Recent Acquisitions

Widow’s Son Lodge No. 75 of Camden, NC 1866 by-laws pamphlet

This 1866 by-laws pamphlet was given to the museum by Widow’s Son Lodge No. 75 of Camden, NC.  Donated by Camden County’s oldest active Masonic Lodge, the pamphlet details information such as rules of governance and the names of the Lodge’s officers and members.

Moth Boat Tennis Bracelet Sail, 1929

This sail was supposedly used on the Moth Boat Tennis Bracelet for the original class regatta held on the Pasquotank River in 1929.  Moth Boats are native to North Carolina and a significant part of the state’s as well as Elizabeth City’s nautical heritage.

Ton Litter Trophy for Hogs, listing contest winners, between 1946 and 1955

Hog growing contests were important events for developing the hog population in North Carolina and to make the industry more profitable to those who had a part in it.  This ton litter trophy lists contest winners, between 1946 and 1955, along with the number of pigs in their litter and the combined weight.

1st Lieutenant Uniform, Headquarters Company, 322nd Infantry, 81st Division during World War I, worn by Chowan County resident Lloyd Eldon Griffin

Uniform worn by Chowan County resident Lloyd Eldon Griffin. He served as 1st Lieutenant, Headquarters Company, 322nd Infantry, 81st Division during World War I. Griffin also was a part of the Inter-Allied Games held in Paris during the summer of 1919. The games were a part of a joint effort of the US Army and the YMCA.

Screw Pile Tip

This is one of three wooden screw piles that were saved from the Cross Landing bridge in Tyrrell County (Scuppernong River, off State Road 1105, southwest of Columbia). Unlike today where bridge builders have the luxury of machinery like motorized pile hammers, this hand carved cypress screw pile would have been manually screwed into the earth so it could serve as the foundation of the bridge. This pile being wooden is extremely rare and has been very well preserved. This particular pile is 17” in diameter at its widest point, 72” long and weighs around 100 pounds. This is 3 or 4 feet shorter than its original length due to it being sawed off and it is still a mystery how something that size was screwed into the ground with the technology available. The screw shape of the pile is common for early bridges and would have been the technique used at the River Bridge site north of Elizabeth City. Date estimated from early 1800s to early 1900s.


Diploma, 1919, Hertford High School

Annie Sanburn Jessup (1902-1942) married in 1927 to Miles W. Brite (1891-1958). Had two children: Daniel Stevenson Brite and Miles “Watt” Brite, Jr. (1940-2021). Annie graduated on June 3, 1919 from Hertford High School. The 1920 census lists Annie living with her parents on Main Street in Parkville, Perquimans County with “No occupation” listed and her father is listed as a merchant, general merchandise. 1930 Census states that Annie is married and living in the Mt. Hermon township in Pasquotank County (State Road No. 342 Cement) with her husband Miles. Annie’s occupation is a teacher in public schools. Miles is age 38 and is a farmer and WWI veteran. There are three other boarders living at residence. All 3 list their occupation as public school teachers as well. Boarders: Evelyn Hatchmen (from Virginia, age 22, single); Julia M. Wood (from NC, age 22, single); Gertrude M. Vann (from Indiana, age 23, married at age 18).

Annie died in 1942 at age 39 with her occupation listed as housewife. She lived in Elizabeth City, RFD #1 at the time of her death. She died in Portsmouth at Kings Daughter’s Hospital of carcinoma of the tongue. She was buried in Pasquotank County. Miles dies in 1958 and is buried at New Hollywood Cemetery in Pasquotank County. Perquimans County historian Lynnwood Winslow helped with the research into Annie’s career as a teacher and stated, “As far as her teaching career, since she lived in the Mt. Herman community and taught in the 1930s, I would imagine that she probably taught at a local elementary school, which at that time probably didn't have a yearbook.  Since other teachers were boarding with her, they were probably all working close by.” 

Jenkins Spencer Loon Carving


Carved wooden loon by Oma Otis Spencer from Beaufort/Washington Counties, ca. 1955. Made of pine.

Mr. Michael Ausbon, Curator of Decorative Arts at NC Museum of History, notes that Spencer was a “storyteller for wood, coaxing each story to the surface.” Ausbon also states, “Spencer-an accomplished builder-had a deep, symbiotic relationship with wood. As a wood carver, he skillfully brought figures forth from the wood with his chisel and mallet, fashioning them into beloved treasures for his family and friends. Spencer did not create his work for profit or fame, but for personal satisfaction…He carved wood to satisfy his soul…Spencer was a visionary who saw stories held within wood reflective of his imagination.”