Visitors to Danbury Public Library have always had a chance to catch a glimpse into county history, but a recent donation will give visitors a new look at artifacts from World War I.
Librarian Lisa Lawless said the daughter of a former Stokes County man had recently donated a number of items from the Great War to the library.
“Gideon Moore grew up in a house near C.C. Moore,” she said. “They used to have an octagon shaped barn that was well known in the area. His daughter came up here from Burlington and gave me all of these old letters and equipment that he had in WWI.”
Included in the collection are a gas mask and bag, a duffel bag with Moore’s name and “Lawsonville” written on it, a WWI helmet and a variety of letters including one thanking Moore for his service with the American Expeditionary Forces in France.
Moore was recognized in the 1990s as the county’s oldest living school teacher. Moore taught in a one-room school with another teacher in 1912 or 1913. He taught a year each at Sand School and Buck Island School, both north of Danbury in the Lawsonville area.
Moore, a life-long farmer, passed away at the age of 104 on Jan. 15, 1997.
“He was from Lawsonville so his daughter wanted his stuff to come back to the county,” said Lawless. “She contacted the historical society and they did not really have a place to put it so they gave her the library’s number because they knew we had display cases in the History Room.
“She asked all of the family members, and nobody wanted these items and she did not want to just chuck them,” Lawless added. “So she drove up from Burlington to bring them here.”
Lawless said it was real treat to see items from that time period.
“You can see where he had to patch some holes in his duffel bag,” she said. “And the gas mask is really fragile, but it still has the instruction booklet intact and it came in gas mask bag.”
Lawless noted that if anyone else in the community had historical items they wanted preserved and displayed then they should consider the library as a possible location.
“Please bring them here and we will display them,” she said. “This is a great place for people to put things the family does not want, but they want to preserve.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.