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Historical exhibit to open Thursday

Pieces of Beaufort County history have been trickling in to the Beaufort County Arts Council this week for an exhibit honoring the county’s 300-year anniversary.
Arts Council executive director Joey Toler said a wide variety of items have been donated by local residents.
Among them are old postcards and photographs, bottles from local dairies and bottling companies, Civil War currency from the Bank of Washington, including an uncut sheet of bills of three, four, five and 10 dollars, a land grant to a Thomas Wallis, who purchased unclaimed swampland from the state of North Carolina — a state moneymaking operation that funded public education after the Revolutionary War, and a box of Secotan Indian arrowheads found in Tranter’s Creek.
Some of the items have been a surprise to those on the receiving end — for instance, several tokens for the bus service that once ran in Beaufort County.
Some items, Toler said, they’ve had to turn away because the Washington Civic Center requires that all floor space must be clear for their rentals. Toler had to turn down offers of trunks from downtown department stores, as well as a Civil War-era cannon.
While the exhibit opens next Thursday to the public, Toler is holding off on an opening reception until the arts council has a better idea of how the show comes together.
“We’ve got some really interesting work from our permanent collection that hasn’t been pulled out in while,” Toler said. “A lot of it, no one’s really seen.”
The exhibit is part of the ongoing celebration of the county’s 300th anniversary and will be on display through the planned anniversary festivities on the Washington waterfront on Sept. 22, including a performance by hometown beach music star Craig Woolard and his band and the North Carolina Symphony.