Famous & Infamous Women of NC

New Winston Museum to present their stories during Women’s History Month

Everybody loves a good story and North Carolina is home to more than its fair share of them, especially stories about folks whose lives have become legend—for better or for worse—across the state and beyond. But not as well-known among these historical characters, even in 2018, are some North Carolina women whose remarkable accomplishments, and sometimes their antics, have made some notable and others notorious. 

On Wednesday, March 14, right in the middle of National Women’s History Month, those with a curious mind will hear about some of those memorable Tar Heel women in a presentation titled, “Famous and Infamous Women of North Carolina.” New Winston Museum presents this program at the Central Library auditorium at 6:30 p.m. The speaker is local, award-winning author and storyteller Randell Jones. Since 2007, he has served as an invited member of the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, a program of the North Carolina Humanities Council in service to nonprofit organizations in communities across the state. The NCHC is the funding partner with New Winston Museum for this presentation. 

“These are fun stories to hear,” says Randell, “and I love sharing them with North Carolina audiences. We’ll hear about a pioneering parachutist, a couple of rakish pirates, a masquerading soldier, a May-December marriage that helped spark the Revolution, a serial bride with a particular taste in husbands, and a special pair of multi-lingual world travelers who entertained Queen Victoria with their duets. And, there’s more, too.” 

“These stories,” Randell continues, “come from a collection of histories about some of North Carolina’s ‘more colorful’ characters. They are compiled in the book, Scoundrels, Rogues, and Heroes of the Old North State.” The stories are the work of Dr. H.G. Jones, former Director of Archives and History for North Carolina. Fifty years ago, Dr. Jones started writing a weekly history column which appeared in newspapers across the state until 1986. “When I came across that treasure trove of stories,” Randell adds, “I knew they deserved another airing, so we edited together these selected stories which have continued to impress and astound readers with
the rich and entertaining history North Carolina proudly claims.” 

“We are excited to offer this program to our community,”
says Operations Manager Alanna Meltzer-Holderfield. “New Winston Museum is a community museum dedicated to collecting and telling the stories of Forsyth County from 1850 forward. NWM’s work includes our signature Salon Series programs such as 2017’s ‘Lost, Found and Transformed: Our Storied Places in African-American History’ and our ongoing oral history initiative, StoryTap. Through April, we present the ‘Foodways to Community’ series examining local food production, land use, and culinary traditions, and how these practices shape our community.” 

“We are so pleased to be presenting in the auditorium at Forsyth County’s newly remodeled downtown Central Library,” Alanna adds. “The North Carolina Room is one of the state’s finest collections of history and genealogy. Join us on Wednesday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. And, it’s no surprise, North Carolina women continue making history.” 

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