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The Tavern porch has been repaired, replaced and stained as part of the refurbishing process.

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The old Tavern post office fixtures are now installed in the Humphrey Law Office building which once served as a post office.

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This was a section of the corner framework of the new Wright Tavern kitchen. This section was repaired and replaced.

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This is that area of the kitchen after the repairs to the infrastructure and the wall were repaired. Both contained water damage from an old leak.

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This photograph is of the previous location of the Post Office customer service window.

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Here we see the wall that contained the Post Office boxes. These have been installed in the Humphrey Law Office next door. They will be part of a future exhibit.

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There was also water damage below some of the windows in the upstairs of the Tavern. This has been repaired also.

Check back often for further updates!

The William Bethell Chapter of the DAR Donate $10,000 to Wright Tavern!

11/18/2016

From Left to Right: Martha Stanley, Susan Bullock, Deb Mabe, Jordan Rossi (MARC Executive Director), Carol Adams, and Mary Barret (William Bethell DAR Regent)
From Left to Right: Martha Stanley, Susan Bullock, Deb Mabe, Jordan Rossi (MARC Executive Director), Carol Adams, and Mary Barret (William Bethell DAR Regent)

The MARC would like to recognize the incredible generosity of the William Bethell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, who donated $10,000 in support of the Wright Tavern Restoration project.

Thanks to their philanthropy, the MARC is able to expand this project beyond its original parameters. Now, in addition to replacing the old heating and air systems, restoring the porch, and refurbishing the southeast rooms, the MARC can improve other buildings on the Tavern complex, replace broken shutters, and much more.

Support from the William Bethell Chapter of the DAR was made possible by a donation from Serena Krohn, in honor of her late mother Alta Hendrix’s birthday. Krohn, like her mother before her, is a member of the William Bethell Chapter of the DAR. The William Bethell Chapter of the DAR also plans to use Krohn’s gift to support the DAR School in Crossnore, NC.

Named for Captain William Bethell, Sr., who served as Captain of the North Carolina militia and fought in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, the William Bethell Chapter of the DAR was chartered in 1931 under the leadership of Mrs. Morrison Bethea. Of the charter members, three were descendants of Bethell. Although the chapter became inactive during WWII, in 1947 it was reorganized thanks to the efforts of Miss Gertrude Carraway. The William Bethell Chapter of the DAR has remained active ever since.

“Our motto is ‘God-Home-Country,’” says Chapter Regent Mary Barrett, “and our objectives are Historical, Educational and Patriotic. We believe the Museum and Archives of Rockingham County helps us meet those objectives.”

The MARC is thrilled to have the support of a group of women so dedicated to local and national history.

 

An Update from Fletcher Waynick, MARC Operations Manager

09/08/2016

“With the success of our recent fundraising efforts for much needed repairs at the Tavern, I am happy to report that work has begun!

“First the mat on the front porch had to be removed to reveal the extent of damage to the structure, restoration files were searched from the 1970s restoration and rebuilding of the Tavern to see exactly what materials were used and reused.

“Fortunately much the substructure which is not visible to the public was replaced with new treated material where necessary. We will take that information and decide which is better a deck replacement or a repair. Much of the preliminary work can be done in house to save money.”

 

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In this photograph the rubber mat has been removed from the porch, revealing a bit of rot underneath.
Southeast Wright Tavern Room formally housed the Wentworth Post Office.
Southeast Wright Tavern Room formally housed the Wentworth Post Office.

Post Clean-up

Scroll down to see the “before” pictures.

News from the Summer Soiree

09/08/2016

The Wright Tavern Fund-a-Need, held at the MARC’s Annual Summer Soiree on August 13, 2016, raised $11,000 for Wright Tavern!

On behalf of the museum staff and Board of Directors, thank you to all who contributed! Your generosity helps us continue to preserve and share Wright Tavern with the residents of Rockingham County and beyond.

Wright Tavern at 200

09/01/2016

Built in 1816, the Rockingham County Historical Society excavated and restored Wright Tavern in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1971 the Tavern was placed on the National Register of Historic places and is noted as one of the finest examples of dog-run architecture in North Carolina. The following images were taken in summer 2016:

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Originally built in 1816, the Rockingham County Historical Society excavated and restored Wright Tavern in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1971, the Tavern was placed on the National Register of Historic places and is noted as one of the finest examples of dog-run architecture in North Carolina.

A Long History with USPS

Did you know that home to the Post Office was a historically accurate use of the Wright Tavern structure? One of the Tavern’s proprietors, Numa R. Reid, was also Wentworth’s Post Master from 1906 to 1913 and 1929 to 1946. Reid managed the hotel and post office business from a small frame building west of the Tavern.

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Wright Tavern in 1934, courtesy of the Library of Congress. The Wentworth Post Office is the small building on the left. Image available online at https://www.loc.gov/item/nc0309/

Source: Butler, Lindley S. Wright Tavern. Wentworth, NC: Museum and Archives of Rockingham County, 2012.

Although that building has since been demolished, today you can still see its foundation.

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Remaining stone foundation from Numa Reid’s Wentworth Post Office.

The Wentworth Post Office moved into the Southeast wing of the Wright Tavern in 1981, and vacated the premises in 2015. Unfortunately, this is how they returned it to us, dirty and damaged:

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In December 2015, immediately following the official termination of the Wentworth Post Office’s Lease, the MARC called Siler V. Rothrock of Reidsville Building and Restoration. He estimated it would cost over $12,000 to restore these spaces and the porch, which was damaged by heavy USPS mail carts. This estimate, along with the above images, were then sent to the USPS leasing office.

A rubber mat was used to cover the most extensive damage caused by mail carts.

Many months later, the USPS leasing office in Greensboro countered with an offer of $1,450 to cover the cost of cleaning. They deemed the damage shown in the photographs above to constitute normal wear and tear, for which they are not liable. USPS never sent a representative the from Greensboro to Wentworth, a 35 to 40 minute drive, to assess the damage in person.

Heating and Air

The Wright Tavern also has two heating and air systems that are 40 years old. A third system failed last winter. Quotes from Reidsville Heating and Air Conditioning suggest they will cost nearly $9,000 to replace.

Based on the anticipated expenses to restore the Southeast wing of the tavern and replace the two heating and air units, the MARC applied for a matching grant with a local foundation and incorporated a Wright Tavern Fund-a-Need into our annual Summer Soiree.