Intern pitches in at Historic Bath site

Published 2:29 am Friday, July 2, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

BATH — Zach Wallace, a rising senior at Wingate University, could get his fill of history during the school year, but he’s spending part of his summer immersed in the subject as a summer intern at Historic Bath State Historic Site.
Wallace, a native of Polkton in the Piedmont region of the state, is working on a volunteer basis through July 10 at the site, building on his education as a history major at Wingate.
“I won’t get class credits for this, but it’s something I can add to my transcript and resume,” said Wallace, 21. “It’s a chance for me to see a public history site while I’m trying to decide what to do next.”
Wallace said he’s been a history buff for most of his life.
“I’ve always liked history. It’s one of those things I’ve always enjoyed,” he said. “Since I’ve been in college, I’ve done North Carolina history, Middle Eastern history, Southern identity and early Indian history. I’ve been able to do a lot of different things, make comparisons and see how they’re different but also alike.”
While in Bath, Wallace has manned the visitors center and helped catalog vintage photographs that have been offered to the site. He’s also tagged along on tours, soaking up as much local history and lore as he can.
One project he said he’s particularly enjoyed has involved the historic Saint Thomas Episcopal Church. Working with Bea Latham, interpreter and assistant site manager at Historic Bath, he’s kept busy mapping grave sites in the church cemetery.
“We’ve made photos and a list of every grave, and we’re trying to make that small enough to be a brochure to be handed out to visitors,” Wallace said. “Right now, it’s about 75 pages, so we’re trying to condense it into something that will be a little more usable.”
Wallace said he’d visited Bath and the Beaufort County area in the past, but this is his first hands-on experience with a historic site.
“I’ve learned how much goes into it that doesn’t really have anything to do with history,” he said. “There’s a lot more to it than I thought there was. You have to have people taking care of the financial end of things and the maintenance.”
Wallace said he worked in Wingate University’s administration office in order to be able to serve as an unpaid volunteer this summer. His dedication is appreciated by the Historic Bath staff.
“Having Zach with us this summer has been a great asset to the visitors center because he came in willing to learn every aspect of the operations here and is more than willing to fill in wherever he’s needed,” Latham said. “We’ve really appreciated and counted on his volunteer hours in addition to some of the things he’s helped organize this summer. His assistance with our Past Times children’s program and his graveyard inventory that we hope to be able to offer to our visitors in the future are hopefully the highlight of his summer and ours.”