Ghost Tour in Goldsboro

What better way to spend a full moon night than at a Ghost Tour?.

Our guide for the evening was in full Confederate uniform. While I tried to get a good picture after 20 plus tries I ceased, letting the ghosts get their way.

We started our evening at the Wayne County Historical Museum where chairs move across the floor and telephones ring where there is no phone.

The Monticello

At our next stop, the Monticello, make sure to bring toilet paper to the potty as the ghost in residence is a toilet paper stealer..

The new Wayne County War Memorial

The prior war memorial was destroyed during a mysterious fire. When the fire marshall reviewed the fire photos he saw a firefighter in a place where he knew no firefighter was. Also, no one recognized this firefighter. Many years ago a firefighter was killed on a roof in a similar location to where the current picture showed him……..

This is the Wayne County Court House. Individuals were hung from the tree in front of the court house. A gray mist floats nightly in front of this hanging tree.

On to the Waynesborough House …. In this hotel Union soldiers stayed during their Goldsboro encampment. Residents have been known to see these soldiers in uniform before the hotel lobby fireplace. Other common sightings are cats, dogs, and children running through the hotel halls.

Our guide continued recanting story upon story of ghost sightings throughout Goldsboro. Many of those in their historic homes have come to accept the ghost and even welcome them as a house sitter. One couple left for vacation returning to find their water heater had burst. The ghost had rolled up the carpets and there was little damage. What a hoot!

Our final stop on the ghost tour was Goldsborough Bridge Battlefield on the outskirts of town. As a Yankee among Southerners I was a wee bit scared but ventured forth praying the entire time.

Here in the dead of night we walked through the woods of the battlefield in darkness experiencing the smell of oil burning and shadow people in the trees. Shadow people are spirits which have not crossed and appear as dots of light in the darkness. Our group saw many of these.

As our guide predicted, (who we learned is a Goldsboro police officer and paranormal investigator), electronic devices – watches, cell phones go haywire here as spirits pull energy from the devices.

What an experience.. It is life changing.

Here is the information. Next tour September 6th at 7:45 pm

Ghosts of Goldsborough Tour

Tour is 3 hours long. $15 per person. Wear comfortable shoes. And you even get a Goldsboro t-shirt.

Night Shift

So, how do I get to do all this traveling? After retiring and getting healthy I was bored. Unable to get a nursing job in Florida, I decided to take it to the road. It is fascinating seeing different parts of the country and 12 hour shifts afford the ability for much time off. Three shifts a week gives 3 to 4 days a week to cruise the country.

While nursing is challenging the benefits outweigh any grief with this schedule. And the money helps. As I travel I am finding more in my age range are traveling. While unsure of their reasons they offer much to the profession in their experience and knowledge.

So, questions answered let’s move on to visit more of our beautiful country and meet the great folks who inhabit it.

We are so blessed to live here.

A Tour of Historic Goldsboro

This fascinating tour began at the Wayne County Museum with Jennifer, the museum director, as our guide. It is a must do for residents and newbies to the area, and occurs twice a month. Contact the museum for specifics. Don’t forget the water and comfortable shoes.

After introductions Jennifer explained the origins of the museum. It began as a Women’s Club by Mina and Gertrude Weil for the ladies of Goldsboro to hold meetings. Mother Mina and daughter Gertrude went to the bank for a loan however were declined as they needed husband approval. Instead of going that route they ran a cafeteria in town along with an Esso Gas Station, and by 1927 had enough funds to pay for most of the building. Upon the demise of the Women’s Club the building was used as a health department and library. In 1988 it became the Wayne County Museum.

Currently, there is a fire fighter exhibit at the museum and on the second floor a USO tribute. The second floor stage also provides for community theater, most recently The Odd Couple.

Leaving the museum area we visited our first destination, The Goldsboro War Memorial. This was constructed in 2004 after the former memorial burned.

Goldsboro was a city formed from the convergence of three different railroads. It was a strategic site half way between the capital Raleigh and coastal New Berne. In 1847 it became the county seat.

Since the city was a junction stop who better to name it after than a train engineer, Matthew Goldborough. Eventually, the name was shortened and stuck.

And why did it take till 1847 to create the city? Prior to 1847 the area was inhabited by Tuscarora Indians and the European settlers came after the Indian Wars.

Our next stop was the Wayne County Court House of 1913.

This building is on the National Historic Site Register. An addition was completed in 1994. There is an interesting historic court room inside. Should you wish to visit contact the County Court Clerk for information.

