On Saturday, April 7, 2018, 10am-4pm, the Edgecombe County Veterans’ Military Museum will hold an Open House at their temporary quarters.
Edgecombe County Veterans’ Military Museum has temporarily relocated from their 106 W Church Street, Tarboro, North Carolina location to an Out Post at 509 Trade Street, Tarboro NC — just across the parking lot. Parking is still available near the museum mural on the adjacent movie theatre.
During the Open House, there will be a small exhibit on display at the Out Post, plus drinks, popcorn, and an opportunity to meet-and-greet community members.
This event is open to the public, and admission is free. Donations to the museum are appreciated.
Why is the museum in temporary quarters? Read on regarding the relocation and volunteer efforts.
Exhibits Moved for Museum Clean-up and Re-design
By Kay Whatley, Editor
On Thursday, March 22, 2018, a volunteer work day at the ECVMM brought dozens of volunteers — many hands making light work — to box and move the museum’s extensive collection of uniforms, conflict displays, the library, video tapes, models, mannequins, and souvenirs.
Working alongside local volunteers was a team from CREST: Cultural Resources Emergency Support Team. the CREST team is provided at no cost by the NC Department of Natural Resources. The team assists public and private museums/archives — like the ECVMM, which is an all-volunteer facility — with proper storage of collections in times of difficulty, flooding, or disaster.
CREST was available to ECVMM because the museum has an issue that threatened their artifacts: a colony of bats had taken up residence in the second floor attic.
Because the museum rents their building from the town, the Town of Tarboro worked with wildlife experts to encourage the bat colony to relocate. By law, bat colonies cannot be relocated, but must move on of their own accord.
It took about five weeks for the bats to move on. Then, the second floor attic was professionally cleaned, and sealed to keep the bats from returning.
Throughout late March, museum staff, regular volunteers, and local scout troops had been sorting and preparing for the move. This meant that the March 22 work day was constant parade of volunteers-with-boxes across the parking lot to the museum’s temporary Out Post, where uniforms were hung, 1,000 framed photographs stored, and boxes carefully sorted and piled.
CREST spent the work day packing and moving uniforms. Mannequins were undressed. The uniforms, helmets, and other fragile artifacts were placed in safe packing material for the move to the Out Post. CREST instructed volunteers on safe handling with cloth gloves, special plastic sheeting, and clothing hanger covers, so that the local volunteers could assist CREST in the delicate work.
Firearms and munitions were set aside, awaiting arrival of the Tarboro Police Department, who took on the responsibility of moving them into secure storage.
Before the move, many exhibits included displays of mementos donated or loaned by families of Edgecombe and Nash County veterans. The majority of these mementos were packed and labeled for storage, so that when the museum returns to their main building, exhibits can be re-displayed. A few families chose to have loaned items returned to them.
According to ECVMM’s Curator, Kelsi Dew, review of exhibits and re-design planning will be done while the majority of its artifacts are in storage. Expect a new layout and updated exhibits when ECVMM re-opens later in 2018.
Want to help? Over the coming months, there will be a need for volunteers in the temporary Out Post, and potentially with painting and cleaning of the main building. Then, volunteers will be needed to return exhibits to the museum building. Once re-opened, volunteers will be needed to help on a regular basis with exhibits and visitors. To volunteer, email or call 252.823.0891.
The Edgecombe County Veterans’ Military Museum mission is to preserve the heritage of the Veterans of Edgecombe County, for them as well as their prosperity. They served their country, let’s serve their memory.
Ed. Note: For the official statement by the museum’s Board, see this article. Photos below are from the March 22, 2018 work day.