Iredell County Historical Society begins new chapter
BY HALEY JONES
There’s a renewed movement for preserving local history with the rechartering of The Iredell County Historical Society Inc.
To begin the process, a group of history enthusiasts met for a year and a half, writing and preparing bylaws to be submitted to the state.
“I saw that the old society had collapsed. It didn’t exist,” member Donald Haynes said. “We set out to change that.”
A group of six people were behind the initial effort, but the group quickly found four additional members. When selecting members, organizers were adamant about choosing members who represented a diverse selection of historical areas in Iredell County.
Those 10 members include: Haynes, Andy Poore, Mike Trivette, Georgeane Easley, Sam Hall, John Kratt, John Sparrow, Harry Watt, Don Stevenson and Bill Young.
After inducting their board members, the society elected officers and decided on a name. After a month of deliberation, Haynes of Statesville was elected president; Poore of Mooresville vice president; and Mike Trivette, a Union Grove native, as secretary.
Each officer brings a unique background to the board.
Haynes was a social studies teacher of 15 years, teaching at South Iredell High and West Iredell, eventually becoming an administrator. He retired in 2000 but his interest in history has remained strong.
“I enjoy hearing other people’s interests in their local history,” Haynes said. “In fact, one of my biggest reasons for joining this society was because of my interest in local history.”
Poore is head of the history department at the Mooresville library.
Trivette, who taught agriculture for 29 years combined at T.C. Robinson High in Buncombe County and Forbush High in Yadkin County, is the president of the genealogical society of Iredell County.
With officers elected, it became time to choose a name. Haynes admits that he was one of the first to push for a continuation of the name used by the original historical society of Iredell in 1968, a society that lasted a little over a decade.
“There is significance in the name we chose. The similarity reflects a continuation of what was started early on in Iredell County,” explained Haynes. “However, our mission is clearly defined by our bylaws and our interest in pursuing and preserving history in an ever-changing society.”
The society’s bylaws define the group as constantly evolving, with the addition or change of members, interests, and procedures. However, these factors all contribute to the main purpose of the society, a goal to “be primarily educational, to promote genealogical, biographical and historical research pertaining to the County of Iredell, beginning with the period of 1740.”
The organization’s purpose lists 13 goals within that educational purpose:
- Identifying all early settlers
- Create a bibliography listing all useful books and resources on the history of the Fourth Creek and Davidson’s Creek settlements up to the end of the year 1788.
- Establish the geographical location of origin of these pioneer families and their family histories
- Prepare and publish books, monographs, pamphlets, brochures and other publications relating to the history of Iredell County.
- Give leadership to obtaining technical assistance for the proper care, cleaning and preservation of ancient gravestones
- Cemeteries, either public, private, abandoned or those under the control of churches or municipalities.
- Actively maintain a presence and regularly inspect all cemeteries in Iredell County.
- Publish on this society’s website, research relevant and appropriate historical findings pertaining to Iredell County.
- Coordinate historical findings of fact, including oral histories and share some with the appropriate faculty of Mitchell Community College and in the public and private schools for the purpose of these educational institutions writing an implementing an Iredell County history teaching curriculum.
- Participate in local Memorial Day observances and inform the public of this society and its objectives.
- Provide and cultivate any citizen of the United States or business or corporation therein to financially support the purpose and work of this society.
- Obtain funding for the above objectives, including but not limited to membership campaigns, various members’ membership fees, annual member dues, special funding efforts and the sale of various pamphlet, books, monographs, and reproduced memorabilia pertaining to the history of Iredell County.
When asked how the society chose these goals, Haynes responded:
“We discuss topics to see where the prime interest is. As we find interesting topics, we add them to our agenda. When we find something of interest, it falls under one of these 13 goals.”
The society is currently reviewing its bylaws – a long process that will always be open for discussion.
So why is the resurgence of the Iredell County Historical Society of such importance?
As Trivette points out, the society has information on some of the oldest buildings in Statesville, and other historic life of past residents such as distillery ownership, grist mills and farm life.
The group, which officially began meeting in October, meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m., with alternating meeting locations at the Statesville and Mooresville library. All meetings are open to the public.
Individuals interested in joining the Historic Society must be 18 years or older to join. Participants must fill out an application and pay an initial membership fee of $30. For more information, call Mike Trivette at email@example.com or call 704-878-5384.