And where would a court house be without law offices? The picture on the left is the Dortch Parker law office from the 1800’s era. The yellow house on the right was Mr. Dortch’s home. The home is owned by a private family.

Next stop: The National Bank of Goldsboro. This remarkable structure was a bank and later a senior center.

Streetcars once ran through the center of the town to the displeasure of its residents. Despite complaints the train companies ignored the residents request to handle the problematic soot which lent to fire. In 1927, in the dead of the night townspeople tore up all the tracks. While the railroads wanted to sue they couldn’t as the entire town was involved in the endeavor.

On to the Hotel Goldsboro..

This is the 5th hotel to hold this space. David Weil, grandson to the original Weil family renovated the hotel in 1977, and it is now used for affordable housing. Aren’t the windows and terrace beautiful?

The Mission Shop in the retail district sells wares to assist females of need. It was formerly a telephone office transmitting calls throughout the area.

Further down Center Street is another fascinating, historic building, The Gidden Jewelry Store. As our guide stated this store was the “TIffany of its day,” operating as a jewelry store for 130 years. In front of the store is the oldest clock in North Carolina.

Near to Giddens is the Maxway Department Store which was once the location of the Weil Department Store. The Weil’s were German Jews who arrived in Goldsboro in the mid-1800’s. They began their business in merchandising.

Across the street is a former opera house which held 900 seats. Hurricane Hazel removed the second floor so only retail space remains in the now one floor complex.

On the next corner, The Well Travelled Beer sits as a bar and package store, It was formerly a grocery store.

And what do you do with a former gas station? Well, you make it into a flower shop!

This next spot has much history. While it now holds a cigar shop in years past it was the Pepsi bottling plant. At that time Joan Crawford, a famous actress, was married to a Pepsi executive. Taken on a tour of Goldsboro her driver was so concerned for her safety he concealed a gun in the car glove compartment.

The Weil Brothers Homes

Both Weil homes hold interesting history. At one time they were identical, however with new owners the color combinations have changed. The home on the right was the home of Gertrude Weil, whose mother was Mina and father Henry. The home on the left belonged to Henry’s brother, Solomon, and his family.

The homes are adorned with wood trim, and the Henry Weil home has an elevator. These were the first homes in the area to have flush toilets. The Solomon Weil home was gifted to the city as the first public library. Both are now private residences.

This home was occupied in the Civil War by General Shofield of the Union Army. Later it became the residence for the librarian and was also home to a local judge.

At this point my pen ran out of ink, however I was able to purchase another. So, let’s continue….

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church was built in 1856. The stained glass windows were designed by an individual who worked in the Tiffany studios in New York City. Union army soldiers attended church services here during their encampment in Goldsboro.

Ever wonder what this thing is? It’s the Million Gallon Water Tank built in 1938. The diameter is 87 feet.

Then further down the street is the former Goldsboro Fire Department, a remarkable Art Deco building. Retail and rental space is planned for this historic and beautiful structure.

The Goldsboro Town Hall built in 1902 stands tall with Lady Liberty to the left, and Justice to the right. Once marble statutes they were later gilded.

The sculptures on Center Street are leased by the City for a year. Every October residents vote for sculptures to inhabit these open spaces.

Now on the home stretch.. This is the Weil Esso gas station.

And as we near departure, a tribute to the Air Force. Goldsboro is home to the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the city slogan is, “We love jet noise.”

St. Mary’s is another historic church. It was founded in 1889 by Lebanese immigrants related to the Mt. Olive pickle founders. Twice a month on Sunday at 5:30 pm Latin mass is conducted here.

Wow. What a great tour by Jennifer, our knowledgeable Museum Director and tour guide. I’ve only given the highlights so make it a point to take the entire tour. As I stated earlier, and worth repeating, it’s a must to do.

Church On-line

Note: While not all like or appreciate Catholics, read on as this is an ecumenical blog. And who knows, something said may provide comfort.

Since there aren’t many Catholic churches in the South attempting to meet the church requirements for weekly mass working 7 pm to 7 am is challenging. In my visit to Duke University I found this resolved as they had an on-line service.

As I turned on the Duke University Catholic mass site a count down appeared. Seeing this as a good sign, (with my limited computer abilities), I waited and songs of a Broadway caliber began followed by a priest walking to the altar.

Father Mark did the service with his gospel addressing our latest American gun violence tragedy. He started by saying this is a sign of the times reflecting on the readings which stated that troubled times have always been, and asking us to trust in God.

