Members of the Richmond County Historical Society will meet Monday at Rockingham City Hall at 7 p.m. to hear the history of Ellerbe Telephone Company from the company president, Dan Bennett. The meeting is open to the public.
Bennett will trace the family-owned telephone company from its founding in 1915 to the present. Those attending will be invited to participate by adding to Bennett’s presentation with their personal recollections related to telephone service in the county.
Telephone service had the ability to tie together a community.
“The operators knew who had recently called an Ellerbe family doctor, and where he probably was in case another family member needed to reach him,” said Neal Cadieu, society member. “And, they certainly knew much more about Ellerbe’s social life.”
From manned switchboards and party lines to Wi-Fi service, the presentation will demonstrate how Ellerbe Telephone Company has been at the forefront of innovation in the telephone service in Richmond County.
In other news:
- The Executive Board of the Richmond County Historical Society met on Sept. 6 in the Carriage House of the Leak-Wall House.
- According to the Historical Society’s monthly newsletter, the 1971 American LaFrance fire truck of the Richmond County Historical Society took a trip in August to a school event held at the Rockingham Moose Lodge. Society member Ed Snyder said even though it rained the day of the event, it went well. Snyder keeps the truck in working order so it will be available for the Richmond County Christmas Parade in Hamlet and other community events.
- Betty Wilson, through the Richmond County Cooperative Extension, asked the Historical Society to participate in a booth to be featured at the county’s 54th Annual Richmond County Agricultural Fair to be held Sept. 20-24 at the Hamlet fairgrounds with gates opening at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday. Society member Neal Cadieu said he provided her with pictures and information to be used in the display.
- Copies of the book, “Camp Mackall and its times in the Sandhills of North Carolina,” have been donated to the Historical Society and will be sold by the society on Amazon.com and the society’s website. Other books available through the society include, “No Ordinary Lives, Richmond County 1750-1900,” “Mixed Blessings, Richmond County 1900-2000,” and “The Architectural Survey of Richmond County, North Carolina.”
- The Leak-Wall House Garden rental for weddings has increased to five this year; one more than last year. Two are scheduled this month. For a fee the garden and/or house are available for all occasions. For rental, contact Neal Cadieu at (910) 895-1660.
- Trudy Watkins has donated to the society an original pencil sketch which is an illustration depicting a portion of a story entitled, “The Ride Down New Hill,” in the book, “Cotton Mill Cowboys,” by Richard Thorpe, July 1984. The sketch was drawn by Thorpe, and is of a boy inside a vehicle tire, rolling down a hill. It now hangs on a wall on the second floor of the Leak-Wall House.
-The executive committee of the society approved Ken Anderson CPA to administer accounting business for the society.
- Ned H. Dawkins presented the Richmond County Historical Society Genealogy Committee a copy of the “Dawkins Family Genealogy 1668-2010” which he compiled.
- The committee’s collection of information on General Henry William Harrington is continuing to expand.
- Requests for information from the committee are received through the email address email@example.com, or by writing to the Genealogy Committee, P.O. Box 1763 Rockingham, N.C. 28380. While such information is shared, there is a fee for genealogy research which requires much time, travel and material cost.
- Material on Richmond County Schools stored at the Leak-Wall House has been reviewed by the Genealogy Committee and pertinent genealogical material removed.