New history center board members confirmed

Published 6:37 pm Wednesday, June 6, 2018

From Friends of the Outer Banks History Center

The general membership of the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center recently voted to confirm the appointments of seven new board members.

The purpose of the organization is to support the work of the Outer Banks History Center by raising and administering funds to supplement the funding from the North Carolina General Assembly and to assist with center projects. The center is a satellite facility of the State Archives of North Carolina and houses documents and photographs pertaining to the history of Dare and nearby counties.
Dr. Lewis Forrest, chair of the nonprofit, explained that these new board members add strength and diversity to the organization’s leadership. Forrest stated, “Our goal has been to recruit individuals who have a passionate interest in a field or project that is closely aligned with the work and mission of the Outer Banks History Center, and each of these new board members meet that standard.”
Three of the seven new board members confirmed on April 20 are John Bliven and Joan Collins, of Manteo, and James Charlet, of Hatteras Island. Forrest stated that the organization introduced these three members to the region in a press release last November after they accepted nominations to the board in October. Forrest said that he believes it is important for the public to know who serves its interests on this board. He provided the following information about the four additional new directors.
Linda Mayo lives in Scranton and is a retired director of the Hyde County Health Department. Mayo currently serves as the president of the Hyde County Historical and Genealogical Society, as a board member of Hyde County Transit and as a board member of the Southern Albemarle Association. She is an avid student of early North Carolina history, and in 2016 she edited the book “Early Hyde Co., NC, Marriage Records: 1735–1899.”
Thomas “Tom” White Jr., a retired attorney of Manteo and a life member of the organization, has periodically donated records to the center that are germane to Dare County history. White served as the attorney for the Town of Nags Head for 30 years, Southern Shores for 25 years and Dare County Board of Education for 28 years. He served for 10 years as chair of the Roanoke Island Historical Association, almost 10 years as president of the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society and v12 years on the board of directors of Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast. He is a member and past president of the Manteo Rotary Club.
Eric Soderholm, also of Manteo, works for the Outer Banks office of the Nature Conservancy. Soderholm grew up near Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay in central Maryland. His wife, Ladd, is from the Bayliss family of Mann’s Harbor. He earned a bachelor’s-of -science degree, with an emphasis on farming and forestry, from Warren Wilson College in western North Carolina. He currently oversees the Nature Conservancy’s work in making peat soils pay off for inland landowners in northeastern North Carolina by rehydrating the soil. He has an interest in the history of the region, especially the agricultural history and the transition from traditional farming to environmentally friendly organic farming.
Scott Dawson, and his wife, Maggie, founded the Croatoan Archeological Society in 2009 to research the historical and archaeological evidence left behind by the Croatoan Indians of Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks. Dawson is a native of Hatteras Island and a descendant of the Croatoan natives who lived there during the early expeditions sent by Sir Walter Raleigh. His interest in Native American history extends beyond the Outer Banks, and his approach is to utilize archaeological evidence and primary source documents to interpret that history. He has spent much of his adult life researching the role the Croatoan people may have played in the Lost Colony story. Dawson has a degree in psychology with a minor in history from the University of Tennessee. He is the author of the book “Croatoan: Birth Place of America.”
In addition to the seven new board members confirmed in April, three directors — Forrest, John Havel, vice-chair; and Bob Matchette, treasurer — will continue to serve on the board.

Membership in organization is open to the public. For more information, contact Lewis Forrest at 252-341-7882, or drop by the Outer Banks History Center in Festival Park, Manteo.