Carraway Award of Merit: Historic Halifax Restoration Association Inc.
For its work beginning in 1954 to preserve and restore the village now known as the Halifax State Historic Site.
About the Award
Each year, Preservation North Carolina presents the Gertrude S. Carraway Awards of Merit to individuals and organizations that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to promoting historic preservation.
The awards have been given since 1975 and are named for the late Dr. Gertrude Carraway of New Bern, a leader in the successful effort to reconstruct the state's colonial capitol, Tryon Palace, in New Bern.
The Historical Halifax Restoration Association has demonstrated years of dedication in ensuring the preservation and restoration of historic buildings in the town of Halifax.
The Historical Halifax Restoration Association was formed in 1954, with Ray Wilkinson as chairman, a position he held for over fifty years. Another very dedicated member of the group, John Daniel, has also been an instrumental figure, serving as vice chairman and then recently as chairman for several years.
Due to this group’s dedication, the Halifax State Historic Site was created in the 1960s.
Its first project was to purchase the 1838 Jail, at that time, privately owned and in use as a chicken coop. Association members and the county commission came together to raise the $5,000 needed to purchase the property. Eventually they stabilized and restored the jail, where first museum in Halifax was located.
Other projects undertaken through the years include the purchase and restoration of the 1760 Owens House, the restoration of the 1760 Tap Room, restoration of the Colonial Cemetery, purchase and restoration of the 1808 Sally Billy Plantation House, and others.
The latest project, restoration of the 1838 jail, required a $95,500 contribution to the Department of Cultural Resources, the association raised. Unfortunately, long-time President Ray Wilkinson passed away in 2004 before the project was finished.
The Restoration Association also initiated an annual day of celebration of the Halifax Resolves. Each April 12th all area fourth graders are invited to visit the site and be part of special festivities marking the day in 1776 when the Fourth Provincial Congress met in Halifax and recommended freedom from England. They also learn that the North Carolina State Constitution was written in Halifax the same year.