Harmony Hall group moving forward with plans

W. Curt Vincent - cvincent@civitasmedia.com

ELIZABETHTOWN — The somewhat revamped Harmony Hall Plantation Village Board of Directors held its regularly quarterly meeting Thursday and had plenty to talk about.

The board was shaken earlier this year by the resignations of President Seth Lewis and Field Marshal Bobby Lewis, who recently passed away suddenly. But on Thursday the group was introduced to two new board members in Cyndie Harrelson and Jane Pruette.

Harry La Rock, who has served as the board’s vice-president, has temporarily assumed the role of president.

One of the more important items discussed Thursday was the need for the group to begin recruiting members.

“We really need to find people who will help us,” La Rock said. “Ten people can’t swing all the hammers and do all the painting that’s needed at Harmony Hall.

“The main building is paramount to our success out there because, without it, the rest of the buildings are … just there,” he added.

La Rock also said the N.C. State Preservation Office will be sending two representatives to Harmony Hall Plantation Village in White Oak on Tuesday to inspect the 11 buildings and tell the group what needs to be done.

“We’re not in a maintaining position anymore,” he said. “We’re in a restoration position.”

Another big topic Thursday centered around the General Store and the merchandise it has to offer visitors. The group talked about the toys from the era that have been for sale there and discussed creating a budget to place a minimal order. In addition, it was mentioned that the store needs to have some kind of snacks and beverages available.

But first, the board put Earl and Cyndie Harrelson in charge of the General Store’s operation.

“I think we also need to look at having more of the building sketches available,” Cyndie Harrelson said. “People seem to gravitate more to those than anything else.”

The board asked the Harrelsons to put together an inventory of the store’s contents, as well as work up a merchandise order for the board to approve.

In other action, the board:

— Heard a treasurer’s report that shows an overall balance of $10,409.89 as of March 31. They were also told there have been $190 in donations and $130 made at the store since Feb. 21.

— Discussed looking into changing the security system at the main house, as well as including a phone with an answering machine or voice mail.

— Approved continued work on a new brochure that will publicize a new email (harmonyhallpvinc@gmail.com), the group’s new phone number (910-866-4113) and change the mailing address to Harmony Hall’s location (1615 River Road, White Oak, N.C. 28339).

— Asked Treasurer Tony Parnell to step down, which he did, and replaced him with Eric Melvin effective immediately. La Rock said Parnell “just has too much on his plate” but hopes he will remain active with the group.

— Heard from Sunday Allen that the annual Homecoming at Harmony Hall would take place Saturday, May 14, with a living history, period costumes and hopefully events by the Bladen Militia taking place. She also said the annual Christmas Open House would be held the second Saturday in December.

The next meeting will be held July 21 at 7 p.m. at Elizabethtown Town Hall.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

W. Curt Vincent


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