He then mentioned each of us need to act. This can be done simply by cultivating kindness and love to overcome the violence which all of us harbor. He challenged us to start with our own hearts, then move to our collective heart. These were powerful words… and as we all know, words can be powerful or hurtful. They have lasting effects.

While this form of church service eliminates the community portion of worship, Father Mark’s words were certainly a blessing, comfort, and thought provoking. I hope you felt that way as well.

Thanks for reading and as always, “It’s Kathleen, and if you don’t like what I say it’s still Kathleen.

Odom Farm Party: Hens Only

Signing up for this event I had little idea what to expect only that it sounded fun, and it was difficult to get a reservation. Luckily, someone declined and I received a late minute invite. Since this spurred my curiosity even more I was on my way!

The evening began with sun and a cool breeze as I drove to this unknown location through the farmlands of North Carolina. Allowing cars to pass at record speed on this back road I pursued at the speed limit relying on Waze and my instincts to find the place.

Once seeing the sign I turned down a dirt road passing Whiskey, the farm horse as the sign said, and found a gazebo like structure with a small shed to the side and port a potties. Under the gazebo were many “hens,” (women), clucking so I surmised this must be the place.

After leaving the car I walked into the area taking a seat at the picnic table. This was no ordinary picnic table as it was adorned with fine china, cloth napkins, silverware, and gorgeous sunflowers in small milk bottles.

As the hens clucked I listened to stories of a husband’s heart attack regaling this was the second one, and with a stent placed by the female doctor he was back to work in 4 days. Apparently, the ’95 heart attack took 4 months for recuperation and wasn’t medicine amazing! Then stories of returning to school and getting their classes in order began. Apparently, this was a teacher table.

The hens to the right of me discussed places they wished to visit. Since I had been to all of them I was able to add to the conversation. The group leader then announced prayer and we were off to the buffet table.

A small repast of pulled pork sandwiches, tomatoes, chips, and of course, Mt. Olive pickles, was served. Dessert was a selection from blueberry or chocolate chip cheese cake which had a graham cracker crust, and whip cream topping served in 3 oz ball jars. What a delicious fete.

Next was a visit to the animal yard where a cow, several goats, and a rambunctious mule were viewed. Here we received our first peek at the spectacular sunflower fields. Oh, wouldn’t Jennifer Aniston, whose favorite flower is the sunflower, loved this party. And maybe Van Gogh would get another painting out of it.

After our visit to the animals where one brave rooster, (man), showed us around, he drove 25 hens to the even more spectacular sunflowers at the far end of the field. Giggles and laughter continued as more stories were shared on the hayride. These new stories involved grand kids and telling them the Jesus story if they wish to have a return visit to grandma’s. While I wasn’t quite sure what the Jesus story was it enlightened me.

Arriving at the new field we disembarked the wagon and explored the new field which was filled with another explosion of yellow beauty as the sun set. As we shared clippers more socialization occurred with many oohs and aahs exclaiming the flowers beauty.

Time to return to the gazebo and leave. Dismounting the hay filled wagon the donkey continued to run by cavorting and jumping with no one still unable to catch him, even me with a camera..

In a calmer moment.

The end to a delightful evening with many memories, and new stories. This is the second year of the event, and surely this will become an annual event. The Odom’s also have a Corn Maze and Pumpkin Fest which begin 9/21.

Maybe we’ll meet there.

Train Show at the YWCA

Have you ever been to a train show? Well, next time you hear of one, go, and if you have kids or grand kids, take them along. I even think your adult son or daughter would get a kick out of it, too, or shall I say toot, toot?

Here at the Y the members of the Sipping and Switching Society of North Carolina pulled into the gym for a weekend of stops with their HO gauge beauties.

These enthusiasts range in age from 20 to 76. Their displays included town and business scenes with box cars, tank cars, double stacked, and passenger cars.

And did I say noise? Well, while a picture captures a thousand words but unable to transmit the signal noise through this blog.

To get the full effect here’s the view from above.

And look what these enthusiasts need to carry their trains.

I’ve found a new hobby. Does Amazon sell train conductor garb for females?

They certainly do. Ha! Ha!

Kinston, North Carolina

Kinston is an interesting town which is in the midst of rebuilding its downtown area. The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center is part of that renovation with its new exhibits. This ship was the one of three ironclad ships of the Confederate navy and tells the story of the crew living on this vessel. Take the guided tour to learn more.

Down the street from the CSS Neuse is a brew house which has tours, tasty beer, and a gift shop. The Mother Earth Brewing Company was an interesting find. Stop by.

