A lecture on “Legendary Locals of Raleigh” by Stormi Souter and Elizabeth Weichel
A lecture on “Legendary Locals of Raleigh” by Stormi Souter and Elizabeth Weichel took place on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 7 pm at the Visitors Center of the Joel Lane Museum House at 160 South Saint Mary’s Street, Raleigh, NC 27603. Admission was $15 for the general public and $10 for members of the Joel Lane Historical Society. Refreshments were served. Seating was limited, and advanced payment was required. Please call 919-833-3431 with your MasterCard or Visa, mail a check to P O Box 10884, Raleigh NC 27605, or purchase at Eventbrite.com by clicking here: Buy Tickets to Legendary Locals. Be sure to include the names of all in your party; nametags will serve as tickets. Tickets are non-refundable unless we must cancel the event.
Stormi and Elizabeth have written a new book Legendary Locals of Raleigh which seeks to capture the essence of the city by highlighting many of the individuals who have contributed to its development: people like the first resident, Joel Lane, who sold North Carolina the land to establish Raleigh in 1792; James H. Young, a courageous African American politician during Reconstruction; Scottie Stephenson, a broadcasting legend and matriarch of Capitol Broadcasting Company; John Chavis, a free black reverend and prominent schoolteacher of Raleigh’s black and white students in the early 1800s; Katharine Stinson, the Federal Aviation Administration’s first female employee, whose career choice was inspired by a conversation with Amelia Earhart at Raleigh Municipal Airport; and Ella Baker, a local Shaw University graduate, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. confidant, and founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an influential civil rights organization. This book is only an overview of the many who have shaped Raleigh while calling it home.
Stormi Souter was born in Raleigh when her parents were visiting family here. Her family tree has its roots in the Raleigh area dating back to the early 1700s, even though she grew up living in many different states and areas. It wasn’t until 2010 that she moved to Raleigh and now affectionately calls Raleigh home.
A museum professional, Souter has worked and volunteered at historic sites and museums for the past decade, in collections and education. She met co-author Elizabeth Weichel while serving as the Director of Education and Outreach at the Raleigh City Museum. It was there that her passion for Raleigh history blossomed, while she researched and gave tours of the city to school children, tourists, and history enthusiasts.
In addition to her professional pursuits, Souter has been active in reenacting and living history since the 1990s and has presented lectures and classes across the South and East on topics such as material culture, clothing, and local history. She enjoys researching, keeping a collection of culture artifacts in her personal collection, and travels to volunteer her time for preservation efforts.
Elizabeth Weichel grew up in South Carolina, but has called the Old North State her home since 2006. In that time, she has traveled from Atlantic Beach on the coast to the mountains of Asheville in the west, but it’s been the energy and the growth of Raleigh that has kept her right in the center of the state.
After completing undergraduate study at Clemson University, Weichel moved to Raleigh to get her master’s degree in Public History from NC State University. She has worked at several museums and historical organizations since, honing her interest and knowledge of Raleigh’s history. This is her first book.
Weichel currently works as a fundraiser for a local nonprofit, and maintains her involvement with Raleigh’s history by keeping a website, visiting historic sites, and giving impromptu historical tours to her friends.
It is her hope that this book is both familiar and fascinating to the current residents of Raleigh, reminding them of old stories as well as introducing them to some new ones. It opened her eyes to the quiet impact Raleigh has had on the state and the nation, and she hopes that it will inspire the creation of even more “legendary locals.”
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