MOORESVILLE — Judy Wolfe was honored with the North Carolina Historian of the Year Award for 2015 at the N.C. Society of Historians’ annual meeting and awards banquet here Saturday.
A former high school principal, Wolfe has worked tirelessly to preserve and promote the history of Jonesville since retiring and moving back to her hometown in 2008. She has headed up the Jonesville Historical Society since 2010.
In presenting the award, society President Elizabeth Sherrill said “few historians are as committed and productive” as Wolfe is in “demonstrating resourcefulness, creative talent and dedication” to her hometown and community.
“She has provided leadership in securing funds, collecting relics, organizing a history center, writing promotional copy for brochures and maintaining a website on the Internet to tell the story of a small town’s history and heritage,” Sherill said. “She has worked selflessly to bridge Jonesville’s past, present and future.”
In accepting the award, Wolfe honored Charles Mathis, her friend and mentor, who she said taught her to appreciate the town of Jonesville’s history. She also thanked her former teacher and coach, John Wesley Mathis, for teaching her about heritage.
Both men were in attendance at the awards banquet along with Wolfe’s brother, Jim, and her sister, Anne Wolfe Mastin, both of Elkin.
Wolfe said of the award: “It’s a tremendous personal honor, but I think it’s an even greater honor for my town. I grew up here, my family still lives in the area, and I’ve always been proud of my town and I always felt that someday I would return.
“I never in my wildest dream imagined that I would become so involved in pursuing the heritage and history of my town, and never in my even wilder dreams would I have imagined receiving an award such as this.”
Also at the awards banquet, Wolfe was presented the Paul Green Multimedia Award for a DVD she produced on the Jonesville Speedway titled “A Lap Not Finished.” In accepting the award, she recognized the editing of Keith Hall, the photos provided by David Brendle and the narration of Danny Hall.
Wolfe was instrumental in opening the Mineral Springs Memorial Park dating back to pre-Revolutionary War times and its memorials and plaques honoring veterans from the area. She also secured grants and donations to open a historic trail once used by early settlers.
Her latest effort is to open a heritage craft center in the old Jonesville Town Hall on North Main Street. The Jonesville Town Council has agreed to lease the building to the Jonesville Historical Society for use as the center.
Also at Saturday’s awards banquet, Larry Griffin of Wilkes County received the NCSH President’s Award for a long series of articles entitled, “Of Human Bondage: A History of Slavery in Wilkes County.” The series includes the story of Mammy Judy, who was mother of 13 children, all girls, and outlived all those who enslaved her.
Said Sherrill: “Mammy Judy’s memory will live on in my heart as long as the Lord allows me to have my senses.”
Another memorable moment occurred when Marci Spencer of Old Fort won the Willie Parker Peace History Book Award for her book entitled, “Pisgah National Forest — A History.” Spencer noted that October 17 marked Pisgah National Forest’s 99th birthday and led the historians and their guests in singing, “Happy Birthday, Pisgah National Forest.”
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 258-4035.