Also on the night of my visit was National Night Out Against Crime. This is where law enforcement and the community get together for a meet and greet.

But perhaps the jewel in Kinston’s crown is The Chef and Farmer Restaurant owned and operated by PBS television celebrity, Vivian Howard of A Chef’s Life.

Ms. Howard is a long way from New York City where she and her husband chilled soup in their small Harlem apartment bathtub. She now resides on a farm close to where she grew up, and manages a restaurant of over 30 employees. Her parents lured her back to the area in 2005, with the rest history.

Now on to the food..

Since this was my post birthday celebration the sky was the limit. I started with the RBG cocktail which was refreshing and tasty.

Next was the Flash Fried Collards. A must have. They were crispy and tasty. Large portion for a $6 price.

For a small plate I tried the NC Tuna Crudo. This had peach gazpacho, compressed watermelon, and radish. Wish there was less sauce and more watermelon as the watermelon really gave the tuna pizzazz…

North Carolina Tile Fish was the large plate and done to perfection with the creamed corn, okra, green tomato chow-chow… YUM…

Dessert was the Baked Carolina. It came frozen so I should have went with the server’s suggestion. Oh well..

Sitting at the counter was a fun experience. Grab a seat there. Watching the chefs are the main event.

There is small gift shop in the restaurant with t shirts, sauces and glassware.

Overall, another year of adventure to come. Thanks, Kinston for the wonderful visit.

Great Bathroom Sculpture

Every other Thursday night.. July and August downtown Goldsboro, North Carolina, comes alive with a concert series sponsored by a local merchant, Bicycle World. This was a perfect evening of sun, light breeze, and music accompanying a lazy night.

Food, beer, and other fare were consumed by many.

And while a police presence was evident, they tended to stay obscure.

The band played originals as well as Motown, rock and roll, and even some Bob Dylan. Their song Sweet Carolina Girls, “they’re the best in the world,” resonated with the crowd.

As folks milled around I assessed the crowd of 300 enjoying the night and music as they socializing with neighbors.

Girls of all ages were dancing.

And a two men dancers piqued my interest with their acrobatic moves. What energy.

It was good to see Americans coming together, venturing out on a night like this, taking a deep breath, and spreading community.

We are so blessed to live in America.

I Bought a Dog..

While it’s not a real dog I had to have her. I couldn’t stop laughing as this creature sashayed and barked across the Walmart counter. Those energized with 2 AA batteries are much easier to care for than the Purina type. This little girl won’t lament when I bring out the suitcases, and sulk up to the day of departure. For $4.97 she is an answer to a prayer. What a deal.

Here she is with her friends..

Leaving the store she was placed on the car’s dash. This is where she will reside along with the other novelties which make me smile. After placing her there I patted her back side at every stop light and watched her bark and parade along the dash. I looked forward to each red light. What a hoot.

Walking and barking across the dash.

Thinking back I recall the many quarters my daughter was given 30 plus years ago when she wanted curios from the bubble gum machines. While I thought twice, as being a single parent quarters add up, I usually acquiesced. And quite frankly, those 25 cents delights often saved me from costly aggravations. They were worth every penny.

With inflation the price is now $4.97, but, what fun. She needs a name. Any ideas?

A Historic Mental Hospital and Patient Care for the Mentally Ill

“The journey of 1,000 miles begin with one step.” -Lao Tzu

Governor Cherry

This is one of the many quotes which adorn the walls and screens of Cherry Hill Hospital in Goldsboro, North Carolina. How true. Cherry Hill is a hospital which came from inspiration. It began in 1878, and accepted its first patient on August 1, 1880. Named at that time, “Asylum for Colored Insane,” it has gone through many name changes to become Cherry Hospital in 1959, honoring Governor Cherry who expanded mental health services.

While at inception it served the African American population, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, required all be admitted to the facility. Early treatment focused on farm work done on the hospital lands, however, by the 1950’s medication came into being radically changing patient care.

Today, mental hospitals focus on talk therapy, medication, and groups as the key elements for patient treatment. The treatment mall in mental health hospitals focus on groups such as:

  • Cognitive Skills
  • Caring for plants
  • Life skills
  • Daily news concerns
  • Interpersonal skills
  • How to be independent
  • Understanding how the legal system works
  • And a myriad of art and music classes

Why do I write this blog? Mental health concerns are an issue which pervade our society, especially living in these fearful times. Only knowledge can change the fears. Recently, the British royalty have taken on this issue, and much literature supports their endeavors.

Thank you for reading this blog.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King, Jr.