Our second partner in Bertie County is Historic Hope Plantation, which is a foundation that runs the Hope Plantation historic site in Windsor, NC. The Foundation was established in 1965 by Bertie County citizens concerned about the fate of the decaying Hope Mansion. According to their website, the site’s “mission is to provide educational, cultural and recreational benefits for the public by the preservation, maintenance and the administration of Historic Hope Plantation as an element of the heritage of the Roanoke-Chowan Region and as an illustration and interpretation of agrarian life in Eastern North Carolina from 1760 to 1840.”
The majority of materials in our first batch from Historic Hope are materials relating to the running of the site, including a very large collection of brochures and programs detailing fundraisers for the museum, as well as visitor pamphlets. The brochures tell a story themselves, showing how historic house museum interpretation has evolved over time, since the earliest one in 1956 to present day 21st century interpretation that is less decorative arts focused and more focused on telling the story of all those who lived and worked at the plantation, particularly enslaved people. Some of the staff’s research is also included in the batch, including the court documents of those newly freed men and women who attested their cohabitation before the Civil War ended in order to gain recognition of marriage from the state, as well as research papers written by those affiliated with the site.
Other related Bertie County materials are also included, particularly a 1954 yearbook from W.S. Etheridge High School which served the Black community of Bertie County before integration.
To learn more about Historic Hope Plantation, visit their partner page.