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home > Person County Historical Society > Meetings - July & August 2006
This page last updated on October 1, 2006

Person County Historical Society


The Person County Historical Society meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Pier 35 Restaurant (formerly Farmer's Supply), 35 Abbitt St in Roxboro. Meetings begin at 7:00 pm and are open to the public. If you would like to join Society members for dinner before the meeting, arrive by 6:30 pm.


August 2006 Meeting

Person County Historical Society met August 22nd at the Pier 35 Restaurant. The program this month was given by Will Paul, director of the Sappony Indian Youth Camp. Celebrating the fifth anniversary this year, this camp was held at Mayo Park for about 25 kids. The ages ranged from rising 4th graders to age 15. The kids came from as far away as Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The idea for the camp came about because they felt that the history and culture was not being carried on to today’s generation as it should be. When he was first asked, he said no. He had to research his own background to be able to tell the past life experiences of his ancestors. In doing this, he has developed a bond with more of his family than he had ever had before. Mr. Paul learned quite a few things from his family about the way things used to be such as not being able to go to town if the three arrows weren’t displayed.

There were several areas that they concentrated on teaching the children. The first was heritage such as tobacco. Tobacco is a source of living as well as a way of life, but, it was important to also teach the campers about the diseases related to tobacco, awareness and prevention. The kids even got to see that tobacco growing is a year round process. They witnessed the tobacco process from the bed preparation to sale at the warehouse.

Another area they covered was diabetes and how to live a healthy lifestyle through proper snacks and meals. They also let the kids experience belief in God by having a Bible School. Elders were brought in to tell the history and culture….working dawn to dusk, walking everywhere, things that they had to live with when they were growing up. Many other areas were taught as well such as quilting, CPR instruction, health checks, team building, and character building. Campers were taken to the cemeteries at Mayo Chapel and Calvary church. They saw the old stones and inscriptions and were amazed at them. They also have learned that the Tribal Center is a place to "come home to" for the kids. They built the bonfire pit from rocks that were gathered from all 7 homeplaces that represent the 7 surnames of the tribe along with some from Mayo Park.

This year they put on a "Native American Idol" fundraiser show at Bethel Hill School. Memory books are made each year and the kids enjoy taking them back to camp. For the quilting project, the elders sat side by side with the campers and showed them how to put the quilt top together and shared more history and culture with them.

In 2005, a book was put together called Sappony Stories Told. The campers did all the research and gathered the information from the elders for this project. The first year that the camp operated they built the Sappony Trail at Mayo Park.

After age 15, the camper can be a counselor in training. There are requirements for attendance, one being that you have to have a registered Sappony relative. Letters of recommendation for college attendees are written to attest to their giving back to their community.

We were very honored to have Mr. Paul and his mother come and share a bit of their history and culture with our group. The next meeting will be September 26th at the restaurant.


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PCHS guest speaker Will Paul describing the Sappony Indian Youth Camp.


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One of several information panels that Will Paul used in his presentation.



July 2006 Meeting

The Person County Historical Society met July 25th at the Pier 35 Restaurant. The program this month was given by Ray Bullock and Ronnie Shelton.

Mr. Bullock has been collecting model cars for more than half a century. Some of the items have been in his collection since 1953, when he was 16 years old and worked in a hobby shop. He told the story of how after the war his father took him to T.G. Brooks’ store where they had just got in a box of plastic jeeps, the first he had ever seen. It was from that point that he got hung up on collecting toys along with the model cars. Although he is partial to the Hot Wheels cars, he has many other types in his collection. One particular car, 1936 LaSalle cast iron for which he traded a bike, once belonged to a sharecropper that worked for Ruffin Woody’s father. Mrs. Woody would often give the worn out toys to the sharecropper’s kids and that’s how Mr. Bullock came to own the car that once belonged to Ruffin Woody. Mr. Bullock also reminisced about working at the bus station with his father and earning money doing various jobs such as cleaning the bathrooms, sweeping the floors, washing the bus windshields, delivering telegrams, delivering flowers, delivering suitcases to the hotel, and pumping gas, just to name a few. Some weeks he made more money than his father did.

Ronnie Shelton, creates miniature versions of original cars that raced at the Person County Speedway. The speedway was located on Highway 501 North where Georgia Pacific stands today. It was an oval track that existed during the 1950’s. He is in the process of collecting memorabilia from that era now. He had pictures of some of the old cars that were run by drivers such as Buddy Henderson, whom his father sponsored through their local garage. We enjoyed both presentations so much that we ran out of time! The next meeting will be August 22nd at the restaurant.


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Part of Ronnie Shelton's collection of miniature versions of cars that raced at the Person County Speedway


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Part of Mr. Bullock's collecton of model cars, some he has owned for over half a century.


Thanks to Becky Dalton for the photographs.

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