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Selma museum seeks a new home

Curator pitches partnership with town government

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SELMA— The Max G. Creech Selma Historical Museum’s curator has asked town officials to provide the museum with a new home.

Curator Mary Fuller made the request at last month’s Selma Town Council meeting on April 23. She suggested the town combine the museum and Selma Visitors Center and house both facilities in the old town hall at the corner of North Raiford and East Anderson streets.

In addition, Fuller asked the town to pay the utilities and insurance on the building, to continue to support the museum with a stipend and provide a 10-year lease for $1 given to Selma Development Partners, who had operated the museum since its inception.

Fuller said the nonprofit museum, which opened on Anderson Street in August 2012 in a building that formerly housed the Creech Insurance Agency and Johnstonian Sun newspaper around the corner from the former town hall building, has completely run out of space.

The vistors center currently operates in the town-owned Jernigan Building, which is also where the Selma Town Council holds its meetings.

“We love having the museum here, but we want to grow,” said Fuller. “We thought the bank building would be ideal. We would love a place big enough to display everything plus the visitors center would be connected to us.”

Fuller said the museum has lots of things in storage that need to be shown.

The former town hall building was constructed in 1922 as People’s Bank and became Branch Banking and Trust Co. in 1928, Fuller said. It was donated to the town in 1968 and has been empty since May 2014. She said it was first listed on the review list for the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Fuller said when the museum first opened, the late Selma mayor Charles Hester and his staff renovated the building’s interior, replacing the carpet, repainting the walls and making other improvements.

Johnston County Heritage Center Director Todd Johnson donated the museum’s display cases.

“The mission of the museum is to stimulate interest in the heritage of Selma and to collect, preserve, catalog and display articles of local significance,” said Fuller. “The museum is full of artifacts that have been donated by Selma residents and from those that have a connection to our town,” said Fuller.

Council members did not act on the request. Mayor Cheryl Oliver thanked Fuller for her presentation and said the town would be contacting her after examining the proposal’s feasibility.