Oakboro Regional Museum honors one of its founders

Published 9:45 am Sunday, August 12, 2018

For several months, Oakboro Regional Museum of History has paid tribute to Claudette Brooks Love (1938-2017) with a special museum window exhibit.

Love was instrumental in the establishment of the Oakboro Regional Historical Foundation in March 1999 and was one of the three founding directors of Oakboro Regional Museum.

Whenever a project came up for discussion, Love’s optimistic trademark phrase was, “We can do that,” according to organizers of the exhibit.

Oakboro Library and music at Oakboro First Baptist Church were two other passions of this lady.

In the 1990s, she began a history section in the Oakboro Library. In September 1998, she contacted Bob Barbee about starting an Oakboro museum. In January 1999, Jane Barnhardt was asked to join them in planning a local museum.

March 15, 1999 was the first organized meeting and March 30, 1999 was the first official meeting for the museum. The Oakboro Regional Historical Foundation was chartered April 15, 1999 and the museum opened with a photo exhibit April 14, 2000.

In 2019, the museum will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The museum includes four properties. The Oakboro Museum of History is at 231 N. Main St. and was the first property.

This museum includes 100-plus photos of early Oakboro, permanent and rotating exhibits and numerous Oakboro mementos.

May 19, 2007 was the grand opening of the Oakboro Railroad Museum, a replica of the original Oakboro Railroad Depot. This was a joint project of the Oakboro Regional Historical Foundation and the town of Oakboro. Later, a stationary caboose was placed on the museum grounds.

In 2004, the third property under Oakboro Regional Historical Foundation was secured through a donation from the E.O. and Rebecca Ross family. The 1916 Oakboro Presbyterian Church property is available for concerts, reunions, weddings, meetings and other gatherings.

In 2011, the turn-of-the-century Victorian style Coble/Teeter Home was donated to Oakboro Regional Historical Foundation by the late owner, Mozelle Teeter. Currently, a restoration project is underway for the house.