N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--August 1997

JDM Preserving and Sharing History

Oxford - Behind the courthouse is a small red building that once housed the county’s jail. Thanks to the work of judicial district manager Royster Washington and other members of the Granville County Historical Society that building now houses the Granville County Museum.

"We found what appear to be original bars from the county’s first jail in the walls of this building as we renovated it," Washington says as he enters the museum and points to the bars on display.

In 1970, the county built a new jail and area women’s clubs leased the old jail to display items related to the county’s history. Three years ago, the historical society obtained the lease, renovated the building and opened it in June 1996 as the county museum.

Washington is past president of the society and has helped raise funds to purchase historic documents and objects. On display in the museum are some documents the society purchased including letters exchanged by a confederate army officer and a soldier’s wife who asked that her husband be allowed to return home to help her through the final days of pregnancy.

The museum opened with an exhibit featuring the county’s architecture. Heritage and Homesteads, a book on the county’s architecture and history was published by the historical society and helped to raise funds for the society. The current display looks at the county during the civil war.

"We want to share our history with the people coming through Oxford, especially with Granville County’s young people," Washington said. The museum draws visitors from the interstate and students from area schools. It’s open three days a week, Thursday through Saturday.

Washington clearly finds Oxford County, her people and her history exciting and he’s willing to share that passion for local history with people who detour off I-85 into Oxford to stop by the museum.

NC DOC Correction News- August 1997
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