Streetscape Exhibit in the Works
By Brantley Partin
Wayne County Museum Director
The museum is in the process of starting to display artifacts recovered from the downtown construction currently underway on Center Street and Walnut Street towards the old train depot. At the moment there are two display cases full of objects with plans to expand as more items arrive.
In 2006, the city funded a study to create a master plan of the downtown area that became known as Streetscape. The plan outlines the vision for the commercial district and its surrounding historical residential neighborhoods. Culling of the objects is dubbed “Downtown Goldsboro Artifact Recovery Project, which can be followed on Facebook.
Under the leadership of Kirk Keller with cooperation of city officials and contractors, excavated dirt is being put aside to save “gems” that help document local history. After removing the railroad tracks in 1925, the city paved Center Street about 1927 that essentially sealed everything underneath dating to the city’s founding in 1847.
So far an incredible diversity of objects include bottles, ink wells, nails, coins, railroad spikes, bullets, parts of ceramic wares, oyster shells, a Civil War era uniform button from South Carolina, and most recently a Union army issued leather shoe. In the near future the museum will have a formal reception kicking off the first phase of the Streetscape project that focuses on community involvement.
Over time we plan to incorporate these objects into exhibits that explore topics that include businesses, architecture, the Civil War, and the railroad.
Photo: Paving Center Street in downtown Goldsboro about 1927. Second from the right is former City Manager Zeno Hollowell