Early historian wasn’t always a “Colonel” of truth

On this day in 1902: The Hall of History, later known as the N.C. Museum of History, opens in Raleigh.

Overseeing the museum is “Colonel” Fred Olds, who has combined his personal collection of memorabilia with that passively accumulated by the N.C. Museum of Natural History. Olds, former city editor of the News & Observer, has a limited staff (one assistant) but unlimited enthusiasm and imagination.

Even though prone to tout every odd-shaped rock as ballast that came over with the Lost Colonists and every old bottle as Blackbeard’s rum flask, Olds stirs interest in the state’s past, preserves many priceless artifacts and paves the way for more professional curators.


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