone of Mary Burges in City Cemetery. Her box tombstone was the only box tombstone with legs that was still standing in that cemetery.

Right: Mary Burges box tomb after restoration.


City Cemetery and Raleigh Hall of Fame

Paid $3,800 to restore the tombstone of Jacob Johnson in City Cemetery. He was the father of U.S. President Andrew Johnson.

Right: Jacob Johnson’s tombstone, restored.

Paid $250 for an advertisement in the program for the Raleigh Hall of Fame induction ceremony.


Wake Forest Historical Society

Gave $250 to the Wake Forest Historical Society for a new brochure.


Yates Mill, Oak View, L.L. Polk House, and Manassa Pope House restoration and other projects.

Society President Mabel Dorsey (1988-1990) initiated a movement to restore Yates Mill. The effort soon grew too large for the society. A separate group was formed to restore the mill. WCHS helped in raising money for the group as well as holding the new group’s money until they received their tax exempt status. The mill and subsequent park were restored and opened in 2006.

Right: Yates Mill, restored.

Society President Mabel Dorsey suggested to the board that the L.L. Polk House needed restoration. Society members Mabel Dorsey and Tom Norris met with N.C. State Chancellor Larry Monteith and Agricultural Commissioner Jim Graham to get their support for a new organization to restore this house of the first N.C. Agriculture Commissioner. This started as a WCHS project with Mabel Dorsey, Tom Norris, Barbara Massenburg, Tom Jordan, and others. It soon grew to a separate group. The beautiful home is mostly restored and is open today.

Under the leadership of Barbara Massenburg (1990-1992), Oak View farm began its transformation from being a rundown farm house to becoming the beautiful education park it is today. Earl Droessler (1987-1988) and Barbara Massenburg lobbied the county commissioners and others to restore the farm house and make a park out of this area. Today it is a wonderful park to educate the public about farm life in the past.

Helped to market Kelly Lally’s 1994 book, “The Historic Architecture of Wake County.”

In 1999, donated $2,000 to Yates Mill Associates for restoration of the mill.

In 2000, spent $950 to place grave makers at the graves of Martha Lane McKethan Brickell (1778-1852) and Grizelle Lane Ryan (1793-1868) in City Cemetery. These were 2 of Joel Lane’s daughters. The project was initiated by Elizabeth Norris and implemented by Anne Gordon.

Also in 2000, gave $1,500 to the Dubois School Alumni Association in Wake Forest for a sign for a 1922 Rosenwald School that was being renovated.

In 2001, gave $1,500 to the Manassa Pope House Foundation toward the purchase of a 1920 stove to help in the restoration of the house. Also gave $500 to NC State Capitol Foundation to assist in cleaning monuments. Gave $100 to Olivia Raney Public History Library.

In 2002, paid $425 for storage of furniture that was to be used in the L.L. Polk House when it was completed. Also gave $2,000 to Olivia Raney Library for microfiming Wake County newspapers. Gave $1,500 for Raleigh Heritage Trail brochures. Paid $200 for lettering on a cemetery stone.

Established a Speaker’s Bureau in 2002.

In 2003, paid for $500 for a display case for an original State Capitol Chair at the N . C. State Capitol. Gave $1,000 for the tenth anniversary of the Raleigh City Museum.

In 2004, paid $550 for a new brochure for Raleigh City Cemeteries Preservation.

In 2005, gave All Saints Anglican Church $2,500 to help pay for moving the All Saints Chapel at the Church of the Good Shepherd. They did not raise sufficient funds to pay for the move, and they returned the money. Later Greg Hatem paid to have the chapel moved.

Earlier Projects

Projects prior to 1990
Earlier Projects

In 1965, gave $100 to Raleigh’s City Cemetery. Conducted annual walking tours of Raleigh’s cemeteries beginning around 1965. These tours continue today.

In 1966, gave $100 to Olivia Raney History Library.

In 1968, paid $180 to place a bronze marker on a granite stone at City Cemetery for Jacob Marling, first professional art painter in Raleigh.

Also in 1968, asked Elizabeth Reid Murray to write a history of Wake County to be ready for the 1971 county bicentennial. She did extensive research, and it soon became evident she would not meet the 1971 deadline. The society and she dissolved the partnership. Mrs. Murray continued her research on her own, and 12 years later in 1983, published her first volume of Wake County History entitled, “Wake: Capital County of North Carolina.”

In 1971, gave $200 to Mordecai Historic Park for the Iredell-Badger Law Office restoration.

In 1972, spent $900 to publish the historic 1870 Fendol-Bevers map of Wake County.

In 1976, placed plaques in each of the four public squares in Raleigh including for Governor Abner Nash and for Attorney General Alfred Moore.

In 1977, acquired and placed a walnut showcase in the lobby of the Wake County Courthouse to display historical artifacts

In 1983, WCHS member Beth Crabtree led the WCHS to save the ca. 1810 Badger-Iredell Law Office at Mordecai Historic Park. The Society worked with the Wake County Bar Association to move the office to Mordecai Square. The WCHS also held an auction to raise funds to furnish to law office. Placed a plaque inside the law office.

Also in 1983, placed a bronze plaque on a large stone near the site of the first Wake County Courthouse at the corner of Boylan Avenue and Hargett Street in Raleigh.

In 1983, placed a plaque honoring General James Robertson, a pre-Revolutionary War hero, at his boyhood home.

In 1984, placed a plaque for Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell, a county landmark.

In 1984, WCHS President Martha G. Robinson worked with the Hope Foundation to find and place a gravestone for Governor David Stone (1770-1818). He is buried near Knightdale at his site of his former Wake County plantation, “Restdale.” Restdale was on Hodge Road, south of Poole Road.

In 1985, paid $950 and worked with several groups to erect a tombstone in Oakwood Cemetery for Adolphus Gustavus Bauer, the architect of the N.C. Executive Mansion and many other famous buildings. The society also did restoration work to the tombstone of his wife, Rachel Bauer.

In 1988, in collaboration with NC State University, held a “Preservation Pig-Picking” fundraiser for Yates Mill.

In 1997, sponsored the publication of the Raleigh pictorial history, “Raleigh, City of Oaks” authored by James Vickers. The project was spearheaded by past-president Mrs. Joan Pennell.