PILOT MOUNTAIN — Anyone with a favorite memory of Pilot Mountain or who would like to share his or her thoughts on what makes it such a special place will have an outlet for doing so this Sunday.
From 3 to 8 p.m. that day in the summit area of Pilot Mountain State Park, staff members will be making audio recordings to document such material supplied by the public.
Park visitors and neighbors are welcome to tell their stories from past to present, as part of an overall effort leading to next year’s 50th anniversary of the state park and the upcoming construction of a visitor center there.
“We would like to begin recording local residents’ memories of Pilot Mountain to begin compiling an oral history about the state park,” park Superintendent Matt Windsor announced regarding efforts to collect and digitize stories from the local community.
“And also for having some of these recordings available for potential visitor center exhibits when the new building is built in the next two years.”
Funding for the new facility was included in the Connect NC bond referendum that was approved by voters last year.
Those wishing to participate in Sunday’s recording sessions are asked to simply show up and meet park personnel at the shaded sidewalk on the way to the Little Pinnacle overlook at the summit parking area.
“The recordings will be audio, so people don’t need to worry about being put in the spotlight, we just want to hear their stories,” Windsor added in his announcement.
“We will have some of our Raleigh (state park) staff help us with the recording this time — we hope to borrow the equipment and do this more often leading up to the 2018 50th anniversary of Pilot Mountain becoming a state park.”
In fact, Sunday’s event is being held on the day before the park turns 49.
“We hope we’ll get a lot of participation,” the park superintendent commented.
Exhibits to be developed
Also in conjunction with the golden anniversary of Pilot Mountain State Park and the new visitor center, officials are seeking exhibit material for a museum section of that facility.
“Over the years we have received some items of interest from the public and never had a place to showcase them,” Windsor explained.
“If anyone has significant memorabilia from the mountain, including old advertisements and articles of the mountain, we would welcome them to bring these items (Sunday) if they are willing to donate them.”
In cases in which people have photographs they want to keep, personnel on site can digitally scan the photos to make copies and return the originals during the same visit.
Park officials point out that the visitor center plans offer a special donation opportunity for those with older artifacts or memorabilia who would like to see those items put to good use through exhibits or displays for future generations.