March 8th 2005 Remembered

Bath Tricentennial Kickoff

Most of Bath Elementary School’s 600 students, teachers and staff wore colonial garb on Opening Ceremony Day. Here, the students listen to the proceedings of the General Assembly session in the school gym.

The much awaited anniversary of that was literally years in the making did not go exactly as planned! But in true Bath style, quick decisions and adjustments were made and the day was still deemed a success. However, I’d like to tell you more about the Opening Ceremony Day from my perspective.

It was quite exciting to have the have the N.C. General Assembly meet in our town--it took them a long time to make it back, since their last meeting in Bath took place in 1752! The legislators, along with about 1,000 costumed school children and celebrants looking on, held session in the Bath Elementary School’s gymnasium. What a blessing the storm that blew through the town did so while most people were in that location!

If it had occurred just a little later, the headlines could have been devastating, and the humorous take we were able to place on the event would never have happened. As it was, the day became a bit of an adventure for everyone. All EMS and security personnel handled everything so smoothly and competently, that unless you looked outside and saw the downed tent and contents scattered about the lawn, you would never have realized the extent of the havoc the weather played. I heard someone say it does take a lot of wind to blow out 300 candles, and I guess that’s true.

Beyond the biggest news-breaking story, the day was also filled with many positive experiences. Most notably, the Carolina Charter was on display throughout the day in the Palmer-Marsh House. Over 400 people took the time to view this beautiful four page document. (I spent some quality time with it while I waited for the storm to abate!) The new history book about Bath was unveiled and sold to the public, with book signings from the author, Dr. Alan Watson. Later in the afternoon, a John Lawson marker was unveiled in Colonial dress by Brianna Swain and Jacob Latham, children of Historic Bath State Historic Site employees. The historical marker was given by the Society of Colonial Wars in North Carolina. The prayer, given by Rev. Jack Rivers, spoke of how thankful we should be for Lawson’s adventurous spirit. This same spirit became ours on this day of celebration.

Leigh Swain
Site Manager
Historic Bath

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