Museum of History unveils new displays of important moments in local history

Kate Wimberly
Staff Writer

On Saturday, March 7, the Catawba County Museum of History inaugurated the public opening. New exhibits are centered around several themes important to Catawba County. The pre-existing exhibits outline gem mining in Catawba County, the local history of moonshine, racing, and church history in the area.

The veterans’ exhibit was updated with various new information and artifacts. The “People of the River” exhibit was also updated to include Native American history in Catawba County. There are also exhibits featuring sports, pottery, and other important historical and cultural memorabilia.

The entire downstairs became home to exhibits celebrating “hometown heroes,” which includes law enforcement, fire, and EMS.

In celebration of this year being the 100 years of women’s right to vote, one exhibit offers an “outside-in” perspective of women in voting. The community committee responsible for putting the exhibit together and the community events being held for the rest of the year are represented by five non-profits: the Catawba County Library System, the Hickory Public Library, the Historical Association of Catawba County, the Hickory Museum of Art, and the League of Women Voters of Catawba Valley.

“Voting is so important. These women fought so hard for the right to vote. The purpose of the league is to empower voters. We register, educate, and encourage voters. Once you realize the story of what it took for the right to vote, it changes how you see voting.

“Tennessee was the last to ratify, won by only one vote. So every single vote is important,” stated Linda Greenwell from the League of Women Voters of Catawba Valley.

There will be various events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement’s hard work and dedication coming to fruition, according to Linda Greenwell. In February, the league hosted a “Suffragist’s Tea” to honor women’s history month and kick off the events to come.

On Saturday, April 4, at 1:00 pm, there will be a historic reenactment entitled, “Rally! For the Women’s Suffrage Amendment,” located in downtown Newton on the square.

In August, the Hickory Museum of Art will open a new exhibit featuring pieces from local artists themed around the women’s suffrage movement and right to vote. Afterwards, there will be a public showing of a movie that details this important time in history.

The Catawba County Museum of History is free to the public, and they offer guided school tours for a small fee. The museum is located at 30 N. College Ave. in Newton, and is open Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. For more information, call (828) 465-0383.