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This page last updated on October 1, 2006

Person County Historical Society

September 2006 Meeting

Person County Historical Society met September 26th at the Senior Center. The program this month was given by Phyliss Boatwright, author of Person County Past, Tales from the Central Piedmont. Phyliss enjoyed our meeting because of the informality….being able to switch locations when our regular meeting place was closed and after the treasurer went to a fast food place to get dinner so we could continue on with the meeting.

Phyliss had written articles in the Courier Times newspaper, worked with the Person County Historical Society on the Long House research, worked with Oscar Scott Woody on the post office research, and Roxboro Uptown Development on preserving buildings. All this inspired her to start thinking about writing a book….then, she got an email from History Press in Charleston. With South Carolina being her home state, that made it just that much more tempting to accept their offer. They wanted some one to do a book, so she decided she would. After getting the contracts and legalities aside, she used resources such as the Heritage Books, Reminiscences, Joe Burke’s columns, and writings by others for the stories and background information. The publisher wanted 25-30 articles, about 1000 words each. It took her about a year to put the book together. Phyliss submitted three photos (Palace, Depot, and the Courthouse) for the cover and the publisher chose the Palace picture. And she credits Jean Newell with being her inspiration to keep going.

Since this book was published, she has gathered enough information and stories to start another book. But, this time Phyliss would rather the format be more along the lines of conversations with Person county people. She would love to include Miss Bessie Daniel in this next book, and use the tapes Miss Bessie made for the background research. Phyliss said she wished she could have met her since she seems to be a very interesting character from all the stories she has heard.

Since we have such interesting and rich heritage here in Person county, Phyliss would love to continue telling the stories of our people. We had a very interesting discussion about Shakerag, Moriah, and Goshen, just to name a few places. And many people had lots to say about the Palace Movie theatre and attending school with Mr. Hester as principal. It was a very fun evening for this young whippersnapper that grew up in a neighboring county.

The next meeting will be October 24th at Pier 35 restaurant, if the transition is completed by then. If not, please check with the Historical Society office or contact one of the members for an update. Our thanks to Eileen Mikat for providing the chicken and fixins for our meeting. She’s quite a cook…and fast, too.

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