It started as a normal day for David Whitlow as he came in to do some work at the Mooresville Museum back in March.
When he arrived at the museum, he said he found a manila envelope and, thinking it was perhaps some clippings being passed along, he opened it to see what had been delivered. Instead of the normal find inside the envelope, Whitlow discovered some unusual treasures that were being shared with the local museum.
Whitlow noted that he pulled out a letter from Cindy Wojcicki, from New Hampshire, who had been to the estate sale of Mary and Wilson Harnell of Amesbury, Massachusetts. In her purchase she found some papers and saw the name Mooresville on them and thus passed along her find.
Included was a small dinner menu with Mooresville on the top along with a letter from Milas Smith to his mother in 1837 as he shared information about his time in the army participating in the Texas War for Independence. Smith told her about driving the enemy out and how they all got $8 a month and 1,960 acres each. He also complained a little bit about the fact that it would cost then $20 to have the land surveyed.
However, going through the papers, Whitlow noted that the most amazing find was the Granville Grant deed dated August 1762. It survived many wars and more. The Earl of Granville had died in 1763. Doing some research, Whitlow discovered that the deed was in listed Book 5, Page 231, showing 550 acres of land just over the county line on what is now Hwy. 801 before Mt. Ulla School. The buyer was Jacob Crawford.
Whitlow said that while looking over the deed, he noticed the name of John Frohock who was a surveyor and early resident of Mecklenburg County. Frohock, Whitlow shared, was one of three commissioners charged with forming Mecklenburg County and the county seat of Charlotte in 1766.
Having this name attached to the deed was “what caught their eye at the state archives,” said Alan Bradford, president to the Mooresville Museum. “You have a Frohock,” they said.
An effort is being made to ensure these documents are preserved. The museum leadership is trying to raise funds to help restore them without losing quality. They have been in contact with the Etherington Conservation Services, which does preservation work for the Smithsonian.
A GoFundMe has been established and some money toward this restoration project and more than $800 has already been donated. Those wishing to give toward this project may visit the museum’s website at http://www.themooresvillemuseum.org/home/ or learn more at their Facebook page.
“Any amount is appreciated to help in the restoration process,” Bradford said.
Both Whitlow, who pointed out many donated items, and Bradford shared the importance of remembering the town’s history and preserving these items for generations to come. Donated items are welcome at the museum.
“Those that come in see the value,” Bradford said. “We want others to see the value. Ask questions, remember, pass along when you hear a story.”
Those wishing to visit the museum and see the displays and relive days in Mooresville or learn about the town’s history, may do so on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-6 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.