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Roger's Greenville Tour

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  • Jewelle Baker
    Hello Group...... The below article in today s Greenville NC Reflector will interest all of you. Enjoy!! Thanks to Roger Kammerer for his love and knowledge
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2006
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      Hello Group......
      The below article in today's Greenville NC Reflector will interest all of you. Enjoy!! Thanks to Roger Kammerer
      for his love and knowledge of history ..... and to Erin for a great coverage!

      Reminiscing � History of city's downtown celebrated during annual tour
      By Erin Rickert, The Daily ReflectorMonday, May 01, 2006
      The more than 150 people who came out Sunday for the Pitt County Historical Society's annual walking tour tripled the amount generally seen in the event's five-year history. "We typically have 40 or 50 people show up," said Jerri Sutton, a board member with the historical society. Some attendees said pleasant weather drew them out; others pointed to the opportunity to reminisce. Sutton said the organization's 75th anniversary inspired the walk five years ago. Each year, local historian, Roger Kammerer guides participants through parts of the city's downtown section and through the times of plank roads, the telegraph as main source of communication and public hangings. "It's a wonderful day to be together and to celebrate the place we live," Sutton said. "This gives people not only a sense of history, but a sense of place." Stories of visits by George Washington, General Tom Thumb and a variety of famous opera singers are included on the two-hour tour, which stops at places such as Cherry Hill Cemetery, the Blount Harvey Building, the Pitt County Courthouse and the Town Common. "Even though so much has disappeared, there is still so much here," Kammerer said.

      Rhonda Locklair, a local artist, said she came on the tour simply to learn more about the history of the city she has lived for the last few years. "I have a love for historic Greenville," the 36-year-old said. "It's just beautiful, very inspirational."


      The following are a few examples of Greenville history that tour guide and local historian Roger Kammerer shared with participants Sunday.

      � In colonial times, Greenville was actually called Martinsborough. The city was later named Greensville after a famous soldier, Nathan Green, during the American revolution. Somewhere along the way, the 's' was dropped and the city was called Greenville. "Every Greenville in the South is named for this man," Kammerer said.

      � The courtyard beside Buffalo Wild Wings on Fifth Street once held a large brick store owned by Blue Flemming. Story says he was called "Blue" after taking some medication, which turned his skin the color.

      � In the 1920s, Greenville's first hospital was located in what is now the Catalog Connection on East Fifth Street.

      � Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church once sat in the Town Common near the intersection of North Greene and First streets. The African American church was destroyed in the late 1960s after it was firebombed. A monument with an inscription and etching of the church now sits in the space it occupied.

      � In 1890, the train came to Greenville. This was approximately 13 years before the city would see its first automobile.

      � About the time of the Civil War, people were hanged publicly in the Town Common. Afterward, bodies were dragged out to the crowd and children were allowed to kick the corpses. "It was different and strangely festive," Kammerer described of the ritual. Years later, the hangings were done privately, behind the old jail by the courthouse.

      Erin Rickert can be contacted at erickert@... and 329-9566.

      Jewelle Baker

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