The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, May 21, 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.
Join this month’s speaker, Jan Davidson, Cape Fear Museum’s historian, as she takes you on a historical tour of Federal Point’s history through artifacts. Learn a little bit about what’s been acquired over the years and the stories you can tell through exploring the Museum’s collection. Cape Fear Museum has a range of items—photographs, bullets, cash registers, brochures, commemorative plates, cameras, flags, postcards, and even a urinal–that shed light on the region’s stories.
Jan Davidson grew up in Wales and moved to the US in 1988. In 2000, she earned her PhD from the University of Delaware. She worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History as the historian for the exhibit, America on the Move, before she came to North Carolina in 2005. Since that time, she has served as the Cape Fear Museum’s historian, where she researches the history of the region for talks, exhibits, and programs.
In March of 1898, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) first opened the Museum in one room on the second floor of the Wilmington Light Infantry’s (WLI) building. Since its founding, the Museum has moved around the city. It was housed in two rooms in the County courthouse annex in the late 1920s and then on the third floor of the Police Station building in the 1960s. Since 1970, it has been located at 814 Market Street, in what was a National Guard Armory building.
Just as the building and management has changed over time so too has the scope of the Museum’s collection and its mission. Originally, the institution was founded to preserve Confederate objects and Confederate memories of the Civil War. After the reopening in the 1930s, many new objects were collected, broadening the Museum’s holdings to include a wider range of historical items.
Over the decades, the collection grew to represent regional, national, and international art, history, and science artifacts. Today, the Museum draws on a collection of more than 52,000 items to help us explore a wide range of topics and to tell balanced and inclusive local